Plaquemine angler lands Toledo Bend lunker

Wesley Miller, 26, of Plaquemine, shows off the 10.06-pound lunker bass he reeled in on Monday, Oct. 14 during his first-ever trip to Toledo Bend. The big bass bit a green gizzard shad KVD 200 jerkbait not far from Cypress Bend Resort. (Photo courtesy of Wesley Miller)
Wesley Miller, 26, of Plaquemine, shows off the 10.06-pound lunker bass he reeled in on Monday, Oct. 14 during his first-ever trip to Toledo Bend. (Photo courtesy of Wesley Miller)

Cracked crankbait prompted lure change that fooled 10-pounder

Wesley Miller was having decent success throwing a KVD 1.5 squarebill crankbait last Monday morning up at Toledo Bend – until he accidentally whacked it on the motor and cracked the lure.

Since he and his dad Chad were targeting largemouths that were chasing schooled up shad offshore not too far from Cypress Bend Resort, the 26-year-old from Plaquemine decided to switch to a Strike King KVD 200 jerkbait in green gizzard shad.

“It looked similar to what they were eating and spitting out,” said Miller, noting he and his dad were experimenting with offshore fishing, using electronics to target fish in 10 to 25 feet of water around underwater humps and channels.

Miller’s biggest bass

In about 10 casts with the new lure tied on, Miller reeled in two fish — the second of which was a 10.06-pound hawg that made him forget all about that broken crankbait when it bit.

“That jerkbait only suspends to about 5 or 6 feet, and she went straight down with it. My dad looked at me, and I wasn’t 100 percent sure it was a bass,” Miller said. “He asked me, ‘Is that a bass?’ And I said, ‘I’m not sure. If it is, it’s big — but it might be a catfish because of the way it’s going straight down.’

The big bass decided to put all doubts to rest when it came up and broke the surface.

“She came up and jumped out the water,” he said. “My dad ran and got the net when it jumped, and It wasn’t that bad landing it, actually. She came up that one time, went down and went under the boat. But I got her up, and he netted her.”

The reveal

Seeing the monstrous fish in the net on the deck was a shock, he said.

“Me and dad both kind of looked at each other. It was the biggest bass either one of us had ever caught,” Miller said with a laugh, noting his personal best previously was a 5 ½-pounder. “He’s caught an 8-pounder before, but it almost looked fake in the net its mouth was so big … The digital scale we had wasn’t the best, but it weighed right under 10  pounds. So we figured we’d at least bring it in to weigh it because it was so close.”

A closer look at the 10.06-pound bucketmouth Wesley Miller reeled in on Monday, Oct. 14 at Toledo Bend. (Photo courtesy of Wesley Miller)
A closer look at the 10.06-pound bucketmouth Wesley Miller reeled in on Monday, Oct. 14 at Toledo Bend. (Photo courtesy of Wesley Miller)

Turns out they made the right call. After fishing for about an hour more with the lunker in the livewell, they headed back to get an official weight.

The weigh-in

At Toledo Town & Tackle, the big bass tipped certified scales at 10.06 pounds, instantly qualifying Miller for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, which awards anglers who return double-digit fish to the reservoir with a complimentary mount. The bass measured 24 ½ inches long, with a 19 ½-inch girth.

Incredibly, against all odds, it was Miller’s very first trip bass fishing at Toledo Bend: One trip, and one 10-pounder is in the books.

“My grandpa has been going there his entire life. He used to have a camper up there and he’d go every month, and he’s never caught a 10-pounder. He and my dad have been up there four times already this year, but this was the first time I could go with work,” said Miller, who’s employed with SE Tylose USA in Plaquemine. “I actually had to take vacation to go this time. I got lucky I guess.”

Patrick Bonin
About Patrick Bonin 1333 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.

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