Four Toledo Bend lunkers over 10 pounds

Michael Kelly of Zachary displays his huge Toledo Bend 10.45-pounder taken near Alpine Landing on a YUM Dinger Bama Bug. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Michael Kelly of Zachary displays his huge Toledo Bend 10.45-pounder taken near Alpine Landing on a YUM Dinger Bama Bug. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)

It’s March Madness at Toledo Bend as this month offers the best chances for anglers to catch a double-digit lunker largemouth.

Michael Kelly

  • Date fish taken: 3/6/2020
  • Anglers’ name: Michael Kelly
  • Hometown: Zachary, LA
  • Location where fish taken: The Pond at Alpine Landing
  • Depth taken: 3 feet
  • Lure used to catch fish: YUM Dinger 5-inch, wacky-style Bama Bug
  • Other tackle used: 7-foot, heavy-action Carbonlite rod; Abu Garcia reel, 14-pound fluorocarbon
  • Certified Weigh station: Toledo Town and Tackle
  • Certified bass weight: 10.45 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 20
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes

Best day of fishing ever

Michael Kelly of Zachary called Friday, March 6, his “Best day I ever had fishing.”

Launching out after sunrise, the angler made his way to an area called the Pond near Alpine Landing to begin pitching a YUM Dinger Bama Bug – wacky-style.

It was near 9:30 a.m. when 65-year-old Kelly pitched his lure into 3 feet of water.

“I set the hook on a fish that didn’t move,” Kelly said.

For approximately six minutes, Kelly fought the fish as it pulled and moved under the boat at times.

“I kept reeling all this time, and kept tension on the fish,” he said.

At one point the angler had placed most of his rod under the water as he worked the fish so it wouldn’t wrap his line around the trolling motor.

“The fish came up then swam down under the boat a couple of times,” he said. “The guy with the net missed him once.

“I got the fish back to the boat, and he netted the fish.”

The anglers celebrated for a couple of minutes, and then weighed the fish before it was placed into the livewell. The scale indicated 10.39 pounds.

“We fished another 30 minutes and then decided to head to Toledo Town and Tackle to weigh the fish on certified scales, and to also do the paperwork necessary for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program,” he said.

On officially certified scales, Kelly’s lunker weighed 10.45 pounds.

The fish was tagged and eventually released in good health back into the lake.

As for Kelly’s “Best day I ever had fishing” remark, the angler’s best five bass for the day went 26 pounds anchored by his lunker.

William Tramel

  • Date fish taken: 3/8/2020
  • Anglers’ name: William Tramel
  • Hometown: Kinder, LA
  • Location where fish taken: Indian Creek area
  • Depth taken: 10 feet
  • Lure used to catch fish: Senko – green-pumpkin Texas-rigged with ¼-ounce tungsten
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): 7-foot Falcon Lowrider rod; Shimano Curado reel; 15-pound Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon fishing line
  • Certified Weigh station: Fin and Feather Resort
  • Certified bass weight: 10.90 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 22
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes
In Indian Creek, Kinder’s William Tramel scored on this Toledo Bend 10.90 pounder taken on a green-pumpkin, Texas-rigged Senko. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)
In Indian Creek, Kinder’s William Tramel scored on this Toledo Bend 10.90 pounder taken on a green-pumpkin, Texas-rigged Senko. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)

Post-spawn giant

Kinder’s William Tramel was fishing the morning of March 8 in the Indian Creek area of south Toledo Bend.

“Up to 11:30 a.m., I had taken a 5-pounder, and then I decided to pull out for lunch,” the 60-year-old angler said.

During that time, Tramel picked up a friend and headed right back to the area he fished in the morning.

“I hooked what I thought looked to be a 7-pounder, but it spit the bait,” Tramel said.

Later at 3:30, the angler cast out a green-pumpkin, Texas-rigged Senko in 10 feet of water.

“I had a solid thump and I knew it was a big one,” he said.

“The fish made a big run and then swam close to the boat. It worked its way from the back to the front of the boat some three times.”

Tramel’s friend made a mad scramble for the net and then snared the fish the next time it came to the side of the boat.

“I have taken 7-pounders and 8s, but when I saw this fish, I was thinking 12 or 13 pounds at first,” he said. “But it was not blown up with eggs and had finished spawning.”

After placing the huge bass in the livewell, the anglers decided to run to an official weigh station for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.

“The wind was blowing hard, and we had to run a good way to Fin and Feather Resort to officially weigh the fish,” Tramel said.

“When I looked down, I noticed the ignition key was bent over. My friend probably hit it in the excitement to get the net. It actually broke off when I touched it.”

Somehow Tramel was able to use a device and turn what was left of the key in the ignition to crank the motor.

On Fin and Feather Resort’s certified scale, Tramel’s lunker weighed a very hefty 10.90 pounds.

The bass was later tagged and then released back into the lake.

Ray Kovacs

  • Date lunker taken: 3-12-2020
  • Anglers’ name: Ray Kovacs
  • Hometown: St. Martinville, LA
  • Location where fish taken: Pirates Cove
  • Depth taken: 12 inches
  • Lure used to catch fish: Phenix white chatterbait
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): Mojo medium-heavy, 7-foot rod; Lew’s Reel; 17-pound fluorocarbon
  • Certified Weigh station: Fin and Feather Resort
  • Certified bass weight: 10.50 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 24
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes
Ray Kovacs of St. Martinville was working a white Phenix chatterbait to take this huge bass weighing 10.50 pounds. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Ray Kovacs of St. Martinville was working a white Phenix chatterbait to take this huge bass weighing 10.50 pounds. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)

Shallow-water lunker

Ray Kovacs of St. Martinville and his fishing partner Craig Brister were working the shallows in the Pirate’s Cove area of Toledo Bend.

“It was 11:15 a.m., we were under a blue-bird sky and the winds were down,” 50-year-old Kovacs said. “We had four other bass in the boat.”

The angler decided to cast his white Phenix chatterbait in 12 inches of water near the banks.

“I let it sit and then there was one little yank – so I set the hook,” he said.

Immediately the huge bass vaulted out of the water almost dancing on its tail.

“I had to stick my whole rod in the water to work her,” Kovacs said. “I thought it was a 5-pounder at first.”

The angler eventually worked the bass to the side of the boat as his partner, Brister, netted the fish.

To his dismay, the angler’s scale wasn’t working so he borrowed one from a nearby angler.

“The scale read 10.47 pounds,” Kovacs said.

The anglers immediately left the area for a 20-minute boat ride to Fin and Feather Resort.

On Fin and Feather’s certified scale, Kovacs’ trophy bass weighed 10.50 pounds.

The fish was then tagged and released alive back into the waters of Toledo Bend.

Mike Richard

  • Date fish taken: 3/23/2020
  • Anglers’ name: Mike Richard
  • Hometown: Sulphur, LA
  • Location where fish taken: Housen Bay
  • Depth taken: Shallow
  • Lure used to catch fish: watermelon-red V&M Chop Stick
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): 7-foot Lew’s Mach 1 rod; Lew’s Mach 1 reel; Seaguar fluorocarbon
  • Certified Weigh station: Fin and Feather Resort
  • Certified bass weight: 10.24 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 35
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes
  • Second Toledo Bend Lunker, his first – an 11.54-pounder taken in March 2016
Sulphur’s Mike Richard caught this Toledo Bend 10.24-pounder in a monster bass location in Housen Bay. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Sulphur’s Mike Richard caught this Toledo Bend 10.24-pounder in a monster bass location in Housen Bay. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)

Lunker from monster waters

Sulphur’s Mike Richard and his wife, Melissa, had been spending some time together Monday, March 23, at their camp near Beechwood on Toledo Bend waters.

“It was overcast when we took out from the camp,” the 57-year-old angler said.

The fishing couple first worked the waters on the south end near Indian and Buck creeks.

“Fishing was slow, so we headed out to Housen, as I was going to show Melissa where Fin and Feather Resort was on the water,” he said. “She had never been there by boat.”

On the way there at 4 p.m., Richard turned into an area where he told Melissa a monster would hang out.

“I took that Chop Stick and threw it in the shallows near a cypress tree,” Richard said.

The angler could see a swirl where a fish made a grab for the lure.

“On the second cast, she hit the bait and took off with it,” he said.

The bass started pulling a lot of drag and made a run under the boat as well.

“She made three or four runs before she came up to the top so we could see her,” Richard said. “Melissa then scooped her up with the net, and then I picked her up to take a picture.”

Richard described Melissa as happy, yet she was shaking and began to shed a few tears.

The huge bass was eventually placed into a livewell, and the couple motored over to Fin and Feather Resort for obtaining an official weight of the bass on certified scales.

Richard’s bass weighed 10.24 pounds, was tagged and eventually released alive back into Toledo Bend.

This is Richard’s second lunker entered in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program. His first was an 11.54-pounder taken in March 2016.

Chris Berzas
About Chris Berzas 369 Articles
Chris Berzas has fished and hunted in the Bayou State ever since he could hold a rod and shoot a shotgun. Berzas has been a freelancer featured in newspapers, magazines, television and DVDs since 1989.

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