MANY, La., Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — While most people are cursing 2020, Toledo Bend angler Bernard Frugé is loving it. In fact, he’s been having a great run of luck, catching several bass that tipped the scales at over 9 pounds.
Frugé’s two largest fish — both of which qualified for the Toledo Bend Lake Association Lunker Bass Program — came 20 days apart in August.
Bass must weigh at least 10 pounds to qualify for the Lunker Program, which rewards anglers for returning these huge largemouths to the lake. Anglers who enter bass into the Lunker Program receive free fiberglass replicas.
Each bass is tagged and released into the 186,000-acre reservoir to continue producing even more bass and offer other anglers greater opportunities to battle these giant fish.
Frugé’s first double-digit bass — an 11.43-pound monster — came on Aug. 1, while he was night fishing about 75 yards off the bank. The bass launched itself out of the water, but the darkness prevented the angler and his buddy Bill Perry from seeing just how large the fish was.
Frugé wasn’t done yet. He was back in the same section of Toledo Bend on Aug. 21, this time with nephew Bryan Frey, when he caught a second official lunker — a 12.35-pounder.
The anglers were fishing a nighttime tournament out of Big Bass Marina, and Frugé was shocked at his first sight of the lunker.
“When it hit the net, I said, ‘Oh, God, I’ve done it again,'” Frugé said. “Before he got it out of the water, Bryan said, ‘This fish is over 10 pounds.’
That bass rounded out their five-fish tournament limit of bass, so they headed back to the marina to have the huge largemouth logged and entered into the Lunker Bass Program.
They won the event, by the way, with a total of 23.85 pounds.
Frugé’s 12.35-pounder logged in as the heaviest bass during the 2020-2021 season, and it is No. 76th in the official Toledo Bend Top 100 Lunkers list. Toledo Bend’s No. 1 bass tipped the scales at an amazing 15.33 pounds.
Frugé’s year of fishing proves Toledo Bend, which was named the nation’s No. 1 bass fishery in 2015 and 2016 by Bassmaster Magazine, remains a bucket-list destination for bass anglers. This year Bassmaster Magazine named the reservoir one of the Top 25 bass fisheries in the nation — tagging it as No. 6 on that list.
And this angler isn’t the only one who has had lightning strike repeatedly. Dozens of tagged bass have been re-caught, with a number re-entered into the program.
Much of the credit for Toledo Bend’s fish-producing success can be attributed to two factors: the stocking of an estimated 33 million Florida-strain largemouth bass and the release of double-digit bass as part of the Lunker Program.
The Toledo Bend Lake Association Lunker Bass Program began in 1993, and more than 1,000 double-digit bass have been returned to the lake by anglers who want to see the reservoir remain a trophy lake.
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SOURCE Toledo Bend Lake Country