Cody Pitt doesn’t want to ask for a lot, but maybe, just maybe, could the third time be the charm?
Pitt, from Elmer, La., landed a 10.09-pound largemouth bass on Jan. 27, practicing for a tournament on his home lake, Toledo Bend Reservoir. When the tournament – a MLF Bass Fishing League Cowboy Division event – rolled around this past Saturday, Feb. 4, he set a record with a 13-pound, 6-ounce monster and a 39-pound, 15-ounce stringer that bested the field for an $8,107 payday.
Now, Pitt has another tournament on Toledo Bend coming up on Saturday, Feb. 11, a Bass Champs event.
“It would be nice to go ahead and get another big one on Saturday,” he said. “And it would be nice to beat (his 39-pound bag).”
Weighing his 10-pounder
Pitt’s 10.09-pound fish, 26 inches long with a 19-inch girth, was caught in 22 feet of water, on the end of a flat that dropped into a creek channel at mid-lake on the 185,000-acre reservoir along the Texas-Louisiana border. It hit a green pumpkin V&M Pacemaker jig with a green pumpkin/purple haze V&M J Bug.
“I caught her between 3 and 3:30,” Pitt said. “The water temperature was 54 to 55 degrees. This area had a clean, hard bottom right off a channel swing. I was just dragging (the jig), and she knocked it pretty hard; she knocked slack in the line. It didn’t take very long to put her in the boat. At first, I thought it was a big catfish because of the way she was swimming from side to side. Then, I got her to the surface and she jumped, and I said, ‘That’s no catfish; that’s a bass.’ She made one more run and came alongside the boat, and I grabbed her.
“I figured she was close to 10. I put her on a small set of scales – a brand-new pair I’d just bought – and she weighed 10.09. So I left as soon as I caught her and weighed her and headed to Buckeye (Landing). It was the first fish I’d weighed on those scales.”
At Buckeye, the fish was officially weighed at 10.09, qualifying for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program – his third to do so, following two big fish in 2019.
The winning fish
Practice apparently made perfect, because Pitt had an even bigger fish and a better day last Saturday. He didn’t do much at his first spot, but he caught a 6-pounder on his second spot, dragging the jig along in 32 feet of water. On his next stop – a bit downlake from where he had his success the previous week in practice – he got a bite on the first cast, but the fish didn’t take the bait. He reeled in, cast back out, and this time, his huge bass sucked in the jig.
When Pitt set the hook, he said he couldn’t move the fish. When he finally got her to the surface, she was so big – 27½ inches long and 21 inches in girth – she couldn’t do more than wallow at the surface. She made one more run, then Pitt brought her to the boat, and his co-angler, Leroy Dee Sheperd, netted the fish.
That really got Pitt going. He added another 6-pounder on that spot, and he and Sheperd – who won the co-angler division with 23 pounds, 5 ounces – stayed in fish all day.
“I had figured that what I was doing wasn’t going to really take off until about 9 o’clock,” said Pitt, who caught fish as shallow as 12 feet and as deep as 22 feet – and everywhere in between. “It was kind of weird; I don’t think I’ve ever caught them on as big a change in depth. I had a 6 and a 5½ in 12 feet, and I had a 6 in 32 feet. They were scattered on Saturday. I had a couple of places where my fish had moved since practice. I had one spot where they’d moved about 70 yards, and I had to relocate them again.”
Most of the fish came on areas with a clean, hard bottom, he said, although a few were caught around some big stumps.
“After the first spot I went to, it seemed like every place I went to had two or three fish on it,” he said.
Before his 13-6, Pitt’s best fish was one of his 2019 Toledo Bend lunkers, an 11.49-pound monster caught Jan. 23. His biggest 5-fish limit, he said, was about 32 pounds.
“That was pretty much a significant jump (to 39-15),” said Pitt, who didn’t weigh a fish less than 6 pounds and caught a 7-pounder in addition to the 13-6.
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