The 10-plus pounders at Toledo Bend just haven’t stopped this month, and there’s no sign of a slowdown yet.
Here are three more lunker stories from folks who recently landed big bass most of us only dream about.
Al Dorothy lands 10.43-pounder in Housen
Al Dorothy of Fort Dodge, Iowa, decided to join hometown friends Rod Brown, Rick Pingel and Bob Klinger on their annual trip down south to fish big waters.
The group usually visited Sam Rayburn Lake, but this time the anglers chose Toledo Bend as the location - a decision that led to a bass of a lifetime for Dorothy.
The 60-year-old angler was fishing with Brown in Housen the afternoon of Tuesday, March 17, and they had caught a few keepers.
Dorothy was casting a watermelon-pumpkin seed Zoom Trick Worm on a Pflueger spinning reel and Fenwick rod.
At 4:50, the angler felt a light bite and set the hook.
A huge fish fought back, leading Dorothy around the boat.
“She ran to deeper water near a secondary point,” he said. “I brought her back running from the front to the back. Then she danced on top for Rod and I.”
After one failed net attempt, Brown finally landed the monster.
“She made another run and Rod successfully got her in the net,” he said.
An onboard scale pegged the fish at10.4 pounds, and it measured 22 inches in length. After a celebratory call to his son Jeff, also an avid bass angler, Dorothy and all the members of the Iowa group ended up together at Fin and Feather Resort to obtain the lunker’s official weight on certified scales.
Dorothy’s bass weighed 10.43 pounds and easily qualified for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program since it was at least 10 pounds and was tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters.
Kelly Owens takes Toledo Bend 10.91-pounder
Kelly Owens was in competitive mode on Saturday, March 21, while fishing the Toledo Bend stop of the Bass-N-Bucks tournament series.
The 53-year-old angler, also a FLW Rayovac competitor, had fished pretty much of the day until about 2 p.m.
“I caught quite a few, but they were mostly buck bass,” he said.
Owens, of Crowley, eventually reached the Housen area, where he worked a little stretch flipping a Big Bite YoMama creature bait in thick mats.
He was throwing this setup on 65-pound Sunline braid spooled to a Lews’ reel on a 7-foot, 6-inch heavy Falcon rod.
“The fish hit very close to me in 3 ½-feet of water,” he said. “She fought a little, about 30 seconds.”
This was not Owen’s largest fish as he had taken an 11.04-pounder during an FLW event in Texas’ Choke Canyon.
He placed the huge fish in the livewell and weighed her in at tournament headquarters, then headed to Fin and Feather Resort for a certified weight and potential entry into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
On official scales at Fin and Feather, Owens’ huge bass weighed 10.91 pounds, easily qualifying as lunker No. 53 for the 2014-15 season. He will receive a replica courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake association since his bass was 10-pounds-plus, and it was tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters.
As for the Bass-N-Buck tournament results, Owens’ lunker anchored his third place 5 bass stringer for 21.76 pounds, plus he took home the Big Bass award.
Jeff Smith catches 10.72-pounder in Negreet Creek
Jeff Smith was spending the weekend at his camp on Toledo Bend, but the weather was more conducive to cooking gumbo than hitting the water in search of bass.
“I was able to fish Friday afternoon, but the rains started on the evening,” the 44-year-old Denham Springs angler said.
While he was cooking on Saturday, he was joined by his daughter Jolie and her friend, Karleigh, both 16, because their ballgame in Sulphur got cancelled.
“Karleigh expressed interest in the 8-pounders mounted on the camp wall,” Smith said. “I told her they were taken by my father, grandfather and grandmother.
“She asked if I had ever caught a fish over 8 pounds, and I told her no.”
He even discussed the free replicas provided by the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, not knowing at the time that he would be landing a qualifying fish the very next day.
“I ran out to Negreet Creek and got into a small pocket,” Smith said. “I caught six fish in in the 2- to 3-pounds range.”
He was using a june bug Zoom Trick Worm with a Bass Pro Shop Pro Qualifier reel on a Daiwa graphite rod.
“I was casting into 5 feet of water,” he said.
Once the bait reached 4 feet, a fish grabbed it and started swimming off.
“I set the hook and the fish starts pulling drag,” he said. “It ran straight away then turned to the bank. It turned again and then came up with its head shaking.
“I told the girls, ‘It’s a huge fish.’”
Both girls were onboard and enjoyed watching the fight.
“The fish headed under the boat pulling drag,” he said. “It comes out at the bank and jumps out the water again.
“I was steady reeling her in by this time, until I was able to lip her into the boat.”
Upon arrival at Buckeye Landing, the fish was placed on official scales and weighed 10.72 pounds.
Since Smith’s bass was in the double digits, and was tagged and then released, the angler qualified for a replica courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
Smith’s fish was lunker No. 54 entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2014-15 season.