If you like to saltwater fish and you are not already a member of the Coastal Conservation Association, there is no better time to get on board thanThursday night.The Orange County CCA Chapter will host their annual banquet at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center on Hwy. 1442 at 6:00 p.m. and it is an evening that every fisherman in the family will enjoy.

A sixty dollar ticket enables you to get more bang for the buck as it not only includes a year’s membership, but a steak dinner and drinks as well.Silent and live auctions afford you the opportunity to bid on a long list of super items ranging from guns and custom rods to guided fishing trips, duck hunts and Yeti coolers.

These events hosted all across the state are the major fund raisers for the organization and no one does it any better than the Orange Chapter.This chapter has been so successful that they literally out grew their own vision in a few short years and now pack out the Convention Center.

Not surprisingly, there are no more sponsor tables available, but Louis Moore said they had about 45 individual tickets still available as late asTuesday morning.Should you want to check on their availability you can give Lou a call at 988-4845.

Surely we won’t have to suffer through the same flooding our neighbors in southeast Louisiana are digging their way out of, but it is still raining today and you never know how long a system will park on top of you.They also went through the same thing back in March when we were flooding as well!

The bayous are already running pretty dirty, but the salinity levels in the lake have not been affected at all thus far.If they have, the fish don’t know it.We caught both trout and redfish in a steady rain Monday and while it was uncomfortable for us…the fish didn’t mind it at all.

The most productive pattern, especially when it is so hot and still that you can’t enjoy the catching, has been tracking huge pods of shad in the open lake.The bite usually begins when you find the ladyfish blowing bait up on the surface, but the redfish occasionally beat them to the traveling buffet.When you find yourself in the midst of that melee, there is no “wrong” lure in your tackle box as long as you can reach the nearest geyser!

At the risk of making them even harder to find in local tackle shops, we have done very well on Mirrolure’s Lil’ John fished both under a cork and rigged on a quarter ounce jig head and bounced off the bottom.Shrimp imitations and paddle tail grubs like the Assassin Sea Shad are deadly as well, but the Lil’ John will catch a world of fish before it tears up!

The lure is kind of hard on the more demanding angler’s eyes as it basically looks like nothing more than a suppository with a tapered tail.No vibration, no sexy wiggle…..just a non-descript four inch plastic tail that everything from croaker to trout find too appealing to resist.The water clarity has been exceptionally good, but color has not been a big factor with this lure.On any given day I have as much confidence with chartreuse as I do watermelon red flake!

I prefer to fish the bait on a 1/8th ounce head when possible, but we are catching more redfish with a 3/8ths ounce head.You seemingly are never as close as you would like to be when the reds surface and the heavier head yields longer casts.It also sinks faster which helps dupe the fish hugging the bottom.

I tie every lure I fish on a loop knot for more action and it really makes a noticeable difference with the Lil’ John.You also need to take the time to get it perfectly straight on your jig head or it will twist the heck out of your line!

I always keep at least one rod rigged with a Hoginar so that we can catch more than one redfish when someone hooks up, but the Lil’ John has been darn near as dependable.Now that you know about them, just try finding a pack on the fishing aisle.If you do….you better buy a bunch while you can!