Hinton looks for calm spot and finds Bussey toad

Jeremy Hinton holds his 11.10-pound Bussey Brake lunker largemouth.
Jeremy Hinton holds his 11.10-pound Bussey Brake lunker largemouth.

You’ve heard of a “wind-aided” home run in baseball — one where the wind is blowing out and helps the ball carry over the fence?

Well, Jeremy Hinton of Bastrop has brought the term to bass fishing and hit a home run for his livewell. The 42-year-old was fishing Bussey Brake north of Bastrop on Monday, May 9, and he was catching some nice fish, he just had to get out of the stiff wind for a while.

He found a little pocket where he was protected from the wind. He tossed a June Bug tube style creature bait up into a thick bush in about six feet of water. It only fell about two feet when he felt a tell-tale tap.

“I set the hook and that thing pulled like crazy,” Hinton said. “I just knew it was a grinnel. It tugged and tugged and pulled off line as it ran under the boat. Finally I got it turned around and when it came back out and rolled on the surface, I couldn’t believe it. I have been fishing for a double-digit bass all my life and I just knew this was it.”

It was. Hinton took the bass to the certified scales at the boat dock and it checked in at 11.10 pounds. He immediately put it back in the livewell and motored back to the very spot he caught her, turning her back in the same bush she came from.

Spawning bass

Had the wind not been blowing and helped him make the decision to move, he might have never fished there.

“The strange thing about it is when I put her in the basket to weigh her, she was still oozing eggs,” he said. “It was 85 degrees outside and this big bass was still spawning. It gave me a sense of urgency to get back in the lake.”

Hinton said he’s been after a fish like this for a long time and he didn’t do anything special this time. He just cast the right bait in the right spot. And he was paying attention and did what he was supposed to. He normally would have netted that big of a fish, but he had left his net in a compartment and had to lip her.

“I mean, it was maybe the most exciting fishing moment I’ve ever had,” he said. “I’ve probably been out there 30 times this year hoping for that moment and when I got the fish in the boat, I had to sit down for about five minutes because I was so excited I was shaking.”

Hinton’s next thought was to find somebody to take his picture with the fish. He found a nearby fisherman, who happened to be off-duty LDWF enforcement agent David Harrell trying to catch his own big fish. Harrell took his picture and they chatted for a while, then he went in and weighed the fish.

“I grew up and learned how to fish on Bussey, so that made it all the more special,” he said. “I just wish my dad would have been with me. He’s the one that taught me how to fish.”

Another one!

Jeremy Hinton with his second double-digit Bussey bass in one week, a 10.87-pounder.
Jeremy Hinton with his second double-digit Bussey bass in one week, a 10.87-pounder.

Hinton didn’t waste any time getting his second double-digit bass out of Bussey, either. On Thursday, May 12, he landed a 10.87-pounder about 30 yards from the same spot that he caught the bigger fish using the same bait and technique.

Hinton said he always encourages people to return big fish to the water as quickly as possible. Those fish, he says, are something special and it’s important to keep their genetics in the fish stock. Not just for us, but for future fishermen.

“I’ve got a 10-year-old son, Adyn, and he’s getting into fishing,” Hinton said. “I think it would be fantastic for him to get to catch that fish again some day.”

If you fish Bussey, remember it is a WMA managed by the state and has special rules and limits to help develop the trophy lake. Make sure you know them before you go.

About Kinny Haddox 591 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, lakedarbonnelife.com and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.