In addition to the normal array of hooks, weights, line, crankbaits, Traps, soft plastics and the usual assortment of “stuff” crammed into a typical tacklebox, David Vidrine apparently still had enough room for a horseshoe and a lucky rabbit’s foot on his Easter weekend trip to Toledo Bend.
While mere mortal anglers only dream of catching one double-digit bass in their entire lifetimes, the 49-year-old Ville Platte physical therapist landed two 11-pound-plus fish near the Indian Mounds - on consecutive days.
“I am still grinning, because it’s just unbelievable,” he said.
Here’s how the story unfolded that resulted in Vidrine landing two hammer fish on consecutive days from the same stretch in the Indian Mounds.
On Wednesday, March 11, Ville Platte’s Gene LaTour scored on an 11.36-pounder when pre-fishing for Vidrine’s 23rd Annual ‘Ai-Yi-Yi Tournament’ last month.
Mike Fontenot with Pickle’s Guide Service -also from Ville Platte - had stayed on those fish and kept in touch with Vidrine before he arrived on Good Friday.
So the stage was set, and with Fontenot’s guidance and LaTour’s previous success in the area, Vidrine was prepped for two very special days at Toledo Bend.
Good Friday’s 11.50-pounder
Vidrine arrived Friday as a guest at the camp of Dr. Shawn Baque and his brother Todd, both also of Ville Platte.
“I grew up with them, and we graduated together,” Vidrine said.
All anglers then set out on the Bend at 8, and Vidrine fished alone beginning in Arnold Bay.
“I caught a few fish there, nothing really exceptional,” the angler said. “Shawn and Todd were at the Indian Mounds, and they had a few including one over 7 pounds caught by Shawn.”
He picked up and motored over to the Indian Mounds, where he spent the rest of the afternoon.
He was casting a watermelon-purple Senko wacky style on a 1/8-ounce Flick Shake jighead. This setup was tied to 16-pound Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon spooled onto a Daiwa Tatula reel attached to a medium Hammer rod.
Vidrine was fishing in 5- to 6-feet of water in an area not too far from haygrass, which is noted to attract huge bass.
“At 6:30 I had a bite, and I set the hook,” he said.
Initially the angler couldn’t move what was on the other end of his line.
“The fish started moving sideways then headed straight toward the boat,” Vidrine said. “It went underneath and actually came up behind the boat.”
He lifted his trolling motor as the big fish made another run toward the front.
“She actually jumped up and danced on top right in front of me, and then headed down and deep again,” he said. “That’s when I saw how big a bass she was.”
He eventually netted the fish aboard, but had no way of weighing the fish because his scale batteries were dead.
He found a trio of anglers near shore with a clip scale that pegged the lunker at 10.03 pounds.
Vidrine eventually reached Buckeye Landing with the huge bass, and Bruce and Cindy Salter were waiting and assisted him in placing the fish in the marina’s tank.
On certified scales, the big fish weighed a whopping 11.50 pounds, and was tagged and released after being listed as lunker No. 68 in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
Having survived the celebratory events surrounding his 11-plus-pounder the night before, Vidrine was up and ready to go Saturday morning, and he once again started his day in Arnold Bay.
“I ended up with three keepers there, and then I ran across the lake to the same spot on the Indian Mounds,” he said.
This time the angler was casting a watermelon red Senko wacky-rigged on the same Flick Shake jighead he used Friday. He was fishing with a Shimano Curado reel seated on a 6-foot, 10-inch Duckett Terry Scroggins medium-heavy White Ice rod.
“I caught one weighing 4 pounds and then I noticed some fish feeding at the edges of some haygrass,” he said.
Once he arrived closer to the action, he lowered his Talon and pitched the lure out.
“My line just kept going and was spooling out, so I tightened up and then it happened,” he said. “The fish just ran into the haygrass and was churning through it, and then came charging to the front of the boat straight to the trolling motor.”
Vidrine had his trolling motor up on the deck at the moment the fish ran under the bow of the boat.
“She ran again, but thankfully toward deep water this time,” he said.
The big bass finally tired and Vidrine netted her onto the deck.
“At first I thought possibly 13 pounds because she looked bigger than the one I caught Friday,” he said.
It was 2:30, and Vidrine called a friend to let him know he had caught the biggest bass in his life for the second day in a row.
“I could have sworn it was bigger than the 11.50-pound fish,” he said.
He headed over to Buckeye Landing where Cindy Salter was once again waiting for him just outside the marina.
“I remember Cindy looking up and saying, ‘Don’t tell me,’ and I was sort of embarrassed,” he said. “She said, ‘You know the drill,’ and we went through the same procedures as Friday in transporting the bass to the Buckeye Landing tank.”
Vidrine was surprised when the Buckeye scale pegged the bass at 11.21 pounds - a little lighter than his lunker the day before.
“I guess I expected this one to be bigger somehow in my mind,” he said. “But I was happy, and it was all an incredible experience.”
Vidrine’s second monster bass in two days became lunker No. 69 for the season in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, and he will receive two replicas courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association at the ceremony next month.
But the story doesn’t end there.
With two hours of daylight remaining after weighing-in the 11.21-pounder Saturday, Vidrine motored back to the area and caught four more bass – including a 7-pounder.
“I had a tremendously great time at Toledo Bend,” he said.