Daniel Burnett Jr. obviously likes operating under the cover of darkness.
For the second time in just nine months, the Sulphur angler scored on an 11-pound-plus lunker at Toledo Bend — and both fish were caught at night.
On this trip, Burnett and his daughter, Kaylee, 16, launched into Turtle Beach Cove late on June 7 around 11 p.m.
“I was spending some time with Kaylee and hoping she would catch some bass,” the 45-year-old firefighter said.
The angler had been finding fish five days following the full moon, and he was hoping the trend would continue.
“I actually caught this fish just 100 feet from where the other one was taken,” he said.
Burnett was working a point on the creek channel, fishing it deep to shallow.
“I had worked the slopes of the point, and there were no bites,” he said.
He was casting his favorite lure — a Texas-rigged, Gene Larew Rattlin’ Crawler — on 20-pound Suffix mono spooled to a Shimano Curado reel on an All Star rod.
The angler was working the lure in 5 feet of water between a pair of docks when he twitched the Rattlin’ Crawler one time and felt a bump.
“I was sitting on the bite, waiting for it to move while talking to my daughter,” he said.
After 15 seconds passed, Burnett reeled down to the line and set the hook.
“At first, it started coming to me and I thought it may be a 4-pounder,” he said. “When the fish came about 20 feet toward the boat, it came alive and started ripping drag.”
The fish headed to deeper water as Burnett told Kaylee to get the Q-beam on the water.
“We heard the fish jump but we couldn’t see it because Kaylee was having trouble with the trigger on the lamp,” he said. “I had a time trying to find a flashlight I knew was somewhere by my feet.
“Kaylee was freaking out because she couldn’t get the lamp on.”
Burnett described pulling the fish in while the Q-beam intermittently shined, creating a strobe effect on the water.
“When I grabbed the fish I knew immediately it was bigger than the last one,” he said.
The fish was hooked deep, but fortunately it wasn’t bleeding.
“It was hooked way down its throat, so I cut the line before placing her into the livewell,” he said.
He later transferred the bass to a larger livewell in a buddy’s boat, and was able to contact Cindy Salter with Buckeye Landing, who opened up the facility for Burnett to fill out paperwork and weigh the bass on certified scales.
Burnett’s lunker officially weighed 11.62 pounds and was later tagged and released back into Toledo Bend waters.
It is registered as lunker No. 6 for the 2015-16 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, and he will receive a free replica of the fish next May courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association.
Burnett had paid his registration into the summer-long BassCashBash that day, and is eligible for future winnings from that tournament, as well.