Dickie Colburn – For The Record

“This Swim Bait is tough to fish through this slimy moss,” barked Marvin Denmer as he hurried his slime covered lure back across the surface.“I know this goo is in patches, but if you don’t hit an open spot, ninety percent of your cast is wasted.”

His analysis was on the money, but our better redfish and flounder were holding in the small pockets in the slime and, while it was a lot more work, we were catching some pretty solid fish.

Needing only two more flounder to fill their limits, I suggested tying on a Ribbit Frog.“The redfish like it, but our flounder catching will take a hit.”Neither of them were overly concerned with keeping two more flounder versus the potential of a shot at topwater action and fewer wasted casts.

For the next twenty minutes they enjoyed watching their plastic frog waddle across the surface, but we could have gotten as many strikes fishing in the Walmart parking lot.Then, just as Marvin was lifting his frog out of the water, a redfish that had apparently followed it all the way to the boat boiled the surface before slipping back under the thick vegetation.

That was enough to generate a little more confidence and their first hook up occurred only two casts later.Marvin’s partner, Cal, jerked an errant cast free from over hanging grass and his frog disappeared in a geyser of brackish foam as soon as it hit the water.

Over the next hour we boated eleven more copper hued bullies and I was deemed to be a satisfactory guide again. They may have been missing strikes from the same fish from time to time, but they failed to connect on far more fish than they caught.More than once they panicked as soon as they saw the wake headed toward their lure and set the hook much too early.

While most of the flounder and trout that I cleaned were full of small brown shrimp, the redfish were dining on tiny crabs.I don’t know why they found the frog more to their liking than the spoon, but that is not the first time the frog has done the trick for me when all else failed.We did, in fact, catch one more keeper flounder that didn’t know that it wasn’t supposed to eat a plastic frog.

The easier bite across the weekend involved chasing the birds on the south end of the lake, but most of the trout were not Texas legal fish.Had you launched on the Louisiana side of the lake you could have limited in a hurry on 12 to 14 inch trout.

Apparently most of the anglers fishing the OJC tournament on Saturday had a difficult time locating big trout as well.The Vaughans once again blew the field away with a pair of huge redfish, but the winning trout didn’t even make the three pound mark.

The Bassmaster Elite event on Toledo Bend last weekend drew a large number of bass fishing spectators from this area and they weren’t disappointed.Kevin Van Dam has not been as dominating over the past few years, but he got it back in gear on The Bend.

He fought off some very serious challenges all four days to win the $100,000 first place check with four limits totaling 96 pounds-2 ounces.I thought we may see more double digit bass, but the numbers the pros posted all four days were outstanding. Crankbaits got a lot of attention, but there were heavy limits caught deep as well as shallow on a variety of lures.

Fishing a lure that resembled a bream at staging depths was apparently the strongest pattern, however, and Van Dam has always been extremely adept at finding the right depth with the right color crankbait. The bass fishing on Toledo Bend has been on fire all spring and we have another Big Bass Splash event coming up this weekend.We will see more double digit bass in this event.

Sabine lake is shaping up and it couldn’t have happened at a better time with the 42nd annual S.A.L.T. Memorial Day tournament set for the weekend of the 28th .Pat Malone of the redfish Elite series is loaning the club his stage for the weigh-in and along with all of the other activities they will have a live band playing Sunday afternoon.All information concerning the fun-filled event can be found on their Facebook page.