Skip to Content

Skilled 11-Year-Old Angler Catches 11lb+ Lunker Bass!

Skilled 11-Year-Old Angler Catches 11lb+ Lunker Bass!

A few weeks ago, Hinton Carroll (age 11) from West Monroe, Louisiana, made waves on Toledo Bend when he landed one of the lake’s monster bass.

The incredible catch turned out to weigh over 10 pounds, which qualified it for the popular Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program.

Read on to find out just how much Hinton’s lunker bass weighed and get more details about the lake’s exciting and important catch-and-release program.

Qualifying for the TBA Junior World Championship

Some cool bass dudes! (Courtesy of Claire Smalling Carroll)

Hinton and his fishing partner Nate were fishing the Toledo Bend Lake on January 27, pre-fishing for a qualifier tournament for the upcoming Bass Federation’s Junior World Championship. And boy, did they qualify!

Okay, first things first. I haven’t met Hinton personally, but judging from our conversation and all the pictures of him fishing that I have seen, I must say this is an incredible young angler!

I mean, 11 years old? Come on! I barely knew how to hold a rod when I was that age (I grew up in a big city with very little water around).

Hinton appears to be incredibly skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to bass fishing, which is amazing, given his tender age.

And the happiness he radiates in those pictures is just magical! That, on the other hand, I can relate to.

So, the guys were out fishing on one of America’s very best (and toughest, might I add) largemouth bass waters, and soon, Hinton would catch the fish of a lifetime!

The next day, during the actual tournament, the two boys qualified for the world championship (which will take place in July), coming in at 4th place.

PRO TIP: You can read all about the TBA Junior World Championship here (the location has yet to be announced)

Catching a Monster Largemouth

Alright, so now you’re wondering about the catch and how much that fish weighed, right? Let’s find out, then, shall we?

I reached out to Hinton’s mom, Claire, on Facebook and sent her a few interview questions for him. She was kind enough to respond and ask Hinton about his awesome experience.

First, I wanted to know about his fishing method and bait of choice:

“I was slow-rolling a Yum flashmob junior (A-Rig) with 3.3-inch Googan saucy swimmers.”

Again, back when I was 11, I could barely cast out a simple bobber rig. Hinton’s got some mad skills!

Next, I asked him if he could describe the bite, fight, and landing of the bass:

“It was a heavy bite. The fight wasn’t very hard, but she was heavy. The boat captain helped land her by hand because the dip net was still in the box.”

Hand-landing such a big fish isn’t easy! I’m a fanatic when it comes to using a landing net, so reading this answer made me somewhat nervous.

Thankfully, though, they were able to safely land the giant and could now weigh her.

Hinton’s bass weighed in at a fantastic 11.79 pounds!

Anyone who’s into bass fishing knows that a 10+lb largemouth is the stuff of dreams. And for the vast majority of bass anglers, it’ll always remain a dream!

Additionally, this fish qualified for the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, as it weighed more than 10 pounds.

This is a really interesting and exciting catch-and-release conservation program they’ve got down there.

Every Toledo Bend lunker is tagged and then returned to the lake, and every angler is awarded a mounted fiberglass bass replica for each live largemouth bass weighing 10 pounds or heavier brought to and registered at an approved weigh station.

Hinton’s lunker bass was brought to Keith’s Toledo Bend Tackle Shop, and he will get his replica in June. I bet he can’t wait to get it!

HINTON’S GEAR: Shimano SLX DC baitcasting reel with 50lb braid on a Falcon Bucoo baitcasting rod.

Next, I wanted to know how Hinton felt when he realized how big the fish was:

“It literally was tears of joy. This fish is my PB.”

Again, a giant largemouth bass like this isn’t something that comes around very often. But I’m more than certain that Hinton will catch even bigger fish in the near future. No doubt!

Hinton doing what he loves (Courtesy of Claire Smalling Carroll)

Next, I asked Hinton about his future plans concerning bass and tournament fishing:

“I have been fishing tournaments for three years now and want to continue doing that. I hope to fish for our local university.”

A youngster with this much skill and passion will have no problem fulfilling his future dreams. That I am 100% sure of!

Lastly, I wanted to know Hinton’s thoughts on the practice of catch-and-release fishing, as this, to me, is a very important aspect of the sport. His mom told me that:

“Hinton’s dad said one of the first things he said about the fish was he wanted to release it. He just said that the catch and release is a good thing because the fish has a chance to get bigger, and someone else gets to catch her!”

That moved me quite a bit, to be honest. To hear a young person talk about C&R and preservation like this gives me hope for the practice of fishing and our future in general.

Thank you for that, Hinton. And well said!

Oh, and apropos catch-and-release fishing; I did some research on the Lunker Bass Program they’ve got down there and was deeply impressed.

Here is some noteworthy information straight from the Toledo Bend Lake County website:

About The Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program

Hinton’s bass being tagged (Courtesy of Claire Smalling Carroll)

“The Toledo Bend Lake Association (TBLA) sponsors, funds, and administers the Toledo Bend Lunker Bass Program, our signature catch-and-release conservation program.

Our goal is to encourage anglers to release their live fish to us. We will tag and return the lunker to the Lake, hoping it will spawn and produce other lunkers as well as continue to grow and be caught again by another angler.

The TBLA Lunker Bass Program runs from mid-May of one year to mid-May of the next year.

Annually, the replicas are presented at a major function where all recipients are brought together for an award ceremony. Current rules and approved weigh stations are listed below.”

To qualify for a free replica from TBLA, you must comply with the following rules:

  1. Fish must weigh a minimum of 10.00 lbs.
  2. Fish must be caught in Toledo Bend Lake.
  3. Fish must be caught by sporting means, such as a fishing pole, rod, reel, and line, or other form of regular fishing tackle. Fish caught on hand lines, set lines, trot lines, or any other form of net, trap, seine, or snagging is not eligible.
  4. Fish must be weighed on an ASGS-approved scale at one of the listed weigh station locations or weighed on official scales during a fishing tournament held on Toledo Bend Reservoir.
  5. Anglers must present their fishing licenses or proof of exemption at the time of weighing and registration on one of our official recording forms.
  6. Anglers must agree to release their fish to one of the designated weigh stations to be released back into the lake alive.
  7. A designated witness at one of the weigh stations must verify and attest to the weight of the fish and the live release of the fish back into Toledo Bend Reservoir.


  1. Always wet your hands before handling and transferring the fish.
  2. Avoid holding the fish vertically by the lower lip.
  3. Use both hands, with one hand firmly grasping the lower jaw and the other supporting the weight just behind the belly.
  4. Or use a knotless, fine mesh, soft net or plastic weigh bag to transfer the fish.
  5. If possible, do not hold the fish out of water for longer than 30 seconds.
  6. Transfer the fish to a well-aerated live well or cooler, out of direct sunlight.
  7. Go immediately to an official TBLA-designated weigh station to have your fish weighed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this read! I surely did enjoy writing it.

Once again, I want to congratulate Hinton on his incredible catch and wish him the tightest of lines! May you catch hundreds of lunker bass, young man, and may you enjoy each and every one of them!

I also want to thank Hinton’s mom, Claire, for answering all my questions.

Tight lines out there!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *