Angler lands 10.27-pounder at Toledo Bend

Jordan Hollingsworth was spoon-feeding some small, Toledo Bend fish on Thursday, Feb. 24, when he felt like offering something a little bigger might change his luck.

Did it ever, like 10.27 pounds bigger.

“I found a school of fish in 30 feet of water, a big school of fish, and I was catching ‘em on a (War Eagle) jigging spoon,” Hollingsworth said. “But everything was 2-pound bass, plus some white bass, yellow bass, even a couple of crappie.

“I picked up a V&M football jig, threw it out there and got a bite. It felt like a small one. On my next cast, same thing, but when I set the hook, I knew it wasn’t a small one. It felt like I was pulling up a 2×4.”

Hollingsworth had worked Wednesday night, gotten off work, hooked up his boat and headed to his camp on the Texas side of the southern end of the lake. He spent about 90 minutes just riding around, graphing fish, until he found a school that looked promising.

“That first place I stopped, I couldn’t get that school to bite,” he said. “I went another 100 yards and found another school, and I started catching those 2-pounders, some white bass, yellow bass and even a couple of crappie. They were on a creek channel in about 30 feet of water, moving up and down a ledge.

“I got that jig, turned around and cast back to a place where I’d seen a couple on the graph. It was probably about 26 feet deep.”

Hollingsworth knew he had a good fish

The hookset told him he had a big fish on the blue shadow jig and green pumpkin Zoom chunk trailer.

“If you have one 8 pounds or better, you pretty much know it right after you set the hook,” he said. “She came to the top, made a big swirl, and I knew she was a 10-pounder. I reached around for the net, but I’d left it at my camp, so I finally lipped her, grabbed her and flipped her in the boat. I put her on the scale, and she was over 10. I called Fins & Feathers and found out they weren’t weighing fish (for the Toledo Bend Lunker Program), so I drove to Buckeye (Landing) and weighed it.”

The 10.27-pound lunker was 26½ inches long and 19½ inches in girth. Hollingsworth caught her on a Shimano X-Pride rod, Daiwa Tatula reel and 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon line.

“For fish that come from that deep water, I usually have to fizz them (puncture the swim bladder), but because of the cold water, she was so healthy,” he said. “She was really doing good, and now she’s swimming back in the lake.”

Hollingsworth landed a 10.73-pound lunker in 2018 that qualified for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, and he said bass fishing is about to break wide open.

“There were some fish moving up shallow; I caught some 2 weeks ago in 8 to 10 feet of water,” he said. “And I’m fishing the southern end. There are probably some fish already moving up on the northern end.”

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