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Angler Resets Toledo Bend Bass Record With 15.32 Lb "HAWG"
By Ed Snyder

July 3, 2000, Alpine Marina, Lake Toledo Bend, TX.

"I felt a light "tap" on my Cyclone Hydrilla jig, stated the grinning angler, "then I set the hook "HARD" into what I thought was a nice bass of about 8 lbs. "But, upon seeing it roll off the grass-top before bolting back down after seeing the boat, "I re-figured to "maybe" 9 lbs. "Then, after three strong line strippin' runs, "I re-adjusted my guess-ti-mates to 10 lbs. "Advising my brother, who was busy looking for the landing net, that he shouldn't have any problem lipping the big bass, "I however changed my mind, stated the wide-eyed angler, "after the HUGE bass came up and rolled right in front of me, "quickly re-advising my brother to "GET THE NET!!!"

Eric Weems of Crosby, TX, was pre-fishing for an upcoming Bass-N-Bucks team tournament with his "bigger brother" Tony Weems, a Dawson Marine, Skeeter Boats Demo/Pro from Lumberton, TX, "when, while they were working a creek channel bend grass-flat up in the Six Mile area, Eric set his jig-hook into a 28 inch long by 24 & ½ inch wide fish that would become Lake Toledo Bend's newest lake record Largemouth Black Bass of 15.32 lbs. Eric's lunker bass would replace the 14.91 lb Lake record bass that was caught by Kriag Welborn in May of '98.

"We had just launched my Skeeter/Yamaha bass-rig out of the Six Mile public boat launch area, stated Tony, as he began to tell the full story, "when we checked out two other fishing areas to see if they were holding any bass. "Not having much luck on those spots we then decided to check out a creek channel bend grass-flat that was humped from 18' of water on the outside grass-edge that rose up to 12' on the inside edges.

"I was fishing from the back of my brothers boat, explained Eric, "When, as I worked a 1 oz Cyclone "Hydrilla" jig rigged with a Larew watermelon/seed "Hawg-Craw" along the 18' outside edge I suddenly felt a light "tap" and set the hook "HARD" as the fish began to slowly move off.

"When I looked back and saw my brothers "heavy" Allstar jigging rod bent to the gunnel, Tony advised, "I knew he was into a big fish and put my gear down to help him out.

"I could really feel the power of the fish, Eric informed, "and I knew that it was going to be a good fish of about 8 lbs, or more. "Then, after seeing the bass "flash-up" over the grass-tops before bolting back down, "I then re-figured it at about 9 lbs. "My Shimano Calcutta reel was spooled with 8/40 Spider Wire, Eric noted as he told of keeping the drag set tight, "and, after the big bass had no problem strippin' line as he bolted off into three "heart stopping" line stripping runs, "I re-figured it at maybe 10 lbs "As I finally was able to turn it in towards the boat I told my brother, who was busy looking for the landing net, to forget the net and just lip it. "BUT, Eric stuttered, "After the bass finally rolled up in front of me I "re-advised" my big brother to "GET THE NET!!!"

"We were pre-fishing for the upcoming Bass-N-Bucks team event scheduled for July 16th

At Cypress Bend Resort, explained Tony, as he told of finally getting the net and landing his brothers huge fish. "I then scaled it on my brothers Normark "50" electronic de-liar and it registered at 15.25 lbs. "Knowing that Toledo's present record was holding at around 14 lbs, "I quickly advised my brother to live-well the bass as we needed to head in "Muy Pronto".

Arriving at Alpine Marina, where we knew had a registered weigh-scale, Tony informed, "we then put it in the hands of Alpine's owners, Betty and Wayne Martin, as they put it on their certified scale where it officially digitized the bass as weighing 15.33 lbs.

"Immediate phone calls were put out to the Texas Parks & Wildlife fish hatchery in Jasper, TX, "Where, Fisheries Biologist, Todd Driscoll, was dispatched with his recovery team to register and record what would become a new Toledo Bend Lake Record Bass. Even though the season was over for the Texas Share-A-Lunker Program they accepted Eric Weems donated bass into the Texas Lunker program where it will be studied and researched at the Lonestar hatchery in Athens, TX, before being returned for live release back into Lake Toledo Bend.

For more information on this new Toledo Bend Lake Record bass contact Alpine Marina at (1-800-432-1506)-

Eric -L- and "Big Brother" with 15.32 Toledo record

What a 15.32 "HEAD" looks like while in a holding tank
< photos by Ed Snyder >

TP&W recovery team loading up for Athens, TX.

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