Some sizeable bass, the kind that stretch your line, were coming in over the side of Travis Meche Sr.’s boat the second day of May in one of the hottest areas of Lake Fausse Pointe.
Then Meche, who was enjoying a day on the water with his father, Neal Meche, and 12-year-old son, Travis Jr., dropped his 3/8-ounce crawfish-colored Strike King jig with a similarly colored Speed Craw for a trailer on the edge of a patch of green reeds growing in Sandy Cove. He had just boated a 4-pound class bass when he got another bite.
“I was all excited when I set the hook. (The fish on the business end of the line) was heavy,” he said about the sequence of events leading up to his personal best bass, an 8.82-pounder.
“It didn’t pull too much. It was a heavy, dead weight.”
Without a net at the ready, his dad swung into action to get the “hawg” in the boat by hand. But he was holding the line and Meche, who was busy playing the fish, didn’t want any part of that with such an immense bass still bidding to escape.
They boated the bass and admired the fifth 8-pound class bass caught and reported in the lake since mid-February. Two other bass reported during that time span weighed 7-plus pounds.
The 2020 Lake Fausse Pointe Hawg Honor Roll: Dustin Dore, 8.99. Travis Meche Sr., 8.82. Jarrod Derouen, between 8 ½-9. Andre Weber, 8.50. Joseph Martin, 8.17. Andre Weber, 7.25. Bo Amy, 7.20.
Catch and release
Before May 2, Meche never had a tussle with a bass heavier than 5 pounds, although there have been many that size for him.
“I ain’t ever caught a big one like that. Hell, no. My little boy thought it was a big goo,” Meche said with a laugh.
While the artificial jig was inhaled by the bass weighing nearly 9 pounds, the hook wasn’t firmly imbedded in the jaw but “kind of skin-hooked’ deep in the big fish’s mouth, he said.
They quickly weighed the trophy-sized bass but didn’t waste time measuring it before releasing it near where it was caught around midday.
The 31-year-old Meche, who works for his father’s construction company, Neal Meche Welding Corp. in their hometown of Branch, which is between Rayne and Church Point, took the 1 hour, 14-minute drive to Lake Fausse Pointe and launched around sunrise between 6-6:30 a.m. They are no strangers to the lake where Travis Jr. cashed in three times during the annual Big Bass Classic on Feb. 29 out of Marsh Field Boat Landing.
They have been fishing Henderson Lake but mostly have been disappointed by the size of the bass biting in that part of the Atchafalaya Basin. As fate would have it, the Meches chose Lake Fausse Pointe on that memorable day the first week of May.
The Meches also fished the lake in Iberia Parish the last weekend of April. The youngest Meche had a field day on that trip as he boated and released three 3-pound plus bass.
Meche urged bass anglers to practice catch and release.
“It’d be nice if everyone let the big ones go. They’ve got plenty of catfish, bream …” and other fish to eat, he said.
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