Rickey Cunningham was fishing alone on Toledo Bend Friday morning, so he had no choice but to “hug and high-five himself" when he landed his biggest bass ever - an 11.65-pounder in the Indian Creek area.
“I knew a lot of fish were moving shallow, so I decided to do some shoreline fishing,” the 70-year-old angler from DeRidder said.
Cunningham was fishing with Mardi Gras Zoom Super Flukes tied to 15-pound Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon spooled to a Shimano Curado reel with a Shimano Compre rod.
He picked up a keeper fish early and and a little later, he cast in 2 feet of water near the bank.
“When I picked up, there was some weight,” Cunningham said. “So I immediately set the hook.
“She began turning toward the deep water and then into some haygrass. She was tearing that haygrass up and kept pulling drag.”
Cunningham made a walk to the back deck of his boat as the fish made another run.
“She turned and then made a pass by the boat,” he said. “I was able to net her on that first pass.”
When it was over, Cunningham was staring at the largest bass he had ever taken. While he was admiring the fish, his wife Betsy called and he quickly told her what had just occurred.
“Then I reached in my boat’s glovebox and pulled out a scale,” he said. “I put her on it and it read 11.6 pounds.”
Cunningham knew about the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass program so he headed toward Buckeye Landing to get an official weight.
The huge bass officially weighed-in at 11.65 pounds, with a 25-inch length and 20-inch girth.
Since the lunker weighed at least 10 pounds and was tagged and was released back into Toledo Bend waters, Cunningham will receive a replica of the trophy courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
Cunningham’s bass was lunker No. 46 entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2014-15 season.