ENOUGH WITH THE HIGH WATER
Mrs. Lucille Pratt was standing in the Wal-Mart foyer glaring at the light rain beginning to fall across the parking lot when I mentioned that it looked as if it might pass pretty quickly.“It can’t quit quick enough,” she snapped back without ever turning in my direction. “I have had it with rain,” she was quick to add.“We moved down here seventy-two years ago and never flooded once before Hurricane Ike. Now we are jammed together in our little travel trailer for the third time in the last ten years and I have had it!” “As soon as it quits raining I think I’ll take these groceries home, load up my parakeet, and move to Arizona.That stupid trailer gets smaller every day,” she added looking me dead in the eye for the first time. “At my age, rattlesnakes and heat would be more tolerable than hurricanes and the smell of bleach.” I don’t personally see moving to Arizona as a viable alternative, but lots of folks in the area share her disgust.When Gary Stelly called Tuesday morning to ask about the flooding on the east end of Green Avenue, I immediately drove down there.The fact that there was any water at all was a little disconscerting, but it was apparently the result of the combination of a full moon, a big incoming tide and the disturbance in the Gulf. Saturday morning, Jerry Myers was pressure washing a storage building at the Orange Boat Club as Adams bayou crept ever closer to undoing all of their remodeling efforts.Most of the parking lot was covered in ankle deep water that had stopped rising just below the threshold.“Enough is enough,” said Myers not exactly in those words. In spite of the unwanted additional water, if you can determine exactly where the inundated ramp is and safely launch your boat, your chance of catching a fish has been very good.Both the bass in the river, as well as parts of the lake, have been very cooperative and most of them are in the 12 to 15 inch range. You can catch them on a variety of lures, but two of the most popular have been a solid pink or electric blue Whacky worm and a quarter ounce spinner bait.Not only have those two choices been producing better bass, but slot redfish as well. Darrell Weis said that he has just had a blast catching the bass on small topwaters, but most of them have been smaller fish.He added that a single number five willow leaf blade had been the ticket with the spinnerbait. Most of the Whacky worm fishermen have tweaked their rigging strictly because of the redfish that don’t know they are supposed to leave it alone.Mark Riggs said they are not fishing it with the conventional piece of nail to speed up the sinking process. “Rather than the nail,” he pointed out, “we are adding a swivel between our 12 to 14 pound test braid and a foot or so of 15 pound monofilament.The braid is more sensitive and strong enough to deal with the reds and the swivel replaces the weight of the nail.” The water clarity in the lake is about as good as it can get, but the high water has really scattered the fish.I talked with Capt. Chuck Tuesday and he said that in spite of all of the water in the marsh, they were seeing very few fish and virtually no shrimp. The terns and gulls have not been ratting out nearly as many schooling reds as they were even a week ago.I think the high water has scattered the bait and the fish have had to stay on the move to eat regularly. When you are fortunate enough to quickly pick up a couple of fish, either drop your anchor or bury your Talon as quickly as possible.More often than not, those fish have either herded together a small group of bait fish or you have stumbled up on an isolated piece of structure.Mark the spot on your GPS before leaving! Saul Leger said they put together three consecutive good trips fishing at night last week on Toledo Bend.“We limited every night,” said Leger, “and most of our bass were in the two to three pound class.” They were fishing frogs and buzz baits over the lay down grass in three to six feet of water. Their best bite was between midnight and dawn all three nights.He added that they were still catching crappie over their brush piles as well.