Toledo throw-down — How to catch Toledo Bend’s lunker bass

In 2014, there was a record parade of lunker bass taken from Toledo Bend. And 2015 promises to be just as good. So here are some tips on how to get in on the action.

The incredible lunker bass phenomenon on Toledo Bend is unprecedented. If you think about it, there has been no other time in Louisiana bass angling history when any lake has delivered so many bass weighing 10 pounds or more.

According to Toledo Bend Lake Association president John Toliver, there were a record number of 61 Toledo Bend lunker bass replicas awarded to anglers during the Sealy Outdoors Big Bass Splash at Cypress Bend Park last May.

These replicas represented double-digit bass that were caught, weighed, tagged and released alive in Toledo Bend waters from May 19, 2013, to May 15, 2014.

“Among the 61 fish caught and returned to the lake, 41 were in the 10-pounds class, 14 were in the 11-pounds class and six met the 12-pounds class — with the largest weighing 12.89 pounds,” Toliver said.

These figures do not include a 13.3-pounder taken by Missouri’s Lance Wakeland that was entered into Texas’ Toyota ShareLunker Program in March — and several others went unreported.

But the biggest fish of the year can in August when Texas angler Judy Cagle landed a 14.66-pounder that didn’t survive the ordeal.

That bass’ length was 26 inches, and its girth measured 21 inches. If certified, it will rank as the No. 5 Toledo Bend bass, according to Toledo Bend Lake Country website.

Had Cagle’s behemoth lunker had eggs and been taken during the spawning period, this fish could have surpassed the current Toledo Bend Lake record bass weighing 15.33 pounds taken by Eric Weems in July 2000.

Also part of the parade was the feat of Leesville angler and guide Darold Gleason, who earned three Toledo Bend Lunker Program replicas for bass weighing 10.09 pounds, 11.31 pounds and 11.71-pounder.

Ironically, anglers were predicting winning weights above 80 pounds during the 2014 Bassmaster Elite tournament at Toledo Bend.

Virginia’s Jacob Powroznik won the event with a four-day stringer weighing 79.12 pounds — an average of 19.78 pounds per day.

And in November, Many angler George Herr made national news with a solo five-bass stringer weighing 40.45 pounds that was anchored by a 10.97-pounder. Herr’s stringer was taken during a Many Bass Club tournament.

Just nine days before, on Halloween, Herr and a fishing partner scored a 34.4-pound stringer that included another lunker weighing 10.92 pounds.

Both of Herr’s double-digit fish were entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, and the angler will receive two replicas of these bass in a ceremony in May 2015.

So how can you get in on this action? Check out the sidebars to find out.

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About Chris Berzas 368 Articles
Chris Berzas has fished and hunted in the Bayou State ever since he could hold a rod and shoot a shotgun. Berzas has been a freelancer featured in newspapers, magazines, television and DVDs since 1989.

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