Loreauville — Two good-sized bass tested the left arm — one that had cancer-related surgery earlier this year— of a local angler and got away.

A third bass, a 2 1/2-pound class, didn’t, however, and that fish anchored Kirt Romero’s winning five-fish limit June 12 in a Louisiana Bass Cats tournament at Lake Fausse Pointe.

Romero, 54, decided at the last minute the day before to fish the tournament. He is finished with a series of chemo treatments for the second time since January 2020 when he was diagnosed with cancer in lymph nodes.

“I couldn’t pull (with the fishing rod) like normal,” he said, matter-of-factly. “I had three good ones on. I got one of them in.’ “

Romero’s five bass at 9.94 pounds topped a 10-boat field that found the bass fishing extra tough.

He needed every ounce to finish ahead of Jacob Shoopman and Gerard Dupuis, whose limit weighed 9.06 pounds, good enough for second place. The first-year bass club members enjoyed their highest finish of the season.

Kevin Suit and Dennis Worsham we’re third with five bass weighing 8.77 pounds. Suit and Worsham are long-time friends and tournament partners.

Romero, a reliability engineer at Cabot, said he caught 12-15 bass, including approximately 10 keepers, and had his limit before 8:30 a.m. They were five small keepers and he steadily upgraded.

“I fished in Bird Island Chute until the sun came up. Then I went into the cypress trees and stayed there,” he said, noting he needs to stay out of the sun because of the recent chemo treatments at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

He didn’t prefish for the derby. He just put his trolling motor down and put his spinnerbait to work.

The 2 1/2-pounder that made the difference bit about 2 p.m.

The spinnerbait was double-bladed Colorado’s with one of them orange.

“I don’t normally fish that but that’s what I had ties on so that’s what I used.

Naturally, he was surprised to win with a 2-pound average.

“Of course it feels good to win. Shucks. I just had 10 pounds,” he said. “I was fortunate to be able to go, you know?”