Two Lone Star State anglers landed bass as big as Texas at Toledo Bend last month.
Here’s a recap on how they caught their lunkers.
Richard Hayes lands a 10.27-pounder on April 18
A bad day of crappie fishing at Toledo Bend turned into an unforgettable day of bass fishing for a Texas family enjoying the Easter holidays.
On Friday, April 18, Richard Hayes and his family couldn’t get the crappie bite cranked up, so he decided to try his luck with bass in the Six Mile area.
“We just couldn’t find any white perch (crappie) early that morning,” the Fannett angler said. “I motored over to one spot and trolled around casting Road Runners, and I didn’t get a single bite.
“By 8:30 a.m., I got so frustrated that I picked up one of my bass rods.”
Hayes started casting toward the edges of the grass lines with a watermelon/purple Zoom trick worm on 15-pound Berkley Big Game monofilament. He was using an Abu Garcia 5500C reel attached to a Falcon rod.
“I got a bump and thought I was hung,” he said. “I pulled back and the fish started easing toward deeper water.”
Hayes could feel the fish and determined it was shaking its head and attempting to break the water’s surface.
“When she did jump out of the water 20 yards away, I about had a heart attack when I saw her,” he said. “My wife and son were wrestling through the box to get to the net while I am sitting as the fish was pulling drag.
“I kept my rod tip down in the water to keep the bass from jumping again and possibly spitting out the hook.”
The angler kept a tight line on the fish as it made another run pulling even more drag before tiring out.
“My son scooped her into the net and I was shaking like a leaf,” he said. “When I reached out to grab her with my left hand, I noticed that there was no hook in her mouth.
“The hook had come out in the net.”
Hayes later weighed his bass at a friend’s place in Highline Cove. On the hand-held digital scale, the lunker weighed 10.4 pounds.
Later that day, the bass was brought to Toledo Town and Tackle for entry into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, and it tipped the scales at a hefty 10.27 pounds.
It’s the largest bass Hayes has ever taken, and was the 58th lunker bass entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program this season.
The program awards anglers who catch 10-plus-pound bass a free replica mount if they agree to have the fished tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters.
Anna Polster catches a 10.11-pounder on April 27
Just two hours after launching on Sunday, April 27, 75-year-old Anna Polster and her husband W.C. had a limit of five bass while fishing the second day of the Texas State Bass tournament on Toledo Bend.
But by 8:30 a.m., the Riesel, Texas couple had to cull a fish to make room for what would be the largest bass ever taken by Anna.
They were fishing Housen Bay, an area where the Polsters had won a tournament three years before this event.
“We were fishing a grass line some 3 feet deep,” Polster said.
She was casting a Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog on 15-pound Seaguar line spooled onto a Shimano reel and a Berkley rod.
“The bass made two light taps and then it took off,” Polster said. “It did take some drag but I got it up to the boat.
“We missed getting it in the first time and she went back into the grass. I thought I had lost it.”
But eventually Polster was able to get the bass back to the boat, and W.C. netted the lunker.
The huge bass was placed in the livewell and the couple kept fishing – and kept culling.
“W.C. later caught a 3-pounder, so we had to cull again,” she said.
They eventually made it to the weigh-in at Fin & Feather Resort by 1:00 p.m.
“I really had no idea what the fished weighed,” she said. “Some guy walked by and said I had a hog, and an announcement was made about one coming in.
“We weighed it and they took pictures for the Texas State tournament.”
At the scales, Polster’s bass officially weighed 10.11 pounds.
The couple, former state champions of the 59-year-old tournament, won the Senior Team Division with Anna’s lunker anchoring a solid two-day total of 29.13 pounds.
Polster’s bass also earned the top Big Bass award of the tournament, and was the 59th bass entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass program for the season.