Texas angler enjoys epic day at the Bend — including a 10.43-pounder

Vicknair’s five best fish last Friday totaled a whopping 39.76 pounds

On a cloudy, misty day up at Toledo Bend last Friday, Chance Vicknair enjoyed one of those trips that most bass anglers only dream about.

The 22-year-old — formerly of Livingston but now a resident of Hemphill, Texas — had an epic day on the south end of the reservoir that featured a 9, a couple of 7s, a 6 and his third double-digit bass ever, a 10.43-pounder. His five best fish tallied almost 40 pounds.

“I had the best day of my life that day. I doubt I’ll ever top that,” Vicknair said. “That’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime deal.”

Vicknair was fishing with his mom, Donna, on the south end of the reservoir on the Texas side, with his dad in another boat in the area. He was positioned in about 18 feet of water working a ridgeline.

“I was throwing to about 12 (feet) and she hit about 15,” he said, noting his lure was a chartreuse Strike King 6XD crankbait. “I threw it out there and was cranking, and she choked it. She hit pretty hard and I leaned into her, and when I leaned into her the rod just doubled over. I knew it was a big one.

Strike King 6XD crankbait in chartreuse sexy shad.
Strike King 6XD crankbait in chartreuse sexy shad

“She started coming to me and was fooling me, but when she got close to the boat she turned away and was stripping drag.”

Vicknair was using a Lew’s rod and reel spooled with 16-pound Sunline fluorocarbon.

“The fish came up and jumped one time, and I didn’t see the crankbait at all – she had it good,” he said. “She went back down and I fought her some more, trying to be slow with her. She finally just swam straight into the net.”

The big fish weighed 10.36 on his onboard scale, so Vicknair decided to head in and get it weighed at Fin & Feather Resort.

“My dad was actually fishing near me,” he said. “He had about 30 pounds that day, too — but no giants. I called him to come to the spot I was sitting on, because they had a few boats watching me.”

Chance Vicknair shows off the 10.43-pound lunker bass he caught Friday, March 8 on the south end of Toledo Bend. The big bass choked a Strike King 6XD chartreuse sexy shad crankbait on a ridgeline in about 15 feet of water.

At Fin & Feather, the big bass tipped certified scales at 10.43 pounds, with a length of 27 inches and a girth of 19 ½ inches — easily qualifying for entry into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, which awards anglers who return double-digit fish to the reservoir with a complimentary mount. The fish was previously caught in February of 2016 by Lance Duff, when it weighed 10.01 pounds.

Vicknair eventually returned to his spot on the ridge, and did more damage with the crankbait and a Carolina rig featuring a watermelon Zoom brush hog.

“I was doing things a little different. A lot of people crank on certain stuff, but I crank really fast with high-speed reels. And boat position was pretty key, because they wanted it a certain way,” he said. “It was just the right place at the right time.”

The rest of March is shaping up to be pretty special — if Mother Nature cooperates, he said.

“I think these fish were prespawn getting ready to lay. Actually, I almost think the big one I caught had already laid and maybe will lay again,” he said. “I think the full moon this month there will be a lot of big fish caught shallow.”

Patrick Bonin
About Patrick Bonin 1324 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.