Prospect’s Thomas Cain and his father, Bud, were hoping to score on some bull bream when they headed out of San Miguel into the 12-15 area early on Aug. 5 — but none were to be found.
“We searched until 10 a.m., but evidently the bream had left the beds,” the younger Cain said.
Fortunately, the trip didn’t end there: Cain decided to scout for an upcoming bass tournament.
“It was one of those days when the bass bite was really slow,” he said.
Focusing his efforts near wooded structure on shallow ridges in 4- to 6-feet of water, Cain began throwing a mid-diving crankbait on his 7-foot custom K&M rod equipped with a Shimano Curado reel.
He caught a 4-pounder at about 10:30, and his father also scored on a couple of small bass.
“The fish weren’t biting well, but I was just spending some time cruising around looking for places to fish,” he said.
After lunch in the boat, Cain kept on scouting and working his crankbait — and his patience finally paid off.
“I was constantly hanging up on stumps,” Cain said. “When I was running the crankbait in that shallow water, I would constantly feel it digging in.”
Around 7 p.m., Cain thought he was hung up again.
“I thought it was just another stump,” he said. “But then she started moving and pulling down my line and rod. She came up to the top, and I saw her roll. I told dad that I had one over 10, and then she went under the boat.
“When the fish came up, my father lipped her,” he said. “It happened very quickly.”
With the big bass safely in the livewell, the pair hurried over to Toledo Town & Tackle to weigh it for potential eligibility into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
At T-town, the fish weighed-in officially at a hefty 11.87 pounds.
It wasn’t until it was examined for tagging that the anglers and Toledo Tackle staff noticed it was a previously tagged bass.
According to Dinah Medine, with the Toledo Bend Lake Association, Cain’s lunker was first caught by Ricky Trahan of Lake Charles on March 2, 2013, when it weighed 11.33 pounds.
Any angler who catches a 10-pound-plus bass and agrees to release it back into Toledo Bend waters is eligible for participation in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
Cain’s big bass is the eighth entered into the program for the 2014-15 season.