Dutton uses 4-inch skirted Yamamoto grub on a football jighead near Pendleton Bridge
James “Kevin” Dutton, of Hemphill, Texas, and Mid Lake Campground owner Alan Fitts teamed up Friday morning to pre-fish the day before the Texas Team Trail tournament at Toledo Bend.
“We launched at 8 and began fishing an area around the Pendleton Bridge,” Dutton said.
The location held big bass two years before, so he and Fitts wanted to check it out before the tournament.
Turns out the spot was holding fish: Fitts caught a 2 ½-pounder and Dutton reeled in a 15-incher first, then one weighing 4 pounds.
Dutton was casting a skirted Yamamoto 4-inch grub on a football jighead while targeting structure in 7- to 15-feet of water. The rest of his tackle included 15-pound Vicious fluorocarbon spooled onto a Shimano Citica reel with a 7-foot medium-heavy Falcon rod.
He was bumping his bait on the bottom when he got a hit about noon.
“I felt the thump, and at first it felt like I had set the hook on a stump,” Dutton, 49, said. “I could feel she was shaking her head underwater to throw the lure.
“She would try to come up, but I kept her down.”
After a brief tussle, the bass came up on its side and Fitts netted her.
“We immediately put her in the livewell and headed to Mid Lake Campground where Alan had a certified scale,” he said.
The big bass weighed in the double digits, so they headed to Toledo Town and Tackle to verify the fish’s potential entry into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
At T-town, the bass officially weighed 10.66 pounds, with a girth measuring 21 inches.
His largest bass ever, Dutton’s fish qualified as lunker No. 26 of the 2014-15 season of the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, which rewards anglers who return 10-plus pounders back to Toledo Bend waters with a free replica.
“I have to give my partner, Alan Fitts, a load of thanks for putting us on that spot and netting the fish perfectly,” Dutton said. “On Saturday, we ended up with 15 pounds of bass for the tournament from that same location.”
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