Some Louisiana Mardi Gras parades may be cancelled this year, but the Big Bass Parade at Caney Lake has already started. It’s not Fat Tuesday yet, but this past Saturday, Jan. 30, was Fat Bassday on the Jackson Parish lake. “Throw me something Mister” was just what the Krewe of Caney anglers wanted to hear.
West Monroe angler Ben Raley was King of the Krewe Saturday. He landed a whopping 12.40-pound largemouth and had another fish weighing 8.19 in a Caney Creek Bass Club tournament. Wait, there’s more.
It was a magic day on the water. Raley and partner Corey Harris had seven fish weighing 41.44, but that was only good enough for fourth place. Monroe pro angler Tyler Stewart and partner Matthew Colvin won with a 10 fish limit weighing 62.6 pounds, including a 10.8-pound kicker. Their best five weighed 33.97. Stewart is a touring pro home fishing with friends in the local tournament during a break in the schedule.
Wait, don’t put up that dip net or those scales yet. Matt Holloway of Sterlington also caught a once-in-a-lifetime lunker weighing 11.59 pounds. Laissez les bon temps rouler! If that doesn’t float your boat, nothing will.
An amazing day
On the day, four fish over 10 pounds were brought to the scales at Caney. Second place in the tournament went to Trey Bayles & Hunter Freeman with 44.03 pounds. Freeman is also a touring pro fishing on his home lake.
Here’s the story of how the two biggest bass were caught.
Raley’s first spot of the day didn’t produce anything and he and Harris were pulling away from the second spot when he made one last cast back across the area and the big fish hit it. He knew it was pretty heavy, but it wasn’t until the fish got back close to the boat and tried to jump, but was so fat it couldn’t, that he got excited. When they got it in, they took it straight to the weigh-in site without making another cast, then weighed her and let her loose. Both his big fish of the day gobbled up a red colored Rat-L-Trap. Raley’s previous best was an 11.08 caught on Caney in the fall of 2019.
“Days like this don’t happen very often,” he said. “It was a pretty amazing day.”
Matt Holloway joins the party
Holloway’s bass wasn’t quite as big as Raley’s, but his story was a good one, too. He and Risinger had struggled early and didn’t have much to brag about before noon. On top of that, their trolling motor had quit on them that morning and they were literally just letting the wind blow them down the edge of a grass line off the main lake. They were just about to the bank when Raley made his magic cast.
“Honestly, I had no hope at all that I was going to get bit way up there, but then she thumped it,” he said. “She never came up and it was hard to tell how big the fish was, but when she got to the boat and almost took the rod out of my hands, I got excited. She went under the boat and came back out right where we had the dip net. We knew she was over 10 pounds.
Holloway’s catch came on a Rage Craw Creature Bait in Bama Craw color. His previous biggest bass was a six pounder, so he made quite a leap in his personal best standings.
All the fish in the tournament were weighed alive and released back into the lake.