Calcasieu River gives up a lunker

Collins catches 10.2-pound largemouth on crawfish-colored crankbait

Vincent Collins isn’t a big bass fisherman, but that didn’t stop him from catching a really big bass.

The Lake Charles pipefitter got invited for a quick after-work fishing trip on the Calcasieu River last Thursday afternoon, and proceeded to reel in a monstrous 10.2-pound largemouth within minutes of wetting his line.

“I really don’t fish too much, honestly,” Collins said. “My buddy brought me and he’s into all that fishing and fishing tournaments, and we just got off work early and he said he wanted to fish, so I went with him.”

Collins’ fishing buddy was Adam Chamberlain, and the two men launched at White Oak Park and were working a drop-off in the river south of a slough where the water depth went from 4 to 34 feet.

“We had been out there maybe 15 minutes,” said Collins, whose previous best fish was a 4-pound Kentucky he caught at Toledo Bend. “It was a place he had marked on his navigation. He was working the front of the boat and I was working the back.”

Collins was retrieving a medium crawfish-colored Bandit crankbait when the lunker hit around 6 p.m.

“It didn’t hit like a fish did. I kind of thought I was hung up on a log or something. It was just slowly coming up, kind of like a log,” Collins said. “Then all of a sudden it jumped out the water about 15 feet from me and that’s when we knew there was something on there.

“It didn’t fight at all like we thought it would. It gave a little pull after she jumped and that was it.”

Collins was fishing with Chamberlain’s 7-foot Castaway cranking rod and Shimano reel, which was spooled with 10-pound P-Line fluorocarbon.

“We got it in the boat within the same minute it hit,” he said. “It literally didn’t fight at all.”

Chamberlain netted the 26 ¾-inch fish, and Collins said he realized then he was lucky to actually land the bass, which will grace his walls after a trip to the taxidermist.

“Actually, if it would have fought harder she probably would have got loose,” he said. “The treble hook wasn’t all that big and it barely got her in the side of the mouth.”

So how did Chamberlain, an avid bass fisherman, feel about Collins catching the lunker at his spot, in his boat and with his rod and reel?

“He’s a good friend. He was good about it,” Collins said with a laugh. “He was very excited for me. He said it’s the biggest he’s ever seen.

“He was screaming louder than I was because it meant so much more for him than it did for me. He was pretty loud.”

About Patrick Bonin 1315 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and