On Monday, February 26, Tracy Adair of Hemphill, Texas reeled in a mammoth largemouth bass while fishing on Lake Toledo Bend. That fish weighed 13.61 pounds and puts Adair into the rare company of anglers who have caught a Legacy Class (13+ pounds) on that lake.

Quick History of the Big Ones Caught on Toledo Bend

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Lance Wakeland of Fenton, Missouri was the last angler to boat a Legacy Class fish from Toledo Bend with a 13.30-pound ShareLunker 557 on March 18, 2014.

William Gilbert of Hemphill recorded Toledo Bend’s first-ever Legacy Class fish with a 13.10-pound ShareLunker 251 on Oct. 23, 1996. Eric Weems holds the current official lake record for a largemouth bass with his 15.32-pound catch on July 3, 2000.

Google Maps
Google Maps

What Was the Bait? How Deep Was the Water?

Adair launched his boat on the water at about 3:15 in the afternoon. Due to windy conditions, he stayed off the main lake and fished around some pockets instead.

“I caught a couple of small fish and then decided to venture out of the pocket onto a small secondary point,” said Adair. “I threw a crankbait a couple of times and got hung up in the grass, so I switched to a jerkbait."

Adair continued, "I was sitting in about 13 feet of water casting out into eight to nine feet of water, so I threw out a little deeper with the jerk bait. I thought I got hung up again in the grass, and so I pulled hard to get it out of the grass. On the second pull, she took off and I realized I wasn’t in grass, she had the bait.”

The Battle of a Lifetime Begins

“She came straight to the boat and then went under it, so I loosened my drag and started hand feeding line out from under the boat,” added Adair. “My line then went slack, and I thought that whatever it was it slipped off the hook."

Adair recounted, "I started reeling the line back in and when I got it tight, I realized she was still there and the fish took off again. She pulled my boat about 15-20 yards before she started to tire out. She was getting close to some timber, so I started to reel in again and she finally came up behind the boat and I was able to get her in.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife ShareLunker
Texas Parks and Wildlife ShareLunker

What to do When you Catch a Bass That Size

Adair got an initial weight of around 13.60 pounds, so he headed to the certified scale for an official determination. The fish checked in at 13.61-pounds and gave Adair a new personal best. He knew immediately that he wanted to submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program.

“I grew up in Athens and so the hatchery has been a part of the community and I’ve always read about the ShareLunker program,” said Adair. “I’ve seen the fish and how excited everyone is about it. I definitely wanted to be a part of the ShareLunker program myself. My whole family is excited and it’s a great experience.”

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