Kyle Stutes has enjoyed an amazing month at Toledo Bend: the Scott angler took first place in the Texas Oilman’s Bass Invitational Tournament last weekend, then followed that up with an 11-plus-pounder Wednesday on a mid-lake scouting trip.
Stutes teamed up with Chance Poole of Catahoula to win the Texas Oilmans with 54.91 pounds March 20-21.
“We caught two 8-pounders, two weighing 7 pounds and the rest were 5s and 6s,” the 26-year-old said.
Pre-fishing for the Louisiana Oilman’s Invitational this past Wednesday, Stutes' month got even better when he caught his largest bass ever.
“We were fishing mid-lake, and it was muddy,” he said.
The angler was fishing some 2- to 4-foot flats where points came out near the edges of creek channels. He was flipping a black/blue Yamamoto Senko tied to a 15-pound Seaguar mono leader attached to 15-pound PowerPro braid. This setup was spooled to an Abu Revo S spinning reel affixed to a G. Loomis IMX spinning rod.
“There were patches of buck brush in the area, and we were flipping on all those points,” he said.
Stutes said that when the bass hit, he felt his rod “loading up.”
“At first I thought it was a catfish or gou,” he said. “She was pulling down hard, and I knew it was not a normal sized fish.
“I felt like I was pulling in a cinder block, and I remember leaving my rod tip down so I wouldn’t lose the fish if it jumped.”
The fish did make a run at the boat and actually broke the surface.
“That’s when my heart really started beating,” he said.
Stutes eventually got the bass about 3 feet from his rod tip and reached down and lipped it in.
One of Stutes’ friends was also fishing nearby, and he came near the boat when he saw the huge bass.
“My scale battery was dead, and I am grateful he had one,” Stutes said. “I remember him saying, ‘Oh my God dude, that’s a double-digit fish.’”
On his friend’s scale, the bass weighed just more than 11 pounds.
“He told me I better go in and get her weighed officially,” Stutes said.
So he placed the lunker in the livewell and trailered his boat at Turtle Beach, then made the short drive to Toledo Town and Tackle.
The fish arrived in good shape, and T-town’s scales pegged the fish at a hefty 11.19 pounds.
Since Stutes’ lunker weighed at least 10 pounds and was tagged and released, he will receive a replica of his trophy courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
Stutes’ bass was lunker No. 60 entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2014-15 season.