One more red before the next thunder shower!

“I had a plan in mind when I asked my boys if they would like to bring a couple of their friends up to the camp last week,” said Harlan Leger with a devious smile on his face. “They lost out in All-Stars after their first two games, it was raining down here every day and I could use their muscle finishing the decking on my pier.”

The decking job apparently went better than the first two nights of bass fishing so Harlan proposed they check out a few of his brush piles the following morning.“I hadn’t fished them in a while,” he admitted,” but I figured the best ones would be in water 20 to 30 feet deep.”

There wasn’t much difference in surrounding structure, but the third pile they fished at that depth proved to be the honey hole and the boys couldn’t have been happier.“When teenage boys will pass up riding jet skis and showing off for the girls to dunk minnows all morning you know the catching is good,” said Leger.

Over the next four days, the boys cleaned 25 to 40 big crappie every day. “The bite wasn’t just non-stop, but it was steady and the fish we kept after the first morning were all in the three quarter to pound and a half class,” added his youngest son, Clint.“We knew we couldn’t come back again before school starts so we fished the same brush pile everyday and they were still biting when we left.

Leger said they fished with minnows the entire time and the best bite was about 22 feet deep which was in the upper portion of the brush pile.“We were fishing off my pontoon boat, but the kids were standing shoulder to shoulder trying to hit the exact same spot,” he added with a knowing smile.“Don’t think for one minute that they weren’t keeping score!”

If you are more into eating crappie than keeping score, the bite over brush piles all over Toledo Bend is apparently pretty strong right now.I got my annual invitation from a college football team mate last week and he only calls when he believes that it is as good as it can get.He expects a reciprocal invitation when the flounder are doing their thing in the fall.

I am always amazed at how fast the bite bounces back on Sabine Lake following any kind of flooding event, but this could take a little longer than usual.We not only weathered a lot of local rain over a four day period, but also have to deal with the run off in both the Neches and Sabine rivers as well.They were both lapping at the top of their banks Monday evening.

A steady fifteen mile per hour south wind every day isn’t doing us any favors either. Having painted that picture of temporary doom and gloom for the local saltwater contingent, it could turn around almost immediately following two or three days of light winds.Only two days after Ike passed through, we saw gulls working over shrimp in the river while dodging everything from hot water heaters to patio furniture!

Just prior to the arrival of all of the rain and high water, we briefly cashed in on a pattern and lure that I hadn’t even considered fishing in years.The wind forced us off the lake much too early and we were working the flooded grass along the shoreline in Cow Bayou.I had already decided to ask for nothing more than a little gas money for the day and was pointing out small pods of shad when one of my clients stuck a good fish.

It was a solid slot red, but because we figured on fishing less than another hour they put it back.After five more keeper reds in a hundred yard stretch of flooded grass they were wishing they had kept that limit fish.I was both surprised and pleased that the fish were there, but it was their choice of lures that got my attention.

They started with a spinnerbait and a crankbait, but caught every fish on a half ounce silver Johnson Minnow weedless spoon.They tied it on just like it came out of the package with no trailer.They did add a swivel to prevent line twist, but other than that it was just cast and retrieve.

They also caught two keeper flounder and several small bass.I had a box full of gold Johnson Minnows on board, but never tried one.The best news of all was that I got paid after all and bought a half dozen silver models yesterday.I will give that program another shot….wind or no wind!