Winds gusting up to 25 mph and intimidating whitecaps didn’t deter Hemphill’s Tommy Washington in his solo quest for a huge bass on Toledo Bend Wednesday afternoon.
The angler was on a mission — he had missed a big fish Sunday when flipping bushes in Clear Creek near Patroon.
So the 52-year-old angler set out about 1 p.m. and was working the bushes again with a watermelon-red Texas-rigged plastic worm.
His lure was tied to 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon spooled to a Lew’s Speed Spool LF5 on a heavy 7-foot-3-inch McCain rod.
“I picked up a 2 ½-pounder first,” Washington said. “Then I saw some shad moving farther out.”
The angler trolled into the area, where depths ranged from 12 to 18 feet. Once repositioned, Washington cast out to where the shad were moving.
“I felt her thump the lure, but thought she was loose until I saw the line moving toward the boat,” he said. “That’s when I set the hook.”
The fish came right up and Washington had a good look at its size.
“She made one strong run after she came up – but I was able to work her to the net,” he said.
The angler knew immediately the big bass weighed more than 10 pounds, so he placed it in the livewell and made his way to Keith’s Toledo Bend Tackle, the newest official weigh station for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
At Keith’s, his bass weighed-in at a chunky 11.9 pounds, and was certified as lunker No. 65 for the 2015-16 TBLBP season.
An inspection of the fish indicated it was previously tagged, and records indicated the bass was initially caught by Kyle Stutes on March 25, 2015, when it weighed 11.19 pounds.
Washington’s lunker taken Wednesday afternoon is actually his second one this season — the angler previously scored on a trophy weighing exactly 10 pounds on June 18, 2015 — so he’ll receive two replicas courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association in mid-May.
The 11.9-pounder is his largest bass taken on Toledo Bend waters, but Washington’s best bass ever is a 13.2-pounder from Lake Fork in Texas.