No one would have ever expected that a spur-of-the-moment scouting trip at Toledo Bend would have resulted in catching a monster bass in the sizzling heat of Saturday afternoon.
But Randy Cagle recently had a jack plate gauge added to his boat, and he wanted to get out there and see how it would function on Toledo Bend prior to an upcoming tournament.
The 59-year-old Woodville, Texas angler was also bent on getting his wife, Judy, out of the house Saturday afternoon as his scouting companion.
“We put in at 944 Park on the Texas side and went to Housen,” Cagle said. “I had fished there a couple of weeks before with my high school team, and one of the boys broke off on a large fish.”
The husband and wife team settled on fishing submerged hydrilla in 15 feet of water.
“I handed Judy a 7-foot medium/heavy All Star Rod with an Abu Garcia Revo reel and a Stick ‘Um Senko from R1 Bass attached to her line,” he said.
Shortly after 5 p.m., they noticed bass schooling in the area.
“It was on her second cast that she told me that she had one,” he said, noting that his wife’s rod was bent severely during the battle.
“The fish stayed down and didn’t run more than 6 feet of drag,” he said. “The fish just didn’t fight that long. Judy just kept reeling her in after that initial run.
“When the bass came up I could tell she was huge,” he said. “The fish just laid up on top and I was saying, ‘Oh my God.’”
Cagle reached for the net and a few seconds later the monster was on the deck of the boat.
“The bass weighed 14.4 pounds on my scale,” he said. “We placed her in the livewell, picked everything up immediately and motored to Fin & Feather - which was just two minutes away.
“She weighed 14.66 pounds officially,” he said. “The length was 26 inches, and its girth was measured at 21 inches.
“But we had some concerns since she was riding high in the vat,” he said. “We did get her stabilized and tagged, but we had trouble at the lake upon trying to release her.”
A team worked for almost an hour to make sure the bass was healthy enough to return to the water.
“Someone came up to help us with a syringe so we did vent her,” he said.
Eventually, everyone decided to place the huge bass back into the vat for an overnight stay.
“They checked in on her at 1:00 a.m. and then again at 1:30, and she was fine and doing great,” he said.
But unfortunately, the fish didn’t survive the night.
“Judy and I want everyone to know that we are truly sorry for losing that bass despite all our attempts,” he said. “And we would like to thank Tom Seastrunk (owner of Fin and Feather) and all the folks who came out to help us revive her.”
Pending certification, it will rank as No. 5 in the Toledo Bend Lake record books and is the largest bass caught at the Bend since 2009.
For a complete listing of Toledo Bend Lake Country’s records, click here.