Every spring, three South Louisiana friends spend time together fishing at Toledo Bend for the reservoir’s quality largemouths - and this year certainly didn’t disappoint.

Wesley Verret of Jeanerette, Carl Pellerin of Patterson and Lance Verret of Morgan City launched from Big Bass Marina on Wednesday morning, March 18 and didn’t run far before the action got underway. 

Only 10 casts into the morning, Wesley had a very good fish hooked on a Rat-L-Trap, but lost it in the grass. 

“Carl later caught a good one - a 4.5-pounder on a Ribbit, which we released,” Verret, 54, said.

The anglers then fished for a while without a bite.

Later in the morning, they found more fish and together accounted for 10 bass upwards of 3 ½ pounds, including a 5 ½-pounder caught on a Rogue by Lance Verret.

The trio then took a break for lunch, then launched again about 4:30 p.m. 

Wesley Verret started the afternoon by tying a ¾-ounce Stanley football jig with a crawfish trailer to 20-pound PowerPro braid. He was casting this setup with a Shimano Curado reel on a 7 ½-foot medium-heavy G. Loomis rod.

“I was flipping it along the edges of grass, sticks and cypress in 5 feet of water,” he said.

The angler quickly set the hook and landed a 2 ½-pounder.

At about 7, Verret flipped again and felt a good thump on the jig.

“The fish started running to the back of the boat near Lance,” he said. “I kept a bind on the fish, and the bass ran toward the back again, then jumped and Carl netted it.

“When I saw the mouth of the fish and then grabbed it, it was huge.”

The trio knew it was a replica fish and immediately wrapped things up for the day.

“Josh put it on the scales at Big Bass Marina and it weighed over 10 there,” Verret said. “So we sort of began celebrating.”

Verret learned that Buckeye Landing was an official weigh station for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, so they made a call to owner Bruce Salter, who met the anglers when they arrived.

“Bruce placed it in the tank there for a while,” Verret said. 

On Buckeye Landing’s certified scales, Verret’s huge bass officially weighed 11.58 pounds.

“We began celebrating again,” he said.

Since Verret’s huge bass was 10-pounds-plus, and was tagged and released, he became eligible to receive a replica courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.

Verret’s trophy bass is lunker No. 44 listed in the 2014-15 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.