I’m an avid angler around north Louisiana and a proud member of the Cleanwater Bass Club, but when I’m not fishing tournaments, my place of choice to fish just for fun is definitely D’Arbonne Lake. I’ve spent my fair share of time out there trying to keep up with what the bass are doing on the lake year-round.
On March 14, I decided to ride out to the lake a little after lunch, and that time of year bass can be prespawn, spawning or post-spawn, and you have to decide which ones you want to target. I headed towards Stowe Creek and decided to fish some points for some prespawners, couldn’t really find anything that were wanting to give it up, so I headed for some trees and decide to slow-roll a wobble head. I rolled up to a spot and was pitching around, and all of a sudden, I just see my line start swimming off.
My encounters with “bigger” fish in the past is they don’t really kill it; they just gently take your bait and start swimming off, so I set the hook and immediately knew it was a better fish. As I’m working it in, I realize it’s quite a stud, then she finally came to the surface and jumped, and my heart started pumping; I knew she was a gorilla. I worked her around for a minute and got her to the side of the boat, and with one last effort, pulling her towards me, I reached down with my net and she gave one last good shake with her head and “POP” she spit it out.
I chunked my rod in the bottom of the boat, sat on my knees and just shook my head knowing I had lost a 10-pounder. I regrouped and went back to fishing 10 minutes later, and a little on further down, the same thing happened, but this time, I landed a 9.27-pound juggernaut; that really made things better after losing the previous fish.
I went home, and all night, I thought about that fish I lost. I couldn’t help myself; I had to go back. The next day, I headed back out and fished around for a while, just trying to get my bearings going. I headed for the exact spot where I lost the big one the day before, and I knew in the back of my head the chances of a fish of that caliber biting again was like winning the lottery, but I went for it. I rolled up there, even changing my line to braid just in case, making sure my knot was perfect. I pitched in there the first time, nothing, I pitched in there again, and my line started swimming off, just like the day before. I stepped back and tried to cross her eyes with a hookset from grandma’s house. She instantly went to the bottom, and I worked her around. She tried to run up under the engine, but when you’ve got 65-pound braid on, you can boss ‘em. I got her up and into the net and into the boat. My hands were shaking trying to get her on the scales; she tipped them at 10.36. I was about as happy as any one fisherman could be. I went and met with a friend who was fishing on the lake, showed him and weighed it on his scales — it read the same. He asked me, “Well, you gonna go try catch another one?” I said, “Nope, times like these, you just go load the boat up knowing that’s as good as it’s gonna get for that day.” I was fulfilled.
Blake Burnett – Eros, La.
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