Verda angler lands 13-pound Bussey Brake spawner

(Photo courtesy Jerrad Friday)

Jerrad Friday saw a huge fish on his LiveScope on Friday, May 10, while he was fishing Bussey Brake, the famed trophy bass reservoir near Bastrop.

“I messed with her about an hour, but I couldn’t get her to bite,” said Friday, who hails from Verda in Grant Parish. “I marked her on my GPS and went back on Saturday. She was sitting on a letdown log in about 8 feet of water. On my third flip, she latched onto it.”

Friday, who caught a personal-best 12.48-pound bass at Bussey Brake on March 30, was flipping a Best Bite Fighting Frog (African special color), on a 7-foot-3, heavy action Halo rod and a ABU Garcia Revo reel spooled with 65-pound Power Pro Braid.

“I watched her and felt her hit it,” Friday said. “I watched her nose down; she hit it to kill it — she made dirt fly off the bottom; the LiveScope picked it up.

“I was probably 10 feet from her when I was flipping; on this lake, you can’t pitch 30 or 40 feet and get a fish to the boat. She got hung up behind another half-fallen tree. I got off the (Power Poles) and went to her. When I got the rod around the other tree to get her free, she came up and didn’t really put up a fight, and I netted her.”

Getting the bass weighed

Friday put her on the portable scales he had in the boat, and when the fish broke the 13-pound mark, he ran to the lake office, got access to certified scales, which weighed the fish at 13.10 pounds.

Jerrad Friday of Verda with the 13.10-pounder he caught at Bussey Brake on Saturday, May 11. (Photo courtesy Jerrad Friday)

“She was in the process of spawning; she wasn’t the first bass I caught last week that was still spawning,” Friday said. “I took a photo of her when I caught her, and it was 2:48 (p.m.). I’d had a good day before that — not any big fish, but a couple of 4s and 6s.

“She was full of eggs. Her tail was dripping blood; you can see it in the photo. The weather we’ve had — it was 85 on Saturday and 64 and raining on Sunday. My dad told me bass will spawn more than once. She probably spawned first early in spring; maybe she got caught and it messed her up, or with the weather, she moved in and out. Maybe she left and then came back.”

Sixteen and counting

Bussey Brake has been spitting out big fish at an amazing pace this spring, and Friday has caught his share. He showed up at the lake on March 25 and quickly caught a double-digit fish, then a couple more, then caught his 12.48-pound fish.

Working about 30 minutes from Bussey Brake, Friday had rented a camper spot for a month and had towed his boat behind, allowing him to fish many evenings after work.

“I’ve caught 16 double-digit fish since March 25. If you count just the days I fished, I probably averaged one every day. I’ve had some days with two, and some with three. One day, I had almost 31 pounds with three fish. I’m going to stay another week. My job was for two weeks, but I got a camper spot for a month, and I’ve got another week left. I sat on three other big fish (Sunday) on three different brush piles, but they wouldn’t bite.”