Bass fishing can be pretty complicated sometimes — just when you think you have it all figured out, they change up their behavior.
Consider the story of Matt Miller and his recent trips to Toledo Bend.
The 46-year-old angler from Jennings fished at night during the last full moon in mid-July.
Almost every Toledo Bend angler knows lunkers have more of a tendency to bite at night in the summer months, and they cooperated as Miller and Toledo Bend guide Darold Gleason scored on fish weighing 7 and 8 pounds, respectively.
So naturally, Miller figured fishing also would be good Friday night when the moon was in its darkest phase.
“I didn’t even get a bite,” he said.
But he was back at it Sunday, this time on a day trip with friend Jeff Tall, also of Jennings.
“Jeff had been catching some 5-pounders, so we headed out at 5:45 a.m.,” he said.
The two anglers motored out to the Tennessee Bay area to fish a series of ridges 18- to 20-feet deep.
“I started throwing V&M’s Wild Thang,” Miller said. “In just a short time I had a fish, and Tall also caught a couple of 2-pounders on a V&M football jig.
“I decided to pick up my rod with a ¾-ounce, watermelon V&M football jig tied on.”
His first cast was in 15 feet of water on a ridge at approximately 6:35 a.m.
“I bounced it (the jig) on the bottom, and a fish picked it up and headed to deeper water toward the boat,” he said.
When he set the hook, Miller could feel it was a good fish.
“It came up to the top really quick,” he said. “Jeff was trying to find my net, but it was still in a compartment.
“I told Jeff not to worry about the net, just to grab her when she came up.”
Tall lipped the fish successfully once it neared the boat, and told Miller he thought she’d qualify for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
Miller wasn’t sure she was big enough, but the fish weighed 10 pounds, 10 ounces on his scale.
They placed the bass into the boat’s livewell with a little ice, and then Miller called Buckeye Landing on his cell.
“Bruce Salter offered to open Buckeye Landing early for me,” Miller said. “I knew they had a certified scale there for the Lunker Program.”
Since the bass was doing fine in the livewell, Miller and Tall kept fishing and two more bass were taken.
At Buckeye Landing, Salter met Miller and officially weighed the bass in at 10.62 pounds, making it the sixth lunker entered into the program for the 2014-15 season.
The program offers anglers who catch and release certified 10-pound-plus fish complimentary replicas funded by the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
This is Miller’s third bass over 10 pounds, but his first entered into the program.
Besides the V&M jig, Miller’s tackle included a heavy 7-foot Kistler Z -Bone rod and a Shimano reel spooled with 17-pound Stren 100% Fluoro.