No one can deny it’s been an incredible lunker bass spring at Toledo Bend.
Here are three more stories by anglers who had what it took to catch and land a double-digit bass — and there’s still 1 ½ months to go before the 2014-15 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program season ends.
If you’ve ever dreamed of landing the trophy bass of a lifetime, there’s no better time than the present to make your way to Toledo Bend.
Chase Hymel lands 10.47-pounder near Indian Mounds
Lutcher’s Chase Hymel and Lane Martin were enjoying some Toledo Bend spring fishing on Tuesday, March 24 - and they saved the best for last.
Hymel, 30, admittedly had the shakes that afternoon when the final fish of the day turned out to be the largest bass of his life – a 10.47-pounder.
“We were fishing the Indian Mounds Tuesday after launching near Housen at daylight,” Hymel said.
They did fairly well, accounting for 27 pounds of bass together that were caught and released at various intervals.
Hymel and his huge bass didn’t cross paths until about 4 that afternoon.
He was throwing a punch rig with a skirt, specifically a magic craw Reaction Innovations Kinky Beaver tied to 16-pound Sunline fluorocarbon. This setup was cast via a Daiwa Tatula rod and reel combo.
“The winds were pushing water to some flats on points in the area,” he said. “I would cast on the sides of grass in 5 ½-feet of water and begin my retrieve.
“I was fishing the bottom.”
On one of his casts as the lure fell, he let is sink and then picked it up twice.
“She nailed it then,” Hymel said. “And she felt big.
“The fish went under the boat and near the motor, but I kept her down.”
The bass did appear once, and Hymel obtained a good view of the lunker’s mouth.
“It was huge, and that’s when the adrenaline set in,” he said.
Martin ended up netting the huge fish, and that’s when Hymel’s shakes really kicked in.
“We were hollering and screaming,” he said.
The angler weighed the bass with an onboard scale that indicated 10.3 pounds.
At Toledo Town and Tackle on certified scales, Hymel’s lunker officially weighed 10.47 pounds.
Since the bass weighed at least 10 pounds and was tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters, Hymel will receive a replica of his trophy courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
Hymel’s trophy bass was lunker No. 58 entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2014-15 season.
George “Randy” Patin’s 10.28-pounder caught with an A-rig near Housen area
Joining the bass faithful pre-fishing the Louisiana Oilman’s Bass Invitational on Toledo Bend, Lafayette’s George “Randy” Patin launched from the Indian Mounds area last Thursday, March 26.
The 51-year-old angler and his partner, Basile’s John Fourenat, were experiencing the effects of a front, but still managed to catch and release seven fish, including a couple of 5-pounders.
By early afternoon, the anglers reached Housen where Patin started casting an Alabama rig baited with Storm Minnows.
The A-rig was tied to 25-pound Sunline fluorocarbon spooled to a 13 Fishing Concept reel sitting on an IRod Genesis Bama Rig special rod.
“I wanted to try a hump by this drain I have fished before in Housen,” Patin said.
The wind actually pushed the anglers over the spot once, so they motored around to try it one more time before heading in.
“She hit, and I knew it was a good fish,” he said. “But at first I thought it could be a gou.”
The fish made a loop and then came up near the boat.
“I saw a big white side on top, and I knew it was a bass then,” he said.
Patin worked the bass until it tired, and Fourenat hoisted the big fish onto the deck.
“Although I knew there was a possibility of catching a big one, I was still happily surprised,” he said. “It is the largest one I have taken on Toledo Bend.”
Patin’s bass weighed 10.28 pounds at T-Town, and is lunker No. 61 entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program. He will receive a free replica of his catch this May because the fish was release back into Toledo Bend waters.
Byron Johnson takes 10.18-pounder in Hurricane Creek
Lake Arthur’s Byron Johnson had a hint of good things to come when he saw a big swirl on a point near some buck brush in Hurricane Creek last week.
The 53-year-old angler kept the area marked in his mind, and headed back to the location two days later on Thursday, March 26. He didn’t know it then, but he was about to get hooked up with a double-digit Toledo Bend bass.
“It was 5 p.m. when I caught her,” Johnson said. “That morning I launched from Buckeye Landing and went over to Cypress Bend to register for the Louisiana Oilman’s Bass Invitational tournament.
“After registration, we went straight to Housen.”
The angler was fishing with his partner, Josh Bourgeois, and together the anglers caught a 7-pounder, one 6-pounder, three 5-pounders and several 4s.
Johnson was casting a ½-ounce, white/chartreuse,Strike King KVD spinnerbait with gold and silver willow leaf blades. The lure was tied to 12-pound Berkley fluorocarbon spooled to a Lew’s Speed Spool sitting atop a 6-foot, 6-inch medium-heavy All Star micro-guide rod.
It was Johnson’s very first cast to that point when a huge fish struck the spinnerbait.
“I was fishing 2- to 3-feet deep, and she nailed it,” he said.
Johnson had a time working the fish to deeper waters, but he was successful.
“When I saw how big she was when she broke water, I dropped off the drag,” he said. “I kept my rod pointed down to the water, worked her some more and eventually tired her.”
Bourgeois eventually got the fish aboard and weighed it wit an onboard scale.
“It weighed 9.8 pounds on my scale,” he said. “But we kept her in the livewell to weigh her at a certified scale later.”
The anglers continued fishing, and caught another 6-pounder a little later.
“I knew that fish was close to 10 pounds,” Johnson said. “She stayed only two hours in the livewell, and I had some Fish Alive in the tank to assist her. I checked in on her every five minutes.
“I kept the aerator on for the entire two hours as well.”
The anglers motored back to Buckeye Landing where owner Bruce Salter greeted them to take in the fish.
“We kept the boat near Buckeye and Bruce went straight to the shiner vat with it,” Johnson said.
On certified scales at Buckeye landing, Johnson’s lunker officially weighed 10.18 pounds.
Since the double-digit bass was tagged and released, he will receive a replica of his trophy courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
Johnson’s bass was lunker No. 62 entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2014-15 season, which officially surpassed the number of bass taken during the entire lunker season last year.