Speck, Wilson, Earle are latest members of 10-pound club
Three more Toledo Bend giants have been weighed in at Toledo Town and Tackle Superstore, continuing an unprecedented run of huge bass from the lake.
Each of the bass, which ranged from a tad more than 10 pounds to just more than 10 1/2 pounds, were released back into the lake after being registered as part of the Toledo Bend Lake Association’s Lunker Program.
The total number of double-digit bass entered into the program, in which anglers receive free replicas in exchange for releasing their fish, this season has reached 60 — and there are still two months remaining in the current program period.
The Toledo Bend Lunker Program’s record came last year, with 61 bass weighing at least 10 pounds being entered.
Here’s a rundown of the latest crop of 10-pounders.
Joshua Speck lands 10.59-pounder
Joshua Speck and Miles Prcin were fishing near the mouth of Six Mile Creek on March 25 when they added another 10-pounder to the parade of linkers being produced by the reservoir.
The anglers, who are from Jacksonville, Texas, were fishing a club tournament.
“Well, it was pretty slow for a while,” Speck said.
Prcin did manage to take an 8.69-pounder. And, as they entered a cove Prcin hooked up with a 4-pounder while at the trolling motor.
Speck took over the front deck as Prcin worked with his fish, pitching a Texas-rigged artificial craw on 15-pound fluorocarbon.
After flipping the craw out, Speck saw his line moving away. He set the hook.
“I knew she had it, and she swam out of some buck brush,” the angler said. “Then she made it back to the buck brush only to get around it again.”
The angler gave the fish enough slack to allow her to untangle and more into deeper waters.
The fish was eventually netted, and for a while Speck wouldn’t look in the direction of the largest bass he had ever taken. He was nervous and visibly shaken during the battle with the fish.
“I kept an eye on that fish for quite a while, and I pumped water in that livewell every 30 minutes after that,” Speck said.
The big fish anchored a five-fish stringer that went 31 pound, Speck said.
His huge bass weighed 10.59 pounds when checked in at Toledo Town and Tackle. It was the 59th linker of the program’s season.
Jason Wilson catches 10.12-pounder
Jason Wilson of Bullard, Texas, was on Toledo Bend on March 20 fishing the Texas Oilman’s Bass Invitational tournament. He and a buddy were one of 600 teams fishing the annual event.
They launched in Mill Creek, and built has five keepers in the livewell in the first hour, the 44-year-old Wilson said.
“At 9, we were already culling bass,” he said.
Wilson was using a june bug Zoom Brush Hog tied to 15-pound Seaguar Invizx fluorocarbon on a 7-foot medium/heavy Castaway rod, and the shallow water they were working was stained.
Wilson tossed his lure to to the root system of a cypress when he felt a bite.
“I reeled in the slack, felt the tension and set the hook,” he said.
The fish wrapped up in a nearby grass bed before the anglers could even get a look at it. But Wilson had a suspicion.
“While I trolled up to where the fish was, I told my partner to get the net,” Wilson said.
The fish freed itself from the grass and came up rolling on its side.
“That’s when my heart wanted to come out my chest,” the angler said.
After making an appearance, the huge bass dove under the boat — and Wilson feared his line would become wrapped around the trolling motor.
“I walked to the back with the fish, and my partner was able to scoop up that bass with grass and everything else in the net,” Wilson said.
That’s when they realized the true size of the fish and the celebration really began.
“That’s what you’re looking for during a tournament to put with other bass in a livewell,” Wilson said.
The anglers kept fishing for the tournament and ended up catching “approximately 20 keeper fish.”
“One (caught by Wilson’s partner) was just shy of 6 pounds, and we had three others weighing 2 ½ pounds,” Wilson said.
At the tournament weigh-in, the team’s 27.53-pound stringer was anchored by his huge 10.12-pounder.
Wilson’s bass was No. 50 entered into the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.
“It was a wonderful day,” Wilson said.
Richard Earle scores on 10.05-pounder
Youngsville’s Richard Earle and Rayne’s J.B. Broussard were fishing the Texas Oilman’s Bass Invitational tournament March 21 when they worked their way into Carrice Creek at the foot of the Pendleton bridge.
The 57-year-old Earle and his partner put together a limit before mid-morning using Alabama rigs and Texas-rigged lizards.
But early in the afternoon Earle switched to flipping a Berkley Havoc Skeet Reese Pit Boss on 50-pound PowerPro braid.
“I was flipping in about 2 feet of water, and was fishing cluttered foliage on the lake,” Earle said. “After casting in one spot, I felt something mushy on the end of my line, and I set the hook.”
The fish came out of some bushes without much problem.
“I got her into open water, where she made two good runs,” he said.“J.B. was able to net her.”
Earle knew it was the largest bass he had ever caught, but he initially didn’t think it would weigh 10 pounds.
“I had taken an 8-pounder two weeks ago, but I finally figured she was larger than that when I held her and (the fish’s tail) touched the floor of the boat,” Earle said.
He fished for another 30 minutes after stuffing the fish into the livewell, and when it was put on the scales Cypress Bend Marina it tagged out at 10.05 pounds.
“It was a fantastic tournament,” Earle said. “We ended up with 24.07 pounds for the day.”
The team finished 45th out of 600 on the strength of their two-day weight of 36.41 pounds.
“There were 44 20-pound stringers taken Friday, and 43 20-pound stringers Saturday.” Earle said.
Earle’s bass was lunker No. 51 entered in the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program for the 2014-15 season.
Read about all the huge bass being caught this season on our big-bass roundup.