YOU HAVE TO GO TO KNOW
For The Record- By Capt Dickie Colburn
Even before we reached East Pass it was obvious that Mother Nature would unfortunately make our initial decision of the day as to where to start an easy one.The trout bite had been improving daily when Elvin Nelson scheduled his three day vacation, but we had already lost two of them to the wind.
We salvaged the first day dinking around in Black’s and Cow bayou for redfish that the low water had forced out of the bordering marshes.That didn’t scratch Elvin’s itch, but he admitted that it was still better than spending the day following his wife around the Mall!
The redfish were mixed in size ranging from 14 to 28 inches and the bite was better than expected.We caught them on everything from Chatterbaits to plastic tails and easily pulled off or missed as many fish as we caught.Had he not had “big trout” on his brain, it would have been a very good day considering the conditions.
The following day we weren’t as fortunate and he did indeed spend his day shopping in Lake Charles with his wife.A powerful northwest wind ripped across the entire area and we were more concerned with stowing away lawn furniture than even considering an attempt at fishing.
So….. here we were his final morning and the wind was still blowing pretty good.“Is there any place we can fish with any chance at all of catching a trout,” asked Nelson as I idled into the whitecaps breaking across the mouth of East Pass.
“I know one stretch of shoreline that we can probably wade,” I responded, “but it will involve a long wet ride and the bottom is not user-friendly.”I took it as a “yes” when he snugged down the hood of his rain jacket and slid a little more of his body behind the console.
Twenty soggy minutes later I buried the Talon in the mud and we climbed out of the boat and into water that looked a great deal like a cookie dough Blizzard left in the truck a little too long.Not only was the water that color, but pretty much the same consistency as well.
For the next hour we slowly navigated the mushy uneven bottom more concerned with not falling down than making the perfect cast.I missed one strike on a Catch V and Nelson landed a suicidal slot red that gave it up for his jointed Corky.We were fishing, but I was miserable.I had lost all confidence and continued to throw the same non-productive bait when Nelson pointed in the direction of the shoreline.
“Hey, I saw a mullet jump over there so that means fish can at least breathe in this crud,” he shouted.Two casts later his rod bowed over in response to the pull of a three pound trout and I immediately declared the day to be a huge success.It wasn’t the fish Elvin was hoping for, but it was a trout!
Had he not released that fish thinking that we would not catch another, we would have cleaned nine trout at the end of the day rather than eight.The largest fish weighed a tad under five pounds and the bite didn’t last long, but it once again proved there are no bad days as long as you can fish safely.
I would not have given a nickel for our chances when we first arrived. The second the lure slid beneath the surface it disappeared. Every strike was a solid thump, however, and it was apparent that in spite of the reduced visibility the fish were aggressively hunting their next meal.
By the time I walked in the gym to watch a basketball game that night, I had learned that we had a more legitimate shot at the kind of fish Elvin was looking for than I realized.I received one text and picture of a trout over eight pounds and another that looked to be the same size that were caught the same day.The texts didn’t include maps or way points, but one of the fish came off the southeast corner of the lake.
Waiting for the water to clear up in order to hustle a big trout is obviously not necessary.It helps the confidence factor, but it is more about being at the right place at the right time than water conditions.I was more than pleased with our own catch, but I was downright excited to see eight pound fish in the lake again!