I am well aware of the fact that a handful of folks have been catching at least a few trout on a regular basis over the past month or so, but I haven’t been one of them. When the redfish population collectively decided that they would attack any lure thrown in their direction, I opted for the easier bite.

That bite has been nothing short of incredible in terms not only of consistency, but longevity as well. It is still going on, but I finally stumbled up on some trout last week and some of them were of the XL variety. The larger trout were not under the birds competing with the redfish for their next meal, but some of the trout that were are now in the 17- to 20-inch class.

I would have to look back through archives of my past columns for an accurate count, but I feel safe in guessing that no less than five times a year I remind folks to hang around after the gulls fly off. The fish are not following the birds!

If we can locate just enough birds to get us in an area where the fish are holding, we can slow our retrieve and not only catch more fish, but better fish as well on most days. That approach was the ticket to some really good catching all last week. We would catch a fish or two on a topwater or an Assassin fished under a Kwik Cork when the fish were up and switch to a Trap or Tail when they went down.
Many times those same fish are right back on top as soon as the gulls and other boats vacate the area. If you have never looked back over your shoulder only to discover the gulls working an area that you just left, then you aren’t guilty of fishing too much!

I have no idea why, but we caught both schooling reds and trout on chicken- on- a- chain and bone diamond better than any other colors in the box last week. Yes, those are the names of colors along with drunk monkey, opening night, and mardis gras. There is no doubt that the lure manufacturers have finally exhausted their list of colors.
In order to catch or at least get a swing or two at trout over the 25-inch mark, we have had to abandon the bird program. We are finding a few fish that size at first light chasing mullet in 1 to 3 feet of water. The bite is over very quickly, but we are getting enough chances to make the run in the dark worth the extra effort.

I thought we had it down to one color and one size in lure choices, but that all changed over the weekend. We were doing well early in the week on a chrome or bone Super Spook, but by the time Sunday rolled around the larger trout preferred the smaller pearl-chartreuse She Dog or pearl Chug Bug.

I know most of the regulars are fishing their way through lots of ladyfish in order to ferret out keeper trout and that is a very solid program. When dealing with those biodegradable acrobats, however, pay close attention to your leader material. Their teeth and bony mouths are very hard on both mono and fluorocarbon material and the end result is the loss of a fish you wanted due to a broken line.

I am going to keep reminding you because so many saltwater fishermen in this county bemoaned the fact that they could not have their own CCA Chapter all of these years. Well, you have one now and whether or not it succeeds is not up to Scott and Anna Bandy or Fortune Ford or any of the other members that have busted their butts to make it work.

If Beaumont and mid-county anglers can continue to grow their chapters, Orange County anglers can do the same. Less than a month from today they are going to host their initial banquet at the Bridge City Community Center and the folks doing all the leg work need your support. The banquet is on a Thursday night so you can still do church on Wednesday and football on Friday night.

They need a head count as soon as possible as they are doing it up right with rib eyes and all the trimmings. To get your ticket and a chapter membership for the price of one great meal, e-mail Ford at fford1954@yahoo.com!