Chris Bourgeois was in the process of capping off an awesome week at Toledo Bend last Friday when Lady Luck smiled down on him and made a great day even better.
Bourgeois and Jordan Remondet were fishing the second day of the Grand Point Fishing Club’s annual two-day March tournament, and the bite was on at the Bend from the time anglers arrived that Monday and never let up all week long.
“It was a great week of fishing, probably the best week I’ve ever had up there,” said Bourgeois, 33, of Prairieville. “We just hit it right.”
He hit it right himself when he got an unintentional assist from his trolling motor prop late that afternoon, which set him up to land the biggest bass of his life to finish off the week and secure individual honors for the tournament.
He and Remondet were working a bank near the Indian Mounds when Bourgeois maneuvered his trolling motor to move around another boat.
“It was crazy how it actually happened. We came down a bank and they had another boat coming toward me and they had pollen all over the water - the worst I’ve ever seen,” he said. “When I turned my trolling motor to go around the guy - who was actually in our club - my prop wash blew all the pollen away.
“When I looked down, I see this monster bass swim by. She was probably on a nest, I’m guessing. I told Jordan, ‘My prop wash just blew a hammer off a nest.’ So we went across and fished an island for an hour and we came back.”
Upon returning, his very first cast to the spot got an instant reaction.
“It looked like a torpedo coming behind the bait. The water lifted up - it looked like an alligator coming after it,” he said. “The fish came right up to the bait, and stops.
“It doesn’t bite it.”
Undeterred, Bourgeois went down the bank about 100 yards and returned, but couldn’t get the big female interested. They went back down the bank and returned to the spot revealed by his prop for one final try about 6:15 p.m.
“This time that big wave came, but it came way faster and she smoked it,” Bourgeois said. “I set the hook and instantly I knew it was way bigger than any other fish we had hooked that week, and we had caught some 5s already.”
The big bass had hit a Texas-rigged white Skinny Dipper by Reaction Innovations, and the fight didn’t last long with Bourgeois’ 65-pound Suffix braid. He was using a 7-foot 6-inch Duckett extra-heavy rod and a Lew’s Speed Spool reel when he landed the lunker.
“I put her on my handheld scale as soon as I got her in the boat and she went 10.98,” he said.
Bourgeois went to the 8 p.m. club weigh-in, where the big bass got its own separate weigh bag to reduce the stress on the fish. Watch the video of the club's reaction here.
“As soon as I weighed-in, we took a few pictures and I hauled butt to Toledo Town, and over there she weighed 10.94 pounds,” he said.
The big bass qualified for a free replica as part of the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program because the fish weighed 10-pounds-plus and was tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters.
Bourgeois won first place individually in the tournament, with an impressive two-day total of 41.4 pounds. He and Remondet finished second in the team division, with their two best combined stringers totaling more than 45 pounds.
“All in all, for the whole club - it was tremendous the fish we were catching,” Bourgeois said. “Friday we had several 25-pound stringers weighed-in.
“The fish were up and people caught fish on everything. They were just active.”