Historical data on Toledo Bend Lunker Program bass indicate February to be the second-best month for anglers to score on double-digit largemouths. Read the stories of two anglers who succeeded in catching the largest bass of their lifetime.
In late February, Toledo Bend continued to deliver double-digit bass to anglers.
Both fishermen who caught the big bass had them entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program and they will receive replica mounts from the Toledo Bend Lake Association, which provides the mounts to fishermen who bring bass weighing 10 pounds or better to participating marinas, then release them alive.
Zwolle’s Justin Glover spent the better part of Feb. 20, fishing with Daniel Lee of Leesville. The anglers launched from the south end of the lake at 8:30 a.m. and braved rains and cold winds to eventually reach areas near the Indian Mounds and Housen.
“The conditions were really unfavorable,” said Glover, 35. “The winds were blowing at 20-plus mph, it was raining, and the temperature was at 40 degrees. It was a good duck-hunting day.
“We wanted to fish despite the conditions, and we were dressed in the warmest, driest clothes we had.”
Glover and Lee had their boat sitting in 18 feet of water as they cast their offerings into about 7 feet of water.
“At our first stop, we started getting bites regularly, and we were releasing keeper fish,” he said. “The bass were feeding in spurts, and we were catching about six fish at a time when they were biting.
Glover was working a custom-made, ¾-ounce, white/chartreuse spinnerbait with Colorado blades on a 7-foot Denali rod and a Shimano reel spooled with Seaguar fluorocarbon.
Glover and Lee reached an area with submerged wood, and he just kept on chunking that spinnerbait.
“When the fish bit, she loaded up heavy on that spinnerbait,” Glover said. “The fight was on, as she made a big run but eventually came up. At 30 feet away, she came up on top, and I initially estimated it to be a 9-pounder.”
The bass kept stripping line as it came back and around the boat Glover said.
“When she got to the boat, I looked at her again and thought she was larger than 9, and even looked to be 11-plus pounds,” he said.
As the fish came to the boat, Lee lipped the big bass and brought her aboard, and after admiring her for a while, she went in the livewell.
“We stopped at one area where I lost what I think was another great fish,” Glover said.
Finally, Glover and Lee decided to pick up and motor to Fin and Feather Resort to obtain a certified weight on the huge fish.
Glover’s lunker officially weighed 10.44 pounds and was the No. 15 bass listed into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program. The bass was his second double-digit fish to make the program; Glover caught a 10.0-pound bass in May 2019.
Trichel’s big bass
Provencal’s Dayton Trichel was ready to get to Toledo Bend for his first fishing trip of 2020.
Trichel and his father, Shannon Bolton, launched at Big Bass Marina on Feb. 22, greeted by overcast skies that eventually gave way to some sun later in the day.
“We started fishing south of Big Bass Marina on the Louisiana side,” said Trichel, 22. “I backed off the bank a bit, graphing with my Garmin and eventually found a couple of schools of fish.”
Trichel and Bolton started out pitching jigs, then picked up heavy spinnerbaits a while later.
“I then threw a ChatterBait as well, but I wasn’t too happy with that, either,” said Trichel, who picked up a rod with his favorite hard jerkbait and started working it in 5 feet of water, away from the bank.
“I jerked it, paused, then made a jerk again,” he said. “As I moved around to hit the trolling motor, I jerked it again but it felt like the bait hit a brick wall.”
Trichel said the fish ran toward the boat and headed to deeper water.
“I remember hollering out to get the net twice,” Trichel said. “I could then tell it was a great fish. It was coming to the boat again, so I immediately got up and ran to the driver’s seat.”
Trichel waited, holding pressure on the fish.
“She came up on the side of the boat with her big mouth opened, and I grabbed her in the mouth, pulling the fish to the side of the boat,” he said. “Then, I lifted her and put her into the boat.”
Trichel and his father were at first very quiet — quite speechless about how events had quickly played out.
“That’s the largest (live) bass I’ve ever personally put my eyes on,” Bolton said.
Trichel and Bolton started fumbling through the boat’s storage to find a set of scales, then weighed the first at 10 pounds, 12 ounces.
Eventually, Trichel and Bolton motored to Buckeye Landing, a certified weigh station for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
Officially, Trichel’s bass weighed 11.16 pounds, was tagged and then released back into Toledo Bend.
Trichel was using a 7-foot-3, medium-heavy K&S custom rod, and a Lews reel spooled with 10-pound P-Line fluorocarbon.
Trichel’s lunker was No. 16 registered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program. It was Trichel’s personal best bass.