Just fish! Leesville man gets big reward

Nathaniel Street with is 13-pound Vernon Lake whopper caught Oct. 14, 2021.
Nathaniel Street with his 13-pound Vernon Lake whopper caught Oct. 14, 2021.

Sometimes, you just want to go fishing, even if things aren’t exactly going according to plan.

Once in a while, however, things work out in the form of a huge bass, a 13-pounder.

Nathaniel Street of Leesville wanted to go fishing the morning of Oct. 14. He lives on Anacoco Lake in Vernon Parish, but the lake is in its 7-year maintenance drawdown and unfishable right now.

Early that morning, Street had to put off fishing to get some new tires for his wife’s car, so he didn’t get to go early. But he was able to finish up, load up his boat and go to nearby Vernon Lake about 5 miles away. He finally started fishing at about 10:30.

Low expectations

Street didn’t have great expectations of catching anything, even though he had caught a few small bass in the past couple of days. And a neighbor had gone earlier and told him to forget it, they just weren’t biting.

So Street eased out into the lake, rested his 14-foot aluminum boat up against a stump because the wind was blowing pretty hard, and cast out a 5-inch, watermelon black/green plastic worm.

“I was just piddling around, to be honest,” said Street, 30, a drilling rig manager said. “I was fishing pretty shallow water, and all of a sudden, I felt a tug. I set the hook, and the bass took off heading the other way. I just kept tension on the line and held on. I didn’t have any idea what it was, but I knew it wasn’t one of those 1 1/2-pounders I had been catching.

“She dove down, then swam back up toward the surface. She did that two or three times. She never did break the water, and I’m glad she didn’t or I would have probably lost her.

“The first time I saw her was when she came up right by the boat,” Street said. “I was trying to hold on to the rod with one hand and grab the dip net with the other hand. When she slipped in the net, it was something else. Man, I’ve never seen a fish anything near like that.”

Weighing the fish

Street didn’t have a scale with him, nor did he have any way to keep the fish alive, so he put the big bass in the ice chest and decided to head home. He said later he had to quit fishing because the fish filled up the whole ice chest.

He weighed it once on his digital scale at 12.95 pounds; his neighbor’s scale showed 13.20 pounds, so he just split the difference and called it 13 pounds. He is saving the fish to have it mounted.

“I gotta be honest; it was just luck, but I’ll take it,” he said. “You need a little luck every once in a while, and you can’t get lucky unless you just get out there and fish.”

About Kinny Haddox 592 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.