March double-digit Toledo Bend lunkers keep rolling in

(Photo courtesy of Mike Jasinski)

Here’s four more stories of anglers scoring successfully on the bounty of March’s Toledo Bend lunker largemouths.

Ryan Mathewson

  • Date fish taken: 3/14/2020
  • Anglers’ name: Ryan Mathewson
  • Hometown: Port Neches, Texas
  • Location where fish taken: Six Mile
  • Depth taken: 5 to 8 feet
  • Lure used to catch fish: Watermelon-red Zoom Brush Hog
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): 7-foot, 6-inch Duckett rod; Shimano reel; Fluorocarbon line
  • Certified Weigh station: Fin and Feather Resort
  • Certified bass weight: 10.00 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 26
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes
Ryan Mathewson and Brinlee, his girlfriend, display Mathewson’s 10-pound Toledo Bend lunker taken in the Six Mile area on watermelon-red Zoom Brush Hog March 14. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Ryan Mathewson and Brinlee, his girlfriend, display Mathewson’s 10-pound Toledo Bend lunker taken in the Six Mile area on watermelon-red Zoom Brush Hog March 14. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)

Brush Hog giant

Ryan Mathewson of Port Neches, Texas, joined his girlfriend, Brinlee, and her father for a fishing trip March 14 on Toledo Bend.

“I hadn’t fished the lake in six years,” the 25-year-old angler said.

After launching, the angling trio settled upon a location in the Six Mile area at 7:30 a.m.

“We hadn’t been on the water but for 10 minutes,” Mathewson said.

The angler was reeling in a watermelon-red Zoom Brush Hog slowly as he was talking to Brinlee and her father.

“The pole just bent over,” Mathewson said. “I set the hook and thought I was stuck!”

The bass then suddenly vaulted out of the water as Mathewson held on.

“I knew the fish was big,” he said. “But not that big!”

Mathewson continued reeling in the fish to the boat, and Brinlee’s father netted the fish.

“Brinlee’s father was hooting and hollering,” he said.

The big bass was then weighed in the boat, and the scale indicated it weighed 10.01 pounds. The bass was then placed into the livewell.

“Not five minutes later, I caught a 4-pounder in the same area,” Mathewson said.

The anglers fished for another couple of hours, and they caught a few smaller fish.

“We then packed up and went across to Fin and Feather Resort to weigh the fish,” he said.

On Fin and Feather’s certified scales, the bass officially weighed 10.0 pounds. It was then tagged and eventually released back into Toledo Bend.

It was lunker No. 26 for the 2019-2020 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program season.

Tommy Washington

  • Date fish taken: 3/21/2020
  • Anglers’ name: Tommy Washington
  • Hometown: Milam, Texas
  • Location where fish taken: Palo Gaucho
  • Depth taken: 2 to 4 feet
  • Lure used to catch fish: Senko
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): Killer rod; Lew’s reel; 20-pound Seaguar monofilament
  • Certified Weigh station: Keith’s Toledo Bend Tackle
  • Certified bass weight: 10.35 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 33
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes
This Toledo Bend 10.35-pounder was taken March 21 by Tommy Washington after the huge bass broke off the angler’s first hookset and later attacked his retied Senko. It was caught with the first hook still in its mouth five minutes later. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)
This Toledo Bend 10.35-pounder was taken March 21 by Tommy Washington after the huge bass broke off the angler’s first hookset and later attacked his retied Senko. It was caught with the first hook still in its mouth five minutes later. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)

Double-hooked lunker

Just a little after noon Saturday, March 21, Tommy Washington of Milam, Texas, was busy fishing his way back to the boat ramp to obtain the weight of five bass he had in his livewell.

Reaching the Palo Gaucho area, the 56-year-old angler pitched a Senko in what he estimated was 2 to 4 feet of water.

“I set the hook, and a fish broke me off,” Washington said.

After five minutes spent retying, the angler threw another Senko back in the same area, this time hooking the fish that attacked his lure.

A huge bass immediately came out of the water.

“The big fish ran around the boat to 8 feet of water,” he said.

“Since she was in deeper water, it was easy to work her back to the boat.”

Washington netted the bass and brought her aboard the boat.

In the huge bass’ mouth, he observed the hook and part of the line he lost on his first hookset.

Incredibly, although hooked by Washington five minutes earlier, the same bass bit again even with the angler’s first hook embedded in its jaw.

“I then put her on my scale,” Washington said. “She weighed 10.24 pounds.

“I said to myself that this (fishing trip) is over and then trailered the boat to head to Keith’s Toledo Bend Tackle.”

On certified scales at Keith’s Toledo Bend Tackle, Washington’s lunker weighed 10.35 pounds.

“They measured her, tagged her and turned her back into the lake,” he said.

Washington’s huge bass was recorded as lunker No. 33 in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.

Sam Laprarie III

  • Date fish taken: 3/18/2020
  • Anglers’ name: Sam Laprarie III
  • Hometown: Pineville, LA
  • Location where fish taken: Palo Gaucho
  • Depth taken: 3 feet deep
  • Lure used to catch fish: Zoom Brush Hog
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): 7-foot, 1-inch Duckett rod; Lew’s reel; 17-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon
  • Certified Weigh station: Buckeye Landing
  • Certified bass weight: 10.21 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 31
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes
Pineville’s Sam Laprarie III scored on this 10.21-pounder on a Zoom Brush Hog fishing Palo Gaucho March 18. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Pineville’s Sam Laprarie III scored on this 10.21-pounder on a Zoom Brush Hog fishing Palo Gaucho March 18. (Photo courtesy of Toledo Bend Lake Association)

Palo Gaucho lunker

 Pineville’s Sam Laprarie III and his son, Cody, set out at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 18, and made a run up to the main lake point north of Cypress Bend, and then crossed over to Palo Gaucho, a noted area for holding spawning bass.

“We started looking at some of those secondary points off the main arm,” 59-year-old Laprarie said.

“Cody caught one as we were getting into the pocket. We caught and released three there.”

Laprarie was fishing for 45 minutes and did a roll-cast with a Zoom Brush Hog and flipped it near the banks in 3 feet of water.

“I felt it get heavy as the bass sucked it up,” he said.

“I stuck the fish, and I could tell immediately it was a good one because of its weight on the line.”

The fish made a run to deep water, then turned and cut right across the front of the boat below the trolling motor.

“I got on the tip of the front of the boat and passed the rod around the trolling motor,” Laprarie said.

The fish then turned and made a second run to the back of the boat.

“Cody was ready and was able to grab the fish with both hands to get her aboard,” he said.

The angler then put the bass on a scale he had in his boat, and the fish weighed over 10 pounds.

After a couple of photos, the bass was then placed into the livewell.

“We idled out of the area, hit the lake and went straight to Buckeye Landing,” Laprarie said.

Laprarie’s lunker weighed 10.21 pound on Buckeye Landing’s certified scale.

The big fish was then tagged and eventually released back into the lake.

Mike Jasinski

  • Date fish taken: 3/18/2020
  • Anglers’ name: Mike Jasinski
  • Hometown: Gonzales, LA
  • Location where fish taken: Housen
  • Depth taken: 7 feet
  • Lure used to catch fish: Carolina-rigged watermelon Fluke
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): Shimano rod; Lew’s reel; Braid with 4-foot fluorocarbon leader
  • Certified Weigh station: Fin and Feather Resort
  • Certified bass weight: 10.65 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 30
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes
Mike Jasinski suffered a bout of “buck fever” immediately after catching this Toledo Bend lunker weighing 10.65 pounds on a Carolina-rigged watermelon Fluke in Housen March 18. (Photo courtesy Mike Jasinski)
Mike Jasinski suffered a bout of “buck fever” immediately after catching this Toledo Bend lunker weighing 10.65 pounds on a Carolina-rigged watermelon Fluke in Housen March 18. (Photo courtesy Mike Jasinski)

Buck-fever lunker

Gonzales’ Mike Jasinski decided to make a solo fishing trip to Toledo Bend waters, Wednesday, March 18.

At 1 p.m., he arrived in the Housen Bay area where he began casting a Carolina-rigged watermelon Fluke in 7 feet of water.

“I got out there and was able to catch a 6-pounder, and another at 2 pounds,” Jasinski said.

It didn’t take long for the angler to find that a fish was holding his bait.

“She held it, and I set the hook,” he said.

“The fish made a few runs and I was controlling the spool with pressure from my thumb.”

Jasinski said the fish made three good runs but never came out the water as he worked to control her movements.

“There was a big splash on the side of the boat and then I grabbed my line to pull her close,” he said.

“I grabbed her lips and then put her in the boat. I then placed her in the livewell.”

Jasinski admitted he had to force himself to calm down as he was experiencing a severe case of “buck fever.”

He then took the fish out the livewell and placed her on a scale he had in the boat. The digital scale indicated a weight of 10.68 pounds.

“I just went a bit above idling over to Fin and Feather Resort which was not far away,” he said.

“The bass measured 25 inches long and had a girth of 19 inches.”

The official weight of Jasinski’s lunker was 10.65 pounds on the certified scale at Fin and Feather Resort. It was lunker No. 30 entered into the 2019-2020 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program season.

The fish was tagged and released back into the lake.

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