Not long after my back door neighbor, Trey Smith, sold his home and bought a place on Cow bayou, we were discussing the obvious benefits of having not only water, but bass at your own back door as well. “One of the most unexpected benefits was the number of youngsters in the neighborhood that also loved to fish and they really shortened my learning curve,” said Smith.

As he began dissecting and patterning his new digs, the youngsters that already lived in the area began making their way to his bulkhead after school to talk fishing and occasionally join him on one of his afternoon outings. The fact that Trey is equally passionate about fast bass boats only added to his popularity.

“They were a great resource for me in learning more about the bayou,” pointed out Smith. “Even if they couldn’t fish with me a few hours, I knew they were going to be at the dock when I got back.” They would share anything new they had learned and knew that Trey was always good for everything from teaching them a new technique to handing out lures that worked for him.

It was during the course of that previously mentioned discussion that Smith announced without any reservations, “Some of these kids can really fish, but there is one that is as crazy about it as I am and he is a sponge when it comes to soaking up and processing new information.”

Shortly thereafter, Smith and this young protégé, Hunter Gothia, teamed up and currently fish as many team circuits as their work schedules permit. “He has developed his own individual strengths,” points out Smith, “but even more importantly in team fishing, our styles complement each other and we waste very little fishing time on the water.”

The kicker to all of this is that the team member riding shotgun with Trey as they raced down the bayou last Saturday morning in a Sabine river tournament was not Hunter. At least for one event, Hunter had yielded his seat to Trey’s son, eight year old Ethan!

“He was excited,” said Trey, “and I couldn’t have been prouder. There was never any doubt that the jerky, fruit rolls and drinks on board were as important to him as what was tied on the end of his line, but he fished well.” It was Ethan’s first bass tournament and while I am certain he could care less, he can only go down from this point on as he and his Dad won the event.

This was the last tournament of the year for the Louisiana based club and the Smith duo cashed the first place check with a five bass limit that weighed 8.28 pounds. Congratulations Ethan and Happy Birthday!

The numbers posted in the tournament were good news for area bass fishermen as all 15 entries weighed in at least one keeper bass and it took a seven pound bag to make the top three. The largest bass was a very respectable 3.23 pound bass. The bass fishing has been very consistent over the past three weeks.

The only complaint on the saltwater scene has been that you can only keep two flounder per day throughout the month of November. It hasn’t been all that difficult to quickly limit of late and the fish have been very solid. Jason Teal fished Gulp swimming mullets off the revetment wall Monday and Tuesday for no longer than thirty minutes to limit each morning.

“The first morning I had my two keepers in ten minutes and the second morning it would have been even faster, but I culled one because it was barely lip hooked and in good condition.” His two fish Monday totaled just over six pounds and this two fish Tuesday weighed almost nine pounds!

Apparently there is no longer an acute shortage of the Gulp mullet as I received a number of calls and emails from folks that said they are finally able to find it in several different stores. Eric Ronning said that they just received 500 packages and 25 buckets over at Daily’s Hunt N Fish. Once the Cameron flounder bite gets a little more consistent it will, however, disappear again in a hurry!

Ethan Smith won the tournament with his Dad, Trey. RECORD PHOTO