As a rule, regardless of how good the fishing has been, any time a cold front moves through the area we lose a few days to the wind. A day or two prior to its arrival, the wind howls out of the south only to switch around and blow equally hard for another day or two out of the north.
In some instances, an excellent bite is put to rest simply because the wind renders the lake unfishable. If the wind blows hard enough, the bayous and marsh drains send dirtier water into the lake and water clarity becomes an issue. While last week’s front was not a blue norther, it significantly lowered the temperatures and roughed up the open lake up pretty good for a couple of days.

In this case, however, the bite was so good that we hardly missed a beat and we continued to catch fish right on through the two windiest days. We were forced to fish protected shorelines along the ICW and in the bayous, but the trout, redfish and flounder bit as though nothing had changed. We had one very good day and one so-so day on the reds, but we easily limited on trout each day and added some nice flounder to boot.

By Saturday morning we were right back out in the open lake along with a lot of other folks and the gulls were back on the job as well. Everyone has their favorite lures and colors, but we did make one change that has produced more redfish and larger trout since the passage of the front.

When we were able to get back out in the open water we discovered that there was a very distinct color change in the water about two miles into the lake. Because the dirtier water encompassed the area that we had been doing so well in prior to the front, we were initially afraid that we would have to wait for it to clear back up to catch fish.

Rather than just write it off, we experimented a little and found out that all it took was a different color plastic tail to get the bite going again. We had been doing very well in the clearer water on glow chartreuse, roach and bug juice, but a switch to pumpkin-chartreuse and red shad or strawberry with a white tail solved the dirty water problem. The silt has since settled out and the lake is clear again, but you might want to file that away for a muddy water day in the future!

I have to catch a lot of fish on a certain lure or color before I am willing to concede that it truly makes a difference, but I am convinced that we are not only catching more reds, but larger trout as well fishing five-inch paddle tails whether they be the DieDapper or the Flats Minnow XL. I undoubtedly catch more fish on the four-inch versions, maybe because we just fish them more, but the longer paddle tails have ruled the roost for the past two weeks.

After getting literally bombarded last January by a number of loyal male readers, I promised them that I would make mention of some more preferred Christmas gifts in time for their better halves or closest relatives to buy them something they really wanted. One week before Christmas was apparently not early enough time.

The less expensive of the two “can’t miss” gifts is one of Frogg Togg’s new Toad Skinz rain suits. They are constructed of a thicker material than the Classic suits and the jacket is tailored to protect you from wind and rain alike. The bibs rather than the conventional pants are the only way to go for fishermen as you don’t have to worry about the jacket riding up when you bend over to net your fish.

I have worn the classic suits for years, but the Toad Skinz series suit is much more practical in that you don’t have to wear nearly as much clothing underneath to stay warm. I don’t know if it will ever rain again, but they are a fisherman’s best friend on those long cold boat rides. You can order them from Bass Pro Shops or just go on line at

If you are even fonder of your favorite fisherman or fisherwoman, I would suggest that you may want to buy them a Laguna rod for Christmas. I just started using them this year and I have never fished with another rod that was lighter or more durable and I have fished with just about everything out there. Each model in their line-up is a difference maker for even the most novice of anglers.

Here’s the deal. If you decide to spring for one of these rods (the cost is around $300) you need to order it as soon as possible if you want it to be an even more personalized. The folks at Laguna will wrap your rod, at no extra cost, in his or her favorite team colors whether it be LSU, Texas, A&M, TCU or whatever. I mention those school colors only because I have already seen at least one of each and they are beautiful!

I do not feel comfortable recommending a specific action or length in a bass rod, but you can’t go wrong by buying your saltwater fisherman a 6’6” Texas Wader I or Texas Wader II. He or she will eventually add the other one to their arsenal, but either of the two is a great choice. You can go on line and order direct, but the fastest and easiest route is to drive over to Daley’s Fish N Hunt on Jade Ave. in Port Acres and let them order it for you. They are about five minutes west of Central Mall.

It won’t cost you a penny more and even more importantly, Daleys will warranty it over the counter should he or she slam it in a car door or run over it with the truck. I don’t believe you can break them under normal use after watching mine survive a day on the water with a couple of ten year olds. They also have a very good selection already in stock should you decide too late to order one in a special color.

Okay fellows, so there you have it. I have kept my promise and the rest is up to you. Open your copy of the Record to this page and leave it on top of her phone or under her car keys, but it’s up to you to get this in front of the loved one that can make it happen. I’ve already got fish scales on my Toad Skinz and Lagunas so a new shirt is the best I can hope for this year!