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My Best Day on Toledo Bend

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Here is a photo of my 10 biggest caught New Year's Eve 1977.
10 Bass weighed 86 lbs.
Did not keep the 6 others that went from 6-7lbs that day.
You can read about this and other stories in my new book:
The Journey of an Old Big Bass Fisherman
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'Valley of 'da Water Bottoms'
...be careful where 'ya tread...there are a lot of 'experts' in here...that still use 'Hawaiian Bumps' and 'River Wigglers '...cheers to 'ya
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Thanks Admiral. I know there are a lot of experienced fishermen like us here. I'm trying to pay it forward so some young angler can have his personal Journey of a Big Bass Lifetime.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Love it!
Caint get enough of it!
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
When TB was king. about same time Fin and Feather had about 30 guides and a week end party with a band and seafood buffet second to none. They also had a mounts in the lobby of a string of bass and White perch that made you say wow every time you passed.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Where is this Toledo Bend ya'll are speaking off?
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Beautiful, who was the taxidermist? Thx.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
SpringLizard...glad you not sensitive...just shak'en 'ya cage and hoss'n w/'ya...it's a beautiful mount plus best of luck w/'ya book...cheers
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Love those kinds of mounts.

I'm still trying to get my ONE!!!
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Too many fishermen today...lots of pressure on the resources. If you want to keep some to eat, keep the 1 and 2 lbers. Anything 3 lbs. and larger...put them back for seed... especially the really big gals.. They take a long time to grow that large, and they are too valuable to kill. Take some measurements, get some nice pics, and have a replica made. That way, you will always have good fishing... and not the up and down spikes through the years. Gotta learn to conserve.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
ha, too many anglers trying to force their ways on fisherman
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'Corporate Americas' Pawns'
...Tuff...according to stats most 30 y/o can't save two nickles on a dollar... then they blame that old fart that won't co-sign for a 32K truck ??? ...then they drink that 'Pinky Bull' super-macho soda ???...and fish w/4 or $500 combos...cheers ???
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Some anglers,not all want that secret or 'magic' spot instead of fishing the conditions. Technology and increased angling pressure has changed the game. I personally always try to stay away from the crowds even if it means catching a few less fish. When I fished tournaments, I always shyed away from dock talk and for me personally it played into my favor. Nothing like finding your own fish.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
that is the new dependent world we are living in now Rabbit, cheers to ya

ps my comment was not about the original post, that is probably the most awesome bass mount ever
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'Wreck of 'da Ole 97'
Tuff...we get off rail many times...even read things wrong...ain't old age great ???...cheers
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
I never 'force my beliefs on anyone.... you can do what you want to do... some folks just do not get it. I am not, and never was against taking fish home to eat. Why would a person take a fillet knife to 8-9 lb bass? Legally, they can... but we know now that conservation makes things better for the future. I mounted some large bass years ago... but since that time, I have evolved, learned how long it takes to grow a bass like that. At a place like Toledo Bend, there is not any industry there. Those folks depend on that lake for a living. I stayed at Fin and Feathers two weeks ago when my son caught his 11.15 bass and I caught my 11.40 bass. The place was booked solid, two motels there, and lots of cabins and RV's. The woman there told me they are finally making some money. She told me.... she hopes all fishermen will bring their big lunkers in to be weighed and released and they will be given a nice Replica. She said those fish are just too valuable to them to kill and fillet, or stick up on a wall as a dead skin mount. I totally agree with that woman. We weighed and released those two big, beautiful creatures of nature. Do what you want, but I have taught my kids to conserve...... for them and my 6 grandchildren. Conserve, and you will have a better fishing future.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
and it has been proven that those fish can and do get caught again. Why not let the next person in line enjoy that same feeling.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
You're dead on Rock. Today with cell phones and Go-Pros no need to keep fish that size. I have caught and released 3 bass over 10lbs in different locales and enjoy the pictures as much as a wall mount. That's just me. Had a 5 fish stringer in Lake Ohkissa that went 43lbs and released them with no regrets. That was the same day the current lake record was caught
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
This just in.... a friend of mine left to go to Toledo Bend yesterday. His buddy just caught a large bass with a tag on it, #518. The folks at Fin and Feather tagged my son's lunker bass with tag #518. She weighed 11.12 today, and 11.15 two weeks ago. That bass was released by us at FnF two weeks ago on a Friday. It was raining on Monday, and that bass swam 8 miles upstream against a huge flood of water, to go back to the same point to spawn. Yep, it is good to release those big gals. She will produce bass that are far superior to most others, genetically.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
So you are saying a 3# bass is genetically less than a 10# bass???.Did not the 10 # bass have the same genetic's when it was 3# ??? Whether you take the fish out at 10 or 3 # you still taking the fish out....Seems to me a 10# fish gets caught twice it can't have to good of genetics...Should have learned its lesson the first time...
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Funny that I am supposed to believe that 2- 11+ lb bass were caught and released and one tagged one was recaptured two weeks later, but my Toledo Bend bass fishing was discounted as false or somewhat fabricated.
You can, on your own, create new neural pathways.

Shalom
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
OK ladies.... here it is. Frankly my dear, I don't give a dam.. You can shoot what you want , you can catch what you want.... I..... don't .... care..... end of story.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Oh but no!
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Rocknet, that fish had the same genetics when it was 1lb as it does now. By this point in that fish's life it has probably laid millions and millions of eggs with the same great genetics. Seems to me Toledo gives up an unreal amount of big fish every year, even with people keeping big ones. Do what you want, but don't make a post telling people to let big ones go and then say you don't care.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Let's say for arguments sake you're right about genetics. Do you agree that a10lb fish carries more eggs than a three pound fish. Also, tell any breeder whether its horses or dogs that genetics doesn't matter and see what kind of response that illicts. Why are redfish over 27 inches protected?
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
In 1977 I was 21 years old. We found all the big bass holes with a lowrance flasher. we did not have any of the see down see side or navigate by satellite stuff you young guys have now. I made about 3,000 a month and that was great back then. We had one choice of line...Stren mono. Garcia 5500's were high tech. A Fenwick rod was expensive. Eventually we switched to Lews rods and reels but the line guide on a Lews reel would freeze up as the line passed through it locking the reel handle. We caught thousands of bass on TB. We fished for meat. (small bass 15 fish limit in LA for food). The 10 bass shown here were caught in one day. Not many people can manage that even with today's equipment. It was a single day catch of a lifetime, not a big fish build-up over years of fishing so you could have them stringer mounted.I had many days of 3 to 6 7-8 pound fish but did not keep them. They are not good for the table. We tossed them back to be caught again. If you're a young one you probably do throw all the fish you catch back. My hat is off to you. The only fish I keep now are Crappie. I am a conservationist. When I bow hunt with my longbow and cedar arrows I usually hunt one deer the entire season. Oct 1993 I took a 12 pt. 24' inside spread, second biggest deer ever taken with a bow in Louisiana. I hunted that deer for 2 years before I could get a fair shot at him. I hunted another deer for 3 years only to find out he had been run over by a pick up truck. Conservation, catch & release, fair chase, I'm all for it.
Photo for thought: My parachute jig I invented, two small cupped blades with 2 ball bearings attached to braided wire molded into the jighead. The blades spun horizontal like a helicopter blade as it fell. 3/8 oz would fall slower than a regular 1/2 oz jig. When you lift it up and let it fall it does a summersault and heads back the way it came from. I can't count the number of big bass I've caught on this bait. My best was 12 lb. I still attach a spring lizard waterdog to it. I still have a couple of bags. Black and blue were my favorite color.
I want to thank all of you for your comments good or bad. Each of you are special in your own way.
God Bless and I hope when its all aid and done you can say what Gus said to Captain Call, 'Its been a hell of ride!
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
I'm sure a big fish does lay more eggs, but by the time it's gotten that big it's done more than it's fair share of putting good genetics back into the lake.

I never said genetics don't matter.

How do you know all the 1.5-3 lb fish that people keep don't have the same genetics as one that has grown to 10-12 lbs?

I'd keep a big one to mount because I think a real mount looks way better than the replicas, but other than that I'd probably let them go. I just don't understand all the people getting upset on all these forums over someone keeping a fish and getting on other people's threads and trying to tell them not to keep them. In the end it's a fish and God put em here for us to eat. As long as there are limits, I don't think it will ever be possible to catch and keep all of the big fish in a lake like Toledo Bend.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
SpringLizardWD, I do remember the super high tech Lowrance flashers. You could find humps, ledges, brush and fish if you'd notice the dim flash above the bottom flash.
No one actually hunts anymore. They buy Kubotas to clear shooting lanes, put up shooting houses, plant crops, buy feed and use feeder cams (can't call them trail cams because most of today's hunters wouldn't know what a deer trail looks like). I think it would be more interesting to go to Winn Dixie and hide behind the Beanie-Weinies and wait for the butcher to come out and pop him with a paintball gun, grab his steaks and go to the register. Then brag to the cashier how I bagged them steaks.
Noodle creek, you hit the nail on the head. God put all creatures on earth under our dominion for food. The problem is, everyone wants to 'play' God instead of praising God.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Yes, many try to play God, even accuse others while they themselves do so. It can get tricky...right? I never try and 'tell' people what to do... they are going to do what they want anyway. I do try to get people to think about what is available to them, and why I feel it pays to try and conserve. I have fished in many, many states for almost 60 years... and coming up with 5 brothers and 5 sisters.. and being poor, we ate a lot of what we caught. Those were different times for sure. I suggest to folks, if they want bass to eat, consider bringing home the 1 and 2 lbers, they are almost always the higher number of fish in a system when a survey is done. When a bass reaches 3 lbs, it reaches a time in it's life cycle... where it has eluded 90% of what is going to capture or kill it. And, that is where most in a decent system will start to grow. You cannot have a 5 or 6 lb. bass, without first having a 3 or 4 lb. bass...it is simple math. You will never have a 10 lb. bass, without having a 7 or 8 lb. bass. Once a fish reaches around 3 lbs, the odds of it making to the larger class sizes, increases, a lot. It can escape most predators, except the most efficient predator on the planet, man. And, the one of the most efficient predators of men, is a coonass with a fillet knife. I have been to states where they grow bass we can only dream about. The best ones, Ca, Fla, and Texas, has Parks and Wildlife Depts. that truly understand the dynamics. The LDW&F.... not so much. Now, not every body of water is prone to produce big bass, especially numbers of big bass. That is why it is important to set restrictions and limits on certain water bodies, and to not set limiting restrictions on all. When we are talking 40 to 50 years ago, we did not have the numbers of people we have today on many lakes and waters. In just looking at these other states, it pays to have some conservation involved in keeping the fishing good. People in this state, especially in South Louisiana, love to get together, cook, eat, and have a good time. That is what make the culture special. But, many still do not believe it is necessary to try and conserve some. If you want to catch a 10 lb. bass, kill it, and take it home... you have that right by law, as long as you follow the regs for that water body. This is what happened to Caney Lake. Lots of people blame the demise of Caney on the release of grass carp. Those carp hurt the lake when the grass started disappearing, but the lake was already being hurt by it's success. The lake was spitting out top 50 bass each month for a few years... but folks started taking them out, one by one, to mount. People not only from Louisiana, but from other states also. The lake could not produce bass that took 8 to 11 years to produce... once they started disappearing in large numbers. It's just simple math. I will always try and impress people to conserve our natural resources. You can do what you want, I really do not care if you truly do not get it. But , I have had many, many people over the years, stop and think, and start looking at things in a different perspective. These are the folks who I believe... will make a difference.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
This is a sketch of me at 7 years old in my book tied to a tree by my grandfather so I would not fall in the river while he was working his wheat fields. When he came back to get me later that day he asked me how many I got. Not how many I caught.
To each his own!
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Spring Lizard, when someone wants to sell something on the site, they place for it is in 'classified'... and place in 'Fishing'. Nothing like paying it back to the youngsters... for 19 bucks.... God Bless.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend in 1881
...as Billy 'da Kid's toothless Mamma told him:

'Billy One Day Someone Going To Outdraw 'Ya'...Don't Take 'ya Fish'n Rods To Town'...cheers
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
First World problems.
Elite Bassmaster problems.

lol
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
One thing for sure once you put the knife on her she will never lay one egg. Please check the post other than Rocket you have not had one post for the past year on big bass. Someone talked about Fin and Feather that marina like many on TB have gone belly up many times. Why has this happen answer simple the bass fishing started to suck. My son was a coach a Manny HS and lived on the bend on a short canal. We use to fish all the time and would bring our catch back to place them in the canal for the grandkids. I have some 30 boats in this canal one day fishing the beds. I have fished TB for over 50 years and believe me you catch the conditions right in the spring you can have trips of a life time. We had 25 pounds in a 5 fish tournament and were like in 5ft place. I have seen no less than 200 boats go down a spawn area in a morning of fishing. You will ways have great fishing on the bend in the spring with the right conditions. Problem is after the spring run the fishing is hard bass fishing. I have seen bass clubs drive pass the bend to Lake Fork why more and bigger bass guides practice Cand R there. Been on TB for thanksgiving and was only able to find one marina open for gas on the water. My wife and I could not find one restaurant open during a visit to see some friends. TB is the best reason for Cand R as property there went down when the fising when down. To their credit this idea on the release of big bass seems to be working and a great ideal I am so glad that I was able to fish TB when a 100 bass was no problem and will never forget those trips.
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Re: My Best Day on Toledo Bend
Thanks to all of you for supporting my new book. I have had hundreds of great responses and met many many great fisherman!
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