Just a week removed from the frigid conditions on Lake Hartwell and his first-ever Bassmaster Classic appearance, Brett Pruett felt right at home on Caney Lake Saturday when he reeled in the biggest bass of his life. 

The 24-year-old angler from Colfax and his girlfriend, Sarah Purvis, were fishing together during Monroe’s Toledo Tackle Team Circuit Series event on Caney Lake.

“We had a very slow start,” Pruett said. “Sarah and I were fishing for 1 ½ hours and we didn’t get a single bite.”

The couple was fishing in 30- to 40-feet of water in a creek channel. Both anglers were casting Creme umbrella rigs with Reel Scremers swimbaits on hooks surrounding a central Keitech Swing Impact swimbait. 

Pruett was casting his U-rig on 7-foot, 6-inch MHX custom rod with 50-pound PowerPro braid spooled onto a Shimano Curado reel.

“I wanted to stay for a while,” he said. “In a recent trip, we caught 30 pounds of fish there.”

At about 8:30, Pruett’s U-rig got hit hard.

“I told Sarah to get the net because she’s a giant,” he said. “The bass was pulling hard, and I could feel her head shaking. When she tried to jump, I did get a look at her belly. When I saw her, I thought she would have been 13 or 14 pounds... Sarah netted the fish and we gave each other a big hug. We were really excited.

“Then Sarah said, ‘Let’s win this thing!’”

Pruett’s huge bass was placed in the livewell and the anglers continued fishing, but the action slowed.

“We moved all over the place on the lake,” he said. “It just wasn’t happening.”

About four hours later, Purvis caught a good fish on her U-rig.

“Sarah reeled in a bass that almost went 5 pounds,” Pruett said. “We hadn’t had a bite for so long, and I told Sarah now we have a chance with her fish well over the slot. She ended up catching a 12-inch bass a little later, so we had 3 bass to weigh-in.”

The third fish did the trick at the Monroe Toledo Tackle scales, with the couple’s winning three-fish stringer weighing 15.74 pounds - anchored by Pruett’s 10.89-pound personal best, which also took Big Bass honors at the event. 

“Two years ago, I caught another 10-pounder at this same tournament, but this one was larger,” he said. “And having my girlfriend Sarah with me made this day real special.”

For more information regarding the Monroe Toledo Tackle Team Circuit Series, contact Toledo Tackle at 318-396-3600.