My initial reaction was that the rogue monsoon that unloaded twelve inches of rain on our area in less than four hours would slam the door on the rapidly improving trout bite. For that matter, that may still happen as there is a lot of water between here and Toledo Bend yet to arrive, but much to my surprise, the trout have responded as if all of the fresh water was no big deal.

Water clarity was a bigger issue than decreased salinity the first couple of days after the flood as we weathered incredibly strong southeast winds prior to the passage of the front that silted up the open lake. As a matter of fact, I can never recall leaving the dock knowing the wind was already blowing as hard as it was when I pulled out that Monday morning.

Safety is always the number one concern, but if there is no protected water to fish its wind-1….guide-0 and you cancel the trip. With that in mind I suggested that Boo Schexneider postpone the trip, but it was the only day he could get his Pastor and his son on the water and he felt it was worth the try. I was still trying to reschedule the following morning in the parking lot, but Boo, Pastor Fred Sanders and his son, Eric, wanted to give it a try.

When we hit East Pass the projected 20 mph winds were closer to 30 mph and the only semi-protected water was on the Louisiana shoreline on the other side of the incoming breakers. We tied everything down and only because I had a preacher on board did I make the decision to try to cross Coffee Ground Cove.

While it was absolutely self indulging, I figured if the boat went down and we didn’t make it, the Good Lord might let me slip in as some part of a package deal. You can do worse than getting in line with a Pastor!

We did indeed make it and spent most of the morning catching trout, redfish and flounder while surfing across one small flat over and over. Eric caught a personal best trout that nearly made the six-pound mark and we finished with a good box of solid fish.

The highlight of the day, however, was one that would cause even the most ardent non-believer to possibly rethink his position regarding the hereafter and it occurred just prior to making the dreaded return trip. Pastor Sanders had no idea that I was simply running up closer to the bank to stop in protected water and tie everything back down when he stated, “I have a really good feeling about this spot.”

What would you have done following that unsolicited statement? I picked up a rod and made a long cast with a Swim Bait that was immediately inhaled by the largest redfish of the day. So all of a sudden, here’s the deal. Sixty plus years of Sunday school lessons, more specifically the one when Jesus suggested fishing on the other side of the boat, suddenly got a whole lot more credible!

I am not inferring that Pastor Sanders is any better connected than any other Pastor, but that was no less impressive than Babe Ruth pointing to the center field wall and calling his infamous home run. The Pastor is currently sharing the word at Orangefield United Pentecostal Church on Hwy 105 across from the elementary school and he says fishermen are welcome.

The weather for the past six days has been incredibly fishermen-friendly. Fog has been a minor problem early, but running the ICW and river slowly is a good idea right now anyway as there is a lot of floating debris washing out of the bayous and down the river. Do not assume that you can see it from a safe distance as many of the larger logs and timbers are floating just beneath the surface.

The Causeway reef has provided the most consistent bite of late on trout up to six pounds for us. We have been relying on tails in Slamming chicken, red shad, and limetreuse rigged on 1/8th or ¼ ounce heads depending on strength of tide. The smaller drains on the Louisiana side as well as the canals in the Game reserve are yielding good catches of flounder and reds as well. Finger mullet have worked best, but Gulp and Trigger X are not far behind.

If you would like to learn more about fishing Calcasieu Lake make plans to attend the Fishing Seminar at Prien Lake Park at 6 p.m. on April 3. Guest Speakers will include Capt. Jeff Poe of Big lake Guide Service and Sarge Upchurch of Laguna Custom rods. Food and drinks will be provided by the Lake Charles CCA Cooking Team. For more information contact Raymond Little at 337-288-5685.

The Daley’s team trout tournament is also set for Saturday the 31st. The entry fee is $100 per team, but an individual fishing alone is not penalized as only one fish over 25-inches can be weighed in per team. A fifty team field will pay the first place winners $2000. The weigh-in will take place at Daley’s Hunt N fish on Jade Ave. in Port Acres.