While 8-pounders like David Harrell likes to catch are enough to send most of us to the local tackle store to show off, those fish are just about half the size of the official record on D’Arbonne.
To be fair, both the top fish in the records were caught early in the year, and were full of eggs and fat. Those records aren’t likely to fall during the summer.
The Lake D’Arbonne record largemouth bass went 15.31 pounds, and was caught by Wisconsin’s Ed Stellner while he was visiting a local fisherman back in February of 2000.
That fish easily surpassed the old lake record of 13.06 pounds caught by Dr. Tracy Smith of Ruston back in the 1980s.
Stellner caught his fish while spending a couple of days on D’Arbonne before fishing a tournament on the Red River in Shreveport. He caught it around a cypress tree on an orange-and-black Smithwick Rogue.
The irony is that when he landed the big fish, she had already spawned — which means she could have been at least a pound heavier.
The lunker couldn’t be used by the LDWF for their big-bass stocking program because when they age-tested the fish, she was more than 12 years old — too old to effectively be used.
So they returned her to the lake. No doubt, she has passed on by now.