Toledo Bend's True Fish Stories

MANY, La., May 31, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- It's no secret that Toledo Bend is a big-bass factory. The massive reservoir has pumped out double-digit bass like few other lakes, with 881 lunkers being entered into the Toledo Bend Lake Association Lunker Bass Program — a feat resulting in the designation as the nation's No. 1 bass fishery two years running.
Last year, 139 double-digit bass were entered. This year's count to date is 72, the third-highest number of bass weighed in as part of the program.
However, more than just double-digit fish earned the Bassmaster Magazine honor. The lake has been riding a wave of fishing success, providing anglers opportunities for fish of their lifetimes combined with plenty of daily fishing action.
That potential was put on full display in 2014 when George Herr caught a five-fish limit weighing 40.45 pounds — an average of more than 8 pounds per fish. And he caught those bass in less than an hour.
Herr's accomplishment was bested in 2016 by father-son team Lane and Hunter Martin, who put together a 42.97-pound five-fish stringer that included a bass weighing 10.24 pounds and one fish tipping the scales at 9 pounds, 13 ounces.
This year's Bass Champs stop at Toledo Bend produced a five-fish limit weighing 36.11 pounds, which was more than 5 pounds heavier than any other lake on the circuit.
Of course, the Toledo Bend Lake Association's Lunker Bass Program is the hallmark of the reservoir. Anglers who weigh double-digit bass at designated points around the lake and agree to allow the bass to be tagged and released back into Toledo Bend are given fiberglass replicas.
There are some incredible fish stories in the Lunker Bass Program. Here are some examples:

  • The top 100 lunkers range from 12.11 pounds all the way to 15.33 pounds. If the No. 1 Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program fish had been entered into the Louisiana Fish Records, it would have tied for the state's eighth-heaviest bass on record.
  • One angler — fishing guide Darold Gleason — has entered seven double-digit bass into the Lunker Program.
  • Three other anglers have logged five bass each into the program.
  • Two husband-and-wife teams — Derek and Tammy Mong, and Glen and Judy Wong — have each caught double-digit lunkers.
  • Norman Land caught two double-digit bass in one day earlier this year.
  • Land's neighbor John Viles also caught a lunker this year.
  • Fishing guide Jason Courville caught two lunkers in a single week.
  • Craig May landed a 10.36-pounder while fishing for crappie in February.
  • 2014 saw a father and his son each catch Lunker Bass Program fish.
  • The youngest angler to catch a Lunker Bass Program bass was 9 years old.

Some of these big bass seem to like getting caught. Over the last 12 years, approximately 50 bass tagged as part of the program were re-caught. Ten previously caught bass were re-entered into the Lunker Bass Program this year alone.
Such willingness to bite has resulted in some great stories. For instance, two friends caught the same bass three weeks apart.
During April's Bassmaster Elite Series stop at the lake, pro Jason Christie weighed in a 9- pound, 10-ounce fish that had been entered into the program in April 2016 when Tim Goodwin hooked the bass, which at the time weighed 10.32 pounds.
And the heaviest fish during this year's Big Bass Splash was a 10.86-pounder that was originally entered into the program in 2016, when it weighed 12.25 pounds.
Visit for more information on the Lunker Bass Program.