Two more additions to the 10-pound Toledo Bend club

Ville Platte’s Jake Ortego displays his Toledo Bend lunker bass weighing exactly 10.0 pounds taken in San Miguel Cove May 12, 2020. Ortego caught his fish on a Texas-rigged Missile D Stroyer. (Photo courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Ville Platte’s Jake Ortego displays his Toledo Bend lunker bass weighing exactly 10.0 pounds taken in San Miguel Cove May 12, 2020. Ortego caught his fish on a Texas-rigged Missile D Stroyer. (Photo courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association)

Jake Ortego

  • Date fish taken: 5/12/2020
  • Angler’s name: Jake Ortego
  • Hometown: Ville Platte, Louisiana
  • Location where fish taken: San Miguel
  • Depth taken: 3 to 4 feet of water
  • Lure used to catch fish: Missile D Stroyer
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): 7-foot, 4-inch Denali rod; Shimano Curado reel; 50-pound Power Pro braid
  • Certified Weigh Station: Toledo Town and Tackle
  • Certified bass weight: 10.00 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 39
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes

Windy day lunker

Ville Platte’s Jake Ortego and a couple of his friends, Sam Tuminaro and Delaney Fontenot, were spending time at Ortego’s Toledo Bend camp during the week of May 11 to May 16.

“The doctor I work for was taking a vacation, so we were also able to get in several days of fishing at Toledo Bend,” said 35-year-old Ortego.

The anglers woke up to windy conditions Tuesday, May 12, but decided to forge ahead with plans to fish as much as possible.

Ortego launched at Old Yellow landing early in the morning, and the trio settled down to some fishing near the state park area. The plans were to move north to the Blue Lake area.

“We caught a few fish early,” Ortego said. “It was windy, and we tried to stay on the main lake as much as possible.

“We ended up coming back toward the state park,” he said. “We caught between 10 and 12 fish, a few keepers and one weighing about 3 ½ pounds.”

The anglers fished the main lake points as much as possible, but eventually the winds were enough to force Ortego to seek protection.

“At 4 p.m., we ran to the back of San Miguel Cove where my dad and I once pre-fished for a tournament,” he said. “It was a fun trip and our best five that day weighed close to 18 pounds.”

Ortego knew he had something special

Upon arrival in San Miguel, one bass was taken, and Fontenot dropped another one that was estimated as weighing 5 pounds.

Ortego was flipping cover with a Texas-rigged Missile D Stroyer when he set the hook on a good bite.

“The fish ran out of the bushes and jumped out the water,” he said.

“At one point, the fish moved under the boat and appeared on the other side right by Delaney.”

After a couple of minutes, the big bass tired and Tuminaro lipped the fish into the boat.

Ortego knew the fish was close to 10 pounds as he and his father has taken fish over 9 pounds in the past.

Ortego’s hand scale bounced between 9.9 to 10.1 pounds when the bass was initially weighed.

The certified scales at Toledo Town and Tackle pegged Ortego’s bass exactly at 10.0 pounds. The fish was later tagged and released alive back into Toledo Bend waters.

Ortego’s bass is lunker No. 39 for the 2019-2020 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program season.

Henry West

  • Date fish taken: 5/18/2020
  • Anglers’ name: Henry West
  • Hometown: Mermentau, Louisiana
  • Location where fish taken: Housen
  • Depth taken: 16 to18 feet of water
  • Lure used to catch fish: Carolina-rigged, Big Bite Rojas Fighting Frog
  • Other tackle used: (rod, reel, line): 7-foot, 6-inch Lew’s rod; Lew’s Speed Spool reel; 14-pound Berkley Big Game mono
  • Certified Weigh Station: Fin and Feather Resort
  • Certified bass weight: 10.80 pounds
  • Entry number of bass in the Toledo Bend Lunker Program: 38
  • Tagged and eligible for replica from Toledo Bend Lake Association: Yes

Housen lunker

Henry West of Mermentau scored on this 10.80-pound Toledo Bend lunker fishing in Housen with a Carolina-rigged, Big Bite Rojas Fighting Frog. The fish was taken May 18, 2020, in 16 to 18 feet of water. (Photo courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association)
Henry West of Mermentau scored on this 10.80-pound Toledo Bend lunker fishing in Housen with a Carolina-rigged, Big Bite Rojas Fighting Frog. The fish was taken May 18, 2020, in 16 to 18 feet of water. (Photo courtesy of the Toledo Bend Lake Association)

Henry West of Mermentau and his adult godson, Josh “Spanky” Viator, spent the better part of Monday, May 18, fishing Toledo Bend’s bass-rich waters.

“It was more or less a fun fishing trip, although there is a tournament there next month,” said 62-year-old West.

Launching from Cypress Bend, the anglers experienced light winds and blue-bird skies.

“We caught a couple of fish right out from Cypress Bend,” West said.

Moving then into Lowe’s Creek, the anglers added a few bass to the livewell, yet missed a good one.

“I lost one there I would say would have gone 8 pounds,” West said.

The right spot

The angler then motored his boat farther west to Housen where he knew there was an offshore hump in 16 to 18 feet of water worth fishing.

There West began a series of casts with a Carolina-rigged, Big Bite Rojas Fighting Frog.

On one of his series of casts, he had a noticeable hit.

“I set the hook, and I felt a solid fish on the other end,” he said.

According to West, the fish made quite a few thrusts while taking a lot of drag.

“She broke water four times, and it was pretty exciting,” he said.

“Josh eventually was able to scoop her up into the net after a few more strong runs.”

On West’s digital scale, the weight of the fish had the readings bouncing around between 10.5 and 11.5 pounds.

“I don’t know if the bouncing around was due to the fish moving or Josh shaking while weighing the fish,” West said.

Once the fish was placed in the livewell, the anglers strapped everything down on the boat and made a run to Fin and Feather Resort to obtain a weight on a certified scale for entry of the fish in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.

The official weight of West’s Housen lunker was 10.80 pounds making this bass lunker No. 38 for the 2019-2020 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program season.

Chris Berzas
About Chris Berzas 369 Articles
Chris Berzas has fished and hunted in the Bayou State ever since he could hold a rod and shoot a shotgun. Berzas has been a freelancer featured in newspapers, magazines, television and DVDs since 1989.

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