Over the course of thousands of fishing trips there have always existed two constants that I cannot ignore. No matter how well you are doing, another fisherman is doing even better and no matter how poorly you are doing, someone is doing even worse!

Through the cold rainy weekend followed by a run of gorgeous weather, we caught trout and redfish in the lake like we knew what we were doing for 10 straight days. The bite was easy. We caught fish drifting the flats, under the birds, and working the shorelines. Everything worked and worked well.

As a matter of fact, it all worked so well that I would simply return to the same fish the following day rather than hustle another program. Invariably, regardless of how many fish we caught, someone doing a little something differently would do even better.
Last Thursday the ridiculously easy bite slowed down over night for no apparent reason. It was a little windier and we still caught fish, but it was noticeably slower. Once again, there were a number of fishermen that did better than we did by either fishing later in the day or fishing an entirely different pattern.

Friday morning the front rolled in and I experienced the hardest day on the water that I have fished in a long time. The wind was howling, much of the lake dirtied up a little, and every boat in the lake was hemmed up in Coffee Ground Cove competing for a few trout in the clearest available water.

I opted for less crowded water and we logged a lot of miles for two keeper fish. All of which brings us back to the obvious question of, “How can you do worse than that?” There isn’t much difference in two and zero after eight hours on the water.

Enter Hunter Lewis. Hunter hit the lake about the same time we did Friday morning and headed for the Louisiana shoreline in an effort to find some semi-protected water. At his first stop, he lowered the troll motor and immediately noticed a lot of bait on the surface.
He had only made a couple of casts with a topwater when a big slot red sucked it down. When he finally won the war, he lipped it with his Boga Grip and swung it aboard. At that point, even with a beautiful fish in the boat early on, his day was about to get worse than mine.

Some how, while in the process of extracting the lure and getting the red in the box, the fish made one last attempt at gaining its freedom and buried one of the treble hooks in the palm of Hunter’s hand. Suddenly attached to both the flouncing fish and lure via the treble hook, he was limited to the use of only one hand to resolve the predicament.

After finally freeing himself from the fish, he tried to call us on his cell phone, but we never heard it ring as we were running in the wind. He tried to dislodge the hook with his free hand but later stated, “I tried to push it through, but after I almost went to my knees in pain without budging it, I knew I was headed to the doctor’s office.”

The doctor deadened it, pushed the barb back through and clipped it off leaving only two tiny holes that belied the discomfort. Now, compared to Hunter’s misfortune, I would prefer to zero!

The weather settled out the following day and Capt. Adam Jaynes enjoyed both a good and bad day on the same trip. Actually the bad part wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

They found the trout early under the birds and boxed a solid catch of both trout and reds quicker than expected. Before he could celebrate his good fortune, however, his luck would change. After easing up to the next flock of birds, he shut down the big engine and climbed up on the front deck to lower the troll motor.

When he pulled the rope to free the motor the rope broke and before he could regain his balance he was in the lake. He climbed back in the boat wet, cold and a little embarrassed, but not injured. “I have had that happen before,” laughed Jaynes, “but at least I fell inside the boat.

As the weather continues to warm, the fishing will get even better and hopefully you will find yourself on the water on a more frequent basis. Watch those treble hooks, wear sunglasses for eye protection, and pack a first aid kit for minor mishaps ranging from blisters to puncture wounds.

Here’s hoping you have more good days than bad ones!