Larry Mallet was fishing along with a group of six other Lone Star State anglers Tuesday during their annual spring get-together on Toledo Bend- perfect timing while it’s seemingly raining down lunkers all over the reservoir. 

“I knew there was a possibility of catching a big fish because one in our group caught a 10.2-pound bass in January,” the 67-year-old Groves angler said. “He didn’t know about the replica program then.”

The group launched early at Fin & Feather Resort with packed lunches for a full day of fishing in Housen Bay.

“The water was super-duper high,” Mallet said.

In the morning, the anglers had no difficulties in picking up quality bass including some 4- and 5-pounders.

Mallet was fishing a wacky-rigged worm on 12-pound fluorocarbon spooled to an Abu Garcia Revo S reel with a 7-foot, medium-heavy H2O rod.

At about 4:30 that afternoon, Mallet cast out in 7 feet of water into some grass.

“I picked it up and it seemed like it was hung,” Mallet said. “I picked it up again, and I could tell it was a fish. 

“I set the hook immediately and then knew it was a good one because it was heavy.”

The angler kept reeling and the fish made an appearance on top, but didn’t jump.

“Three of us saw how big she was,” Mallet said.

The big fish kept running, diving down around and underneath the boat.

“We didn’t have a net, so my buddy was ready to catch it (by hand) when it got to the boat,” he said. “He was able to lip it in.”

When the fish was aboard, Mallet said the group was definitely excited.

“It is the best bass I have ever taken,” he said.

They immediately trailered the boat and headed to Fin & Feather resort, where the big bass officially tipped the scales at 12.34 pounds and easily qualified as lunker No. 56 for the 2014-15 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program season.