Frank Little and fishing partner, Pat Elsie, had rough weather to contend with on the final day of the Sealy Outdoors Big Bass Splash on Toledo Bend, so they decided to motor over to the Texas side to get closer to their fishing location of choice — the Housen area.

“We were in the water by 6:10,” said Little, 57, of Many.  “The lake was rough, just some awful rollers out there.

“We actually caught a couple of fish at our first little stop.”

Little was casting his Hobo Hopper, a homemade jig in what he called “Frog’s color,” named after his canine fishing companion. His trailer was a Strike King Rage Craw, which Little was casting on 17-pound fluorocarbon spooled to a Lew’s reel on a Skeet Reese rod.

The anglers were fishing a ledge with a sandy bottom in 17 feet of water when a bass hit about 8:15.

“I never felt her pick it up,” he said. “She was just on it.

“When I got into her, she bolted and I set the hook.”

The big fish pulled some drag, but Little did what he could to keep it under control.

“She made her first jump rolling and went back down,” he said. “I saw it was a good fish and that’s when the adrenaline started flowing.”

When Elsie saw the fish, he immediately got the net.

“She started running toward me and I covered the slack up and got a hold of her,” Little said. “But that’s when she came up and walked a second time. I asked God to please keep the hook in.”

The fish came closer, and Elsie had the net ready.

“She was still pretty hot, so we let her go on the first pass by the boat,” Little said. “I didn’t want her to duck that net.”

He gave the fish a little slack until it tired.

“I tightened up on her again and she gave it up,” he said. “She finally let me reel her right up to the boat.”

Elsie scooped her up in the net and placed her onto the deck, and a  brief celebration ensued. On their handheld scale the big bass weighed 10.11, but when they noticed the fish was under some stress in the livewell, they decided to head in. 

Little’s bass officially weighed 10.37 pounds, good enough for third place in the Big Bass Splash, and a 2015 Dodge Ram truck plus $1,000. 

His bass was the third fish registered in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2015-16 season.