Lenten dinner trip results in 11-pound bass

Elton angler was just trying to catch enough to eat when Toledo Bend toad struck

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

That was proved Feb. 16 when Elton’s Phillip Durio arrived at Toledo Bend expecting his dad to have caught enough bass for a Lenten dinner that Friday evening.

When he jumped aboard to lend a helping hand, what started as an attempt just to catch a few keepers for the table ended with a shocked Durio fighting a huge bass weighing 11.67 pounds — from a dock.

Richard Durio had caught a number of fish, but finding dinner was proving to be elusive: He had released one female and caught a number of undersized bass.

“When I called him, he only had one (keeper),” Phillip Durio said.

But Phillip Durio said the two of the men only managed to put one more keeper in the livewell — still not enough to feed the two Durios and Phillip’s girlfriend, Skye Weekly.

Phillip Durio said he and his father had given up, and were loading the boat on the trailer when the edler Durio saw some activity around the dock.

“He said, ‘Man, there are fish feeding under the dock,'” Phillip Durio said.

So the younger Durio grabbed a rod with a Texas-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog and hurried to take advantage of the feeding frenzy.

It didn’t take long to get a bite. But when he set the hook in about 10 feet of water, he knew he didn’t have a run-of-the-mill school bass.

“I didn’t know what I had,” Durio said. “I seen a flash of it, but I really didn’t know it was a bass until it came back around.”

That’s when the angler realized it was huge. Durio caught a 9.3-pounder last year, so he recognized the fish on the end of his line was a monster.

But getting the fish out of the water wasn’t easy.

“The way the dock was, I couldn’t reach down and lip it,” Durio said. “I had to wait for my girlfriend to run back to the boat and get the net.”

So he just held pressure on the massive fish until they got the net under it — then the enormity of the catch set in.

He was still laughing about the whole affair when he related the story Feb. 20.

“It was pure luck,” Durio said. “I threw out (a bait) just to catch a fish to eat and ended up catching a huge fish.”

Durio weighed the fish at Toledo Town and Tackle, where it was the 17th entry into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program’s 2017-18 season. Fortunately for the fish — but unfortunately for the trio’s dinner plans — the massive bass was released back into the lake unharmed.

For supper, they had to go with Plan B.

“We actually just put the other two (bass) back in the water and went to McDonald’s and got Fillet of Fish sandwiches,” Durio said with a chuckle. “We didn’t have time to catch anything else when we were done (with the Lunker Bass Program paperwork).”

About Andy Crawford 863 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.