Monster bass entered into Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program
Avid bass angler Tracy Linaweaver of Evans woke up Saturday at 4:15 a.m. and performed his usual morning rituals before setting out to fish. “I had my coffee, and put ice in the boat,” said the 49-year-old angler. “That’s what I do every morning before I go fishing.”
The angler launched his boat in Toledo Bend just after 6 a.m. and motored over to a favorite fishing location at Boone’s Crossing near the Indian Mounds area.
“I was working a ledge in the area, where I boated four bass on a Texas rig,” Linaweaver said. “Then the bite slowed down, and I picked up a rod with a Carolina Rig. I had a (red bug-colored) Zoom Mag 2 on it.”
Linaweaver’s changeup worked, and he added three more bass to the livewell.
“It was around 9:20 a.m., and the sun was well up,” said the angler. “It was getting really hot, and I had one more bass to get.”
So Linaweaver left a ledge and started working off a ridge.
“The boat was in 13 feet of water, but I was throwing in depths ranging 7 and 23 feet of water,” he explained.
He wasn’t by himself on that ridge. Another angler was nearby fishing for crappie.
And then he felt a tap on the end of his line.
“I hooked a fish, and it felt like I had a wet towel on the end of the line,” Linaweaver said. “I laid back on the rod, and then I started fighting the fish.
“I told the fellow fishing crappie that I thought it was a big, blue catfish.”
Whatever was on the end of his line wasn’t ready to come to the boat.
“The fish made a run all the way to the back of the boat, and it cleared the engine,” Linaweaver said. “It came around on the other side.”
And then he got his first look at the fish — and it wasn’t a catfish.
“She swirled on top, and then I knew I had a big bass on,” Linaweaver said. ”She pulled some drag but didn’t make much gains.”
The bass headed back into the depths, but the fisherman soon gained line and brought her up to his net.
“She was a big fish, and I had my hands full holding her on my rod and trying to net her at the same time,” he said. “I missed on my first netting try, and she went back down.”
“She then came up again, and I got the net on her.”
The nearby crappie angler had a scale in his boat, and eased over to weigh it. The fish pulled the scale to 10.4 pounds.
Linaweaver put the large bass in the livewell and headed to Toledo Town and Tackle for an official weight.
“The scale there read 10.4 pounds, too,” he said.
Linaweaver entered the fish in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, in which anglers catching double-digit bass are offered free replicas by the Toledo Bend Lake Association if they allow the fish to be released.
This is the second Toledo Bend lunker taken by Linaweaver — he caught an 11.34 pounder in the same area on July 9, 2006.
On Monday, Linaweaver’s 10.4 lunker was released back into Toledo Bend’s waters.
According to Dinah Medine of the Toledo Bend Lake Association, Linaweaver’s fish simply added to the success of the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, which this year gave out more replicas in the history of the program.