Saturday, Jan. 23 brought news of a historic blizzard hammering the Northeast U.S.

Forecasts even called for a bit of snow with cold and windy conditions for North Louisiana — meaning most rational-thinking folks were likely putting another log on the fire and hunkering down in less hostile conditions.

However, one Ruston duo — Louisiana Tech students Gunner Durrett and his roommate Lane Cox — decided to heck with a warm fire and went fishing instead.

“I had to work that morning at my job at Pearce Lumber in Ruston, and when I got off at noon, Lane asked me if I wanted to go fishing,” Durrett said. “I did, so we hooked up his boat and headed for Caney Lake.”

Arriving around 2 that afternoon with temperatures in the 40s and a brisk breeze blowing, Durrett and Cox began fishing some familiar spots where they’ve had success before. But it wasn’t until 5:30 that Durrett got the only bite of the afternoon — and what a bite it was.

“We had fished several of our spots without success and had moved to a point where we’ve caught fish before,” Durrett said. “After fishing the spot for a while, Lane said we’d make one more cast before moving to another area.

“I was fishing with a bait that I’ve had success with before, a suspending Rogue with a gold back and clear bottom. I would twitch it about three times, and let it sit before twitching it again. On the third series of twitching and pausing the lure, I felt something heavy and thought I’d gotten into some grass or something.”

When whatever had hold of his Rogue began pulling back, Durrett knew he’d tied into a good fish.

“It wasn’t really fighting that hard and then she swirled out from the boat and we could tell it was a big fish but couldn’t really tell how big,” he said. “Once I got her near the boat, I guess she saw it and really took off then.”

The fish battled around the boat as Durrett worked at getting it near enough for Cox to land.

“Lane didn’t have a net so he had to lip the bass, which was no easy task because a suspending Rogue has three sets of treble hooks — that’s nine hooks in all. Fortunately, one hook was on one side of its mouth and one on the other, so Lane was able to slip his thumb in between the hooks and lip the bass,” Durrett said.

Not only did Cox not have a net, but his scale was dead, so in order to weigh the bass they had to rush it to Brown’s Landing, which has a certified scale.

“The bass weighed 10 pounds, 1 ounce,” Durrett added. “Once we got it weighed, we released her back into the lake. 

“She was too pretty to not give her a chance to live.”