I don’t know that it is possible to have any better sponsors than I have in the fishing business, but I do not fish or promote any lures or tackle that I can’t rely on every day simply because it is free.I am going to fish the lure that works the best for me and my clients regardless of the brand name.

Ninety-nine percent of the time it is a specific color that sends me scrambling for something different as I pretty much have all of the bases covered as far as style and length of soft plastics are concerned.It is not unusual at all on any given day to discover that the fish want a paddle tail more than a straight tail or a shorter tail more than the longer version in a particular color that is working well.

When the trout want a specific color more than another, however, that is an entirely different story……..more especially when you don’t have that color readily available. Having reams of that color does you no good if you took them out of the boat the week before. I recently made that mistake with Assassin’s stinky pink only to get torched on that color by two anglers drifting less than a cast away!

There is, however, something worse than not having that magic color…… “not having it with clients on board”.Only last week I seriously considered weaving my way out of the flotilla of anglers in Coffee Ground and abandoning a decent bite rather than field any more questions as to what the boat next to us was doing to catch so many fish. The fix in that case proved to be easier than I deserved as they had simply downsized from a Maniac Mullet to the shorter Crazy Croaker and the trout were all over the smaller lure.

Three days later the remedy was not that obvious and it was only after returning to the ramp that I was enlightened. In that instance, it was not only the color, but possibly the style of lure as well. We were catching fish, but the average size could not compare to those taken by the friend willing to share his secret. They were throwing an H&H Queen Cocahoe in blue moon with a chartreuse tail and I was convinced that the color was more of a factor than the shape of the lure

Not one prone to over analyzing, rather than chance yet another embarrassing day I drove all over the Golden Triangle that night looking for a few packs of my own. Not surprisingly, there were none to be had and my confidence took a hit prior to learning that H&H’s blue moon was the same color as opening night and I had several pounds of that color. I dipped the tails in chartreuse and we just killed the fish for the next two days. The fish then decided color wasn’t an issue at all and everyone with a rod was a good fisherman for a couple of days!

For the most part, all of this color business and experimenting with different lengths and styles of tails is associated with duping both more and larger trout. Redfish aren’t nearly as picky and will knock the fool out of most anything that looks even remotely edible.

I have never seen so many boats in jammed in one small area of the lake day after day as what we have seen in Coffee Ground and even more perplexing it that we are catching and releasing very few trout that appear to have been caught before.We have caught and released a pile of trout over the past month and a half and I have seen only a handful that had a scar or hole in their jaw that hadn’t healed over.

On the other hand, we have released a large number of redfish that not only had multiple scars on their bottom jaw, but in several instances still had a hook and short length of broken line attached. We also cleaned a 23-inch red two weeks ago that had a Swim Bait, two Gulp jerk baits and a massive wad of small minnows in its stomach.

I hate to take fish like that out of the gene pool as it is much easier to catch fish that are either that dumb or that greedy. Larry Dial and Steve Byrne both caught the same red at the same time fishing cut bait in Black’s Bayou last week. Both of their hooks were in the red’s mouth so I am thinking that while that fish was an opportunistic eater, one of the two anglers must have been asleep at the wheel when the fish first bit!