RIGHT GIFT MAKES BIG DIFFERENCE
For The Record – Capt. Dickie Colburn
With few days remaining in what has been a challenging year for area trout fishermen, Alton Nelson and I slowly cruised down the fog shrouded Intracoastal fully aware that leaving early had no benefit.Because the wind had howled the previous two days, we decided to use up the morning hours by checking water clarity throughout the lake.
We cruised at a slow enough speed that I could safely run with my eyes glued on the GPS while he scanned the water for everything from barges to floating debris.Outside of narrowly missing a day marker platform, it proved to be an effective plan and we arrived in the lake just about the time the sun turned everything in Coffee ground Cove a dull shade of gray.
Ten more minutes of idling across the shallow flats had our faces soaking wet from the thick mist, but once again our rain gear kept all other body parts perfectly dry.Since the third of November I haven’t left the dock a single morning without my Frogg Toggs on in spite of the fact that it rained or even threatened to rain only a handful of those trips. The warmer initial boat ride alone makes them worth the money and I frequently find myself still wearing mine even after the sun has warmed things up!
Alton evidently excelled at satisfying his “Honey-do” list this past year as Mrs. Claus proved overly appreciative on Christmas morning.“I knew I was getting this new Frogg Togg Pilot suit,” he bragged, “but these two Laguna rods and Shimano casting reels blew me away.”
“I was already tickled to death when she said I could return the suit she ordered me well before Christmas and upgrade to this pilot suit.I know where she read about the rain gear and rods, but I have someone else to thank for suggesting the reels,” he stated as I shut the big engine down.“Maybe next year you can add a new truck on your “can’t miss” gift list.”
Bored to death with Plan A and tired of listening to Aton praise his wife, Kathy, we tied on Corkys and cast in the direction of any disturbance on the surface.He almost immediately christened one of his new rods with a runaway redfish and a small keeper trout smacked my Mirrodine XL as I was planting the Talon.
A pair of larger keeper trout and two more slot reds quickly altered our initial game plan.“I don’t care what the water looks like all over this lake if the fish are here,” announced Alton.“We can ride around looking at the water any time we want to.”
I agreed and I truly don’t know what time it was when I noticed that the fog had completely burned off.I do know that we had long ago boxed six 22 to 24-inch reds while releasing several larger ones and had fourteen trout in the box as well. Alton noted several times while grazing on the candy he apparently lifted from one of the kid’s stockings that the new gear had already made him a better fisherman.
I haven’t fished a Vudu shrimp under a cork much at all this year, but it easily out performed anything else we tried. A dayglow Corky got it all started, but once we tired of catching reds, Alton tied one on and the trout couldn’t leave it alone. The fact that we were fishing it on a longer leader than usual may have made a difference as well.
I talked with Steve Robison on Christmas Eve and he said that they had done very well the previous two days swimming tails on light jig heads over scattered shell on the south end of the lake. He added that several of their trout were in the four to five pound class and most of the fish hit a plum chartreuse 5-inch rat tail Assassin rigged on a 1/16^th ounce head.He also shared that they really didn’t start catching a lot of fish until they opted for the lighter head!
Alton couldn’t wait to get back home and show Kathy how well he had done thanks to her super Christmas gifts. By the time we were finished cleaning fish, however, it was apparent that she was well into the “pay back” mode. According to the texts he hadn’t checked, she was shopping in Beaumont, he needed to grab something to eat on the way home and vacuum before his in-laws arrived.
He just might earn that truck next Christmas!