Kenneth Cook hadn’t caught a fish bigger than 8 pounds, 13 ounces in 10 years, but his dry spell came to an end this week at Toledo Bend.
“I caught an 8.13 in Hurricane Creek 10 years ago,” the 66-year-old DeQuincy angler said. “And last April, I tossed into some haygrass and caught another good fish.
“Problem is I went to three different scales located in stores on the lake and they all agreed it was another 8.13. So it appeared that was going to be my largest bass ever.”
All that changed Monday - on what he considered one of his poorest days of fishing on the Toledo Bend - when he caught his newest big bass that afternoon.
The angler had a hint there was a large fish in waters near Pirate’s Cove. He was fishing there with his buddy Danny a few days before when Danny broke off on a good fish.
“On Monday morning, I was fishing without Danny, but had my two labs along for the trip,” Cook said. “It was horrible. I went five hours without a bite. This has never happened to me - not even a dink.”
Danny met up with him later in the day for a another trip that afternoon.
“We went in his boat and took off at 3,” Cook said. “Danny started by catching a keeper on a Rat-L-Trap. I had a Texas-rigged Zoom Trick Worm tied on and I still had nothing to show.”
To make matters worse, Cook received a call inviting them to eat dinner with some friends.
“I told Danny they had supper waiting for us,” Cook said. “But Danny wanted to fish the area where he broke off that large fish before heading in.”
By this time, Cook was just sitting in his seat waiting while his partner thoroughly fished the area.
Cook finally decided to make a cast, so he picked up his Shimano rod with the trick worm still attached and tossed it into 5 feet of water. He was using 14-pound Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon spooled to an Abu Garcia Revo SX reel.
When his lure hit the bottom, Cook noticed the line speeding off.
“I jumped out of my seat and set that hook,” he said. “And as soon as I stuck her I felt she was big.
“I had to hit my drag as she was traveling. She never came up, but she was looking to find deep water.”
Danny finally netted the lunker on the side of the boat.
“When I lipped her out the net, the hook immediately just fell out her mouth,” Cook said.
The huge bass barely fit into the livewell, so they trailered and later moved the fish to the livewell on Cook’s boat. Prior to the transfer, Cook weighed his bass on an onboard scale that pegged the fish at 11 pounds, 4 ounces.
“I admit, I was worried about the bass making it,” he said. “So much so that I actually had the flashers lit on my vehicle on the way to Toledo Town and Tackle, which was 25 miles away.”
On T-town’s certified scale, Cook’s prized bass weighed 11.19 pounds.
Since the lunker weighed at least 10 pounds and was tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters, the angler will receive a replica of his trophy courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
Cook’s bass was lunker No. 55 entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2014-15 season.