Caney Lake gives up 36-pound stringer

Freeman, Harris had 30 pounds in their livewell — by 7 a.m.

In the span of about 30 minutes on a dreary, drizzly morning last Monday on Caney Lake, Hunter Freeman and Corey Harris experienced a bite so epic most bass anglers’ wildest dreams  probably wouldn’t even come close to what actually happened out on the water.

Try to wrap your head around just a few of the mind-blowing stats from their trip on Feb. 26: Freeman’s second cast netted a 7-pounder. The biggest fish of the day weighed 9.68 pounds, and they had about 30 pounds in their livewell by 7:05 a.m. — after less than 30 minutes of fishing. Of the more than 25 total bass caught, every last one weighed more than 5 pounds, with the exception of just three or four fish.

When the dust settled by about 9:20, they headed to Hook’s Marina and weighed in a five-fish bag that tipped the certified scales there at 36.3 pounds.

“By 7:15, we probably had all the fish we weighed,” said Freeman, 21, of West Monroe, a junior at ULM and a member of the Warhawks’ bass team. “We actually had a couple more break us off on the spot, so you never know what could have been.

“It was crazy. It was one of those things you probably never experience again in your life. That was a big ball of pre-spawners, and I think we just pulled up on the right day at the right time.”

He and Harris, who lives in Chatham, stopped in at Caney on their way to Sam Rayburn Reservoir. They met at the boat launch at 6:30 a.m.

“We were both coming to Rayburn, so we went down there Monday and it was just a show-out day,” Freeman said. “We were just messing around. We got on these fish back around December and knew they were about to pull up, and really wanted one last go at them.”

In the frenzied bite, Freeman said most of the damage came on a barfish Strike King 8XD crankbait and an okie-colored Bryant’s Custom football jig. The men were fishing in 16 to 18 feet of water.

“It was right off the bat,” he said. “I caught one close to 7 on my second cast, and every cast after that one of us caught one — and we doubled up on 5-pounders on several occasions.”

Realizing how special the morning was, they decided to head to the marina to see exactly how heavy the bag was. All of the fish were released back into the lake — after the duo took their pictures with the lunkers to commemorate a day on the water they’ll likely never forget.

“Whenever I caught the 9.68, we pretty much knew we were over 35, maybe getting close to 40,” Freeman said. “So we went up to the marina to get an official weight on it ….

“This was the best day I’ve ever had.”

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