Toledo Bend gives up 10.13-pounder on family fishing trip

Right about now, Buncy Seago of Orange, Tex., would like to convince the folks at Zoom Bait Co. to make more lizards and worms in their hard-to-find “gourd green” color.

Seago likes it, because on Sunday morning, Feb. 20, a 10.13-pound Toledo Bend largemouth liked it – a lot.

“The fish had moved up to 5 feet a couple of days before the cold front hit, and that pushed them back out. Most of them were staging off points in 6 to 8 feet of water. We saw some young buck bass going up, but most of the bass we found were on one side of a creek channel or the other,” said Seago, who was fishing with his sons, Jerrod and Shayne, in the Six Mile area of the sprawling Louisiana-Texas reservoir.

Catch starts out as a mystery

The three Seagos had caught close to a dozen fish, including a 4-pound, 6-ounce fish and another 4-pounder, mostly on watermelon red Senkos. But Seago had tied on a Texas-rigged, gourd green Zoom lizard on a Daiwa Tatula rod and reel spooled with braided line, he made a cast and thought he’d gotten hung up in some moss.

“At first, I thought it was in a bunch of moss, because there was some moss around there. When I picked it up, I could feel the weight, then I could tell it wasn’t moss and I set the hook,” Seago said. “We were fishing in a 24-foot, center-console boat, and she went all the way around the boat and pulled line three times.

“At first, she never showed at the surface, and my son said it was pulling like a catfish. Then, she came up close to the surface and side-swirled, and I knew it wasn’t a catfish. It seemed like it took 10 minutes to land her, but it was probably only a couple of minutes. But she kept pulling string out.

“I finally got her up, and Shayne was saying, ‘Don’t push her, don’t push her, take it easy.’ When I got her to the boat, she wouldn’t open her mouth. He had both hands on her, but he tried three times before he got his fingers in her mouth and brought her into the boat. I think the boys were more excited than I was.”

Getting the big fish weighed

Seago had one tackle shop in mind to weigh the fish, but it was closed, so he put his boat on the trailer, made sure the livewell was full of water and pumping, and he headed to Fairmont General Store, where the fish weighed 10.13 pounds on certified scales and taped out at 24½ inches long and 19 inches in girth. It was the 12th bass of the 2021-22 season to qualify for the Toledo Bend Lake Association’s Lunker Bass Program.

“This was my best fish ever on Toledo Bend,” Seago said. “I’ve caught an 11-pound fish from Falcon.”