As the 2014-15 lunker season draws to a close next month, three more anglers recently scored 10-pound-plus bass at Toledo Bend.
It’s anybody’s guess as to what this year’s record-breaking final tally will be, but action has shown little sign of slowing down so far.
Read about the locations, lures and tactics these three fishermen used to land the largemouth of a lifetime.
Walter Seasock Jr.’s 10.09-pounder in Negreet Creek
Walter Seasock Jr. finally got the redemption he was looking for.
The Many angler had lost a big fish in Negreet Creek a week earlier, and he wasn’t happy about it.
With the big one that got away still fresh in his mind, he launched there again on the evening of Monday, March 30, hoping that monsters were still in the area.
“I was fishing in 5 feet of water at my go-to spot near a grassline,” Seasock said.
He was casting a Texas-rigged 8-inch watermelon Zoom lizard on 20-pound Berkley Big Game spooled to an H2O reel with a 6-foot, 6-inch All Star medium-heavy rod.
“I was fishing about 10 minutes, and it was my first and last fish of the day,” he said.
After a cast in the chosen area at around 7, Seasock felt a thump on his line.
“She freight-trained it,” he said. “She was mad, and the line just took off.”
He set the hook when there was absolutely no slack in his line.
“She was hooked, and her head came up moving back and forth,” he said.
The angler worked the fish and was able to see her moving in 5 feet of water.
“She fought well, and my drag was tight,” he said. “She took off under the boat, and my rod tip went under too.”
The big fish finally eventually circled back and Seasock was able to net it aboard.
“I thought she was 11 pounds, and she was just so full of eggs,” he said.
The angler immediately placed the huge fish in the livewell since he thought the bass was over 10 pounds. (He had taken a big 9.5-pounder during the Sealy Outdoors Big Bass Splash in May 2014.)
At Toledo Town and Tackle, the bass weighed 10.09 pounds and qualified for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program because it was a double-digit bass that was returned to Toledo Bend waters.
Seasock’s lunker was entry No. 66 in the program, and he is scheduled to receive a complimentary replica courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association next month.
Mark Barrilleaux’s 10.30-pounder in the Indian Mounds
Mark Barrilleaux’s annual Toledo Bend fishing trip with friends from the Thibodaux area almost didn’t happen this year, but plans came together at the last minute — and Barrilleaux is glad they did.
The 32-year-old ended up with his biggest bass ever — a 10.3-pounder he caught with a Senko on Friday, April 10.
Barrilleaux and Prairieville’s Scott Poirrier launched into the Indian Mounds that morning and were fishing haygrass in 6 feet of water.
“We had five keepers, and Scott caught a 7.8-pounder at 9:30 before the rains,” Barrilleaux said.
The rains let up around noon, and Barrilleaux was fishing a weedless Senko tied to 20-pound PowerPro braid spooled to an Abu Revo STX reel seated on a medium-heavy St. Croix rod.
“For a while after lunch, fishing was slow until 2:30,” he said.“But it didn’t take long to catch two 3-pounders.”
Fifteen minutes later, Barrilleaux felt a solid thump when his Senko hit the bottom.
“I set the hook and immediately knew it was big,” he said. “I told Scott to get the net.”
As the angler kept working the fish, it started running through the haygrass.
“Its head came out the water shaking,” he said. “About half her body was on top, and she was huge. We had Scott’s 7.8 aboard, and I figured this fish had to be close to 10.
“The fish made a run to the back of the boat,” he said. “I asked Scott to work the trolling motor to back us up so I could work her.”
The big fish responded by making a dive toward the big motor, but Barrilleaux worked her away successfully.
“Then she tried to go under the boat, and I muscled her away from doing that, too,” he said.
When the fish came back up beside the boat, Poirrier scooped it up in the net.
“I sort of freaked out because I knew she was close to 10, if not bigger,” Barrilleaux said.
The anglers weighed the fish on a handheld scale, and it pegged at 10 pounds, 9 ounces. They placed the bass in the livewell with Poirrier’s 7.8-pounder, fished another hour then headed to Toledo Town and Tackle to see if the hawg qualified for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
At T-Town, Barrilleaux’s huge bass officially tipped the scales at 10.3 pounds, and was entered as lunker No. 73 for the 2014-15 season.
Clint Goodeaux’s 10.17-pounder in Mill Creek
On Saturday, April 11, tournament angler Clint Goodeaux knew exactly where a big bass was bedded down on Toledo Bend waters.
The 47-year-old from Westlake had spotted a huge female in a cove in Mill Creek the day before while pre-fishing for the American Bass Anglers southeast Texas division tournament of the RAM Weekend Bass Series on Toledo Bend.
So when his co-angler stepped aboard his BassCat, they ran for the bass immediately at safe daylight.
Upon arrival, Goodeaux situated his boat to make sure the big bass wouldn’t wrap line around his motor if he was able to set the hook.
“I was not going to take any chances at losing her,” Goodeaux said.
He knew the big bass would get hungry at some point of the day.
“We started right on her in 4 feet of water,” he said.
Goodeaux was casting a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin lizard on 20-pound Berkley Big Game spooled to a Shimano Chronarch reel seated on a 7-foot, 3-inch Cashion rod.
The buck bass guarding the nest was the first fish taken off the bed after five minutes.
Goodeaux worked the big female, making a series of casts that included the fish mouthing the lure three separate times.
“When she took the bait those three times, she was facing me,” he said. “I didn’t set the hook.”
He didn’t want to chance making an unsuccessful hookset with the bass’ mouth positioned where the lure could not penetrate its lip or jaw.
Twenty minutes later, after about 50 casts, Goodeaux watched the big fish nose down on the lure and start quartering away.
“I knew she was taking it well,” he said. “I felt the weight and leveled off when she eased from the bed.
“Then I set the hook.”
The big bass made a run, and Goodeaux told his partner to get the net.
“I pulled her on top of some haygrass and then made two turns of the reel to keep her on top,” he said. “She was netted and placed immediately into the livewell.”
On certified scales at Fin & Feather Resort, Goodeaux’s huge sow officially weighed 10.17 pounds, and anchored a winning stringer of 23.6 pounds for the angler.
Although it’s not his personal best, it is Goodeaux’s biggest bass taken from Toledo Bend, and he won both first place and big bass for the event.
It was lunker No. 74 entered in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for 2014-15.