Verlin Nesbitt’s Wednesday got started just like any other day when he goes fishing at Toledo Bend. 

The way it ended, however, was decidedly different.

“I just go out there and fish for bass,” said Nesbitt, 66, of Milam, Texas. “And I release all of them.”

On Wednesday afternoon, he launched into Patroon Creek and started fishing.

“It was a spawning area, and they had about 10 boats in there,” he said. “The water was cold at 52 degrees.”

Nesbitt was fishing a red lipless crankbait in 6 feet of water. The crankbait was tied to braided line spooled onto a Shimano reel attached to a 5 ½-foot rod.

“The fishing started out slow,” he said. “I saw only one fella catch a fish.”

But just 30 minutes later, Nesbitt’s crankbait got nailed.

“I didn’t know how big the fish was while I was fighting her,” he said. “She didn’t break water, and she came up under the boat.”

The fight didn’t last very long, and after only a few minutes, Nesbitt was face to face with the largest bass of his life.

“She was the only bite I had that afternoon,” he said.

Once the fish was safely aboard and in the livewell, the angler motored to the landing to transport the huge bass to Toledo Town and Tackle for an official weight.

On T-town’s scales, Nesbitt’s fish officially weighed 10.42 pounds, with a length of 23 inches and a 19.5-inch girth. 

Nesbitt’s bass is entry No. 34 in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for 2014-15, since his fish weighed at least 10 pounds and was tagged then released back into Toledo Bend waters.

“I wasn’t expecting to catch a bass this size at all that day,” he said. “It is my largest bass ever taken.”