What was supposed to be a routine morning of checking trotlines turned into a special day that Jordan Broussard likely will never forget.
On Sunday morning, Broussard and his cousin, Parker, set out in a johnboat around 6:30 to check trotlines that had been baited for catfish on Toledo Bend’s southern waters.
But the 14-year-old from Lafayette had also brought along an Abu Garcia rod and reel spooled with 17-pound monofilament attached to a Zoom Mardi Gras lizard.
On just his second cast of the morning, running the trotlines became a distant memory.
“Parker told me to pitch it underneath a dock,” said Broussard, who said he noticed the line moving.
“I just set the hook and thought I was hung up.”
The big fish started moving and pulling drag, and Broussard kept reeling in whenever he could.
“He towed our johnboat around a little,” he said.
Broussard remembers seeing the bass come up and knew it was a good fish.
“It was a big bass,” he said. “And we did get it to the boat.
“We didn’t make it to those trotlines. We just turned around and headed back to the dock.”
They placed the bass in a livewell, and Broussard remembered someone talking about a free replica program, so they headed to Buckeye Landing, which is an official weigh station for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
“They weighed it and tagged it over there,” he said.
Officially, Broussard’s bass weighed 10.88 pounds and became the very first entry into the Lunker Bass Program for the 2014-15 season that began over the weekend.
In the program, anglers are eligible for a free replica for any bass caught that weighs at least 10 pounds if they agree to have it tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters.