Big time heat didn’t stop Malcolm Franks from catching a big time bass last weekend at Toledo Bend.
The 62-year-old Florien angler, a regular in tournaments on the Bend, caught his personal best in Housen Bay when he reeled in an 11.56-pounder Saturday afternoon as temperatures peaked over 100 degrees.
Fishing with his nephew, Franks was working a series of ridges in about 18 feet of water with Carolina-rigged flukes and plastic lizards. They picked up a couple of 3-pounders in deeper water shortly before the big bite came around 5 p.m.
“I swung on it and could tell immediately it was a strong fish,” Franks said. “I thought it had me wrapped, so I used the trolling motor and began moving the boat toward the fish.”
Franks found out quickly the fish was actually free when it started running deep. He was using 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon spooled to an Abu Garcia Revo reel and a Kistler rod.
“I ruled out it being a gaspergou because it was pulling straight like a large catfish,” he said.
Only about 6 feet from the boat, Franks finally got a glimpse of what he had hooked.
“Once I saw it, I yelled to my nephew that it was a bass and he would have to lip it for me,” Franks said.
On the third attempt, the lunker finally made it safely into the boat.
“I opened up my box and got the scale out,” Franks said. “The fish weighed 11.6 pounds.”
He placed the bass in his livewell, and made a quick run over to Fin & Feather Resort.
The bass was in good shape after the trip, and tipped the certified scales there at 11.56 pounds.
The fish was tagged and later released, making it lunker No. 25 in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2015-16 season. Franks will receive a replica of his lunker courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association next spring.
According to Dinah Medine, Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program coordinator, 17 more lunkers have been landed this year compared to the same time in 2014.
As a registered BassCashBass.com participant, Franks’ lunker was automatically enrolled for future cash winnings.