As much as she wanted to, Pat Schexnider just couldn’t escape her date with destiny and ended up catching the bass of a lifetime Saturday on Toledo Bend.
“I almost didn’t go,” the 60-year-old Sulphur angler said.
But she made a last-minute decision and decided to risk the rain to drive and meet her husband at their camp on Toledo Bend for the weekend.
“My husband had been out there for the week, and they had some trouble catching fish,” she said.
On Saturday, with her husband busy at the camp, she decided to join hometown friend John Thrash on a fishing trip.
The anglers launched from the Esto landing and were working the shallows right across the cove.
“We started at 9:30, and I caught one 16-inch bass we put in the livewell,” she said.
Schexnider was working a wacky rigged watermelon-candy Zoom worm over grass in 2 to 3 feet of water, using 12-pound mono spooled to a Pinnacle reel seated on a 7-foot medium-heavy rod.
At about 1:30, Schexnider cast and thought the worm was stuck on something when she started her retrieve.
“I set the hook, and I saw its huge head come up,” she said. “I told John, ‘Get the net, I got a good one.’
“I was trying hard to reel her in and she was pulling drag. She ran around a cypress tree and came up again. I said, ‘I’ve got Jaws, and we need help.’”
Thrash trolled over to the tree and found the bass tied to the timber.
“He loaded her up into the net,” Schexnider said. “Then we placed her in the livewell.”
Thrash made a call to Schexnider’s husband, Darrell, and told him he had to come and see what his wife had just reeled in.
“So he came to the bank to meet us when we arrived,” she said. “I pulled the 16-inch bass out first and told Darrell, ‘It’s not mountable, but it’s a keeper.’”
He was confused at first, but when she reached in and pulled the lunker out of the livewell, he realized why he had gotten the call.
“Oh my God,” was his initial response.
The anglers headed to Buckeye Landing, where the big bass tipped the official scales at 11.14 pounds and easily gained entry into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
Since the bass weighed at least 10 pounds and was tagged and released, Schexnider will receive a complimentary replica of her fish courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
It is lunker No. 75 for the 2014-15 season, which ends in May.