Travis Meche Sr. believes it would have been his 12-year-old son who caught the 8.82-pound bass he hooked and boated if it wouldn’t have been for a tactical move around midday May 2.
Travis Jr.. an accomplished bass angler belying his young age, was on the trolling motor and outfishing him decidedly, catching 2- to 3-pound bass from the isolated structure in Sandy Cove at Lake Fausse Pointe. The young bass angler has been making habit of doing that, including the day he picked up three third-place checks in the Big Bass Classic out of Marsh Field Boat Landing on Feb. 29.
“I said, ‘Boy, give me the trolling motor back.’ I caught one about 4 pounds. I said, ‘Ah, look at this and take a picture.’ Right after that I caught the big one,” Travis Sr. said Wednesday night about the “hawg” he chalked up as his personal best a week ago Saturday.
“Oh, yeah, if I wouldn’t have taken the trolling motor, my son probably would have caught that bass,” he said.
The Meches were fishing with his father, Neal Meche. They have been making the 1-hour, 14-minute drive from Branch, located between Rayne and Church Point, to fish Lake Fausse Pointe as much as possible because, he said, it offers a chance to catch bigger bass than they catch at Henderson Lake.
Travis Sr., 31, pitched a 3/8-ounce crawfish-colored Strike King jig with a crawfish-colored Speed Craw for a soft plastic trailer on the edge of a patch of green reeds growing in Sandy Cove.
“I was all excited when I set the hook. It (the fish on the business end of the line) was heavy,” he said.’
He set the hook.
“It didn’t pull too much. It was a heavy, dead weight,” he said.
Without a landing net at the ready, his dad swung into action to get the “hawg” in the boat by hand. But he was holding the line and Meche, who was busy playing the fish, didn’t want any part of that with such an big bass trying to disengage itself from the jig tied to 50-pound Power Pro braided line on a Lew’s 8.3:1 reel seated on a 7-foot-3 Duckett Triad Series rod.
They boated the bass and admired the fifth 8-pound class bass caught and reported in the lake since mid-February. Two other bass reported during that period weighed 7-plus pounds.
“I ain’t ever caught a big one like that. Hell, no. My little boy thought it was a big goo,” Travis Sr. said with a laugh, adding he has caught many 5-pound class bass.
He said the artificial jig was inhaled by the bass weighing nearly 9 pounds but the hook wasn’t firmly imbedded in the jaw. It was “kind of skin-hooked’ deep in the big fish’s mouth, he said.
They quickly weighed the trophy-sized bass but didn’t waste time measuring it before releasing it.
Travis Sr., who works for his father’s construction company, Neal Meche Welding Corp., started fishing that day between 6-6:30 a.m.
The Branch bassers fished the area a little while longer and he caught a 4-pounder. They decided they didn’t want to stick any more good fish there so motored to another area in Sandy Cove.
They have been fishing Henderson Lake but have been disappointed by the size of the bass biting in that part of the Atchafalaya Basin. He’s glad they chose Lake Fausse Pointe on the second day of May.
The Meches also fished the lake in Iberia Parish the last weekend of April. The youngest Meche had a field day on that trip as he boated and released three 3-pound plus bass.
Meche urged bass anglers to practice catch and release.
“It’d be nice if everyone let the big ones go. They’ve got plenty of catfish, bream …” and other fish to eat, he said.