“This bass fishing at night is just killing my white perch fishing,” said James Hughes, “but I am not complaining as the bite has been addicting.”The seventy-six year old retired carpenter usually spends the entire summer contentedly catching crappie over his brush piles with friends and the Grandkids, but that all changed two weeks ago.

“The crappie bite has improved recently, but I haven’t fished them since my oldest boy, Carl, got me to throwing that plastic frog a week or so ago,” stated Hughes.“The only problem is that I am too old to hoot with the owls and soar with the eagles the next day so my crappie fishing has suffered.”

It’s not like Hughes just discovered bass fishing.Prior to retiring and moving to Toledo Bend, he fished darn near every tournament that he had the time and money to fish.“Now days I fish when I want to fish rather than when I can fish,” shared an obviously pleased Hughes.

“All of this high water has made for a very weird year up here and for some reason I didn’t catch any really big bass this spring, but that all changed a couple of weekends back.”Rather than fish their favorite deep water structure spots, Carl suggested that they give the shallow lay down grass a try one night.

They started with buzz baits, but the real fun started when Carl grew tired of peeling the grass off his bait and tied on a watermelon colored Ribbit.“His first bass weighed just over eight pounds and he caught and released three more good bass before I could even find my flashlight and change baits,” laughed Hughes.

He hasn’t missed a single night since his son had to go back to work.“Carl calls me every afternoon to see how I did the night before and it is just killing him.We caught three more fish over seven pounds before he had to leave and I have caught at least one bass that size or larger every night.”

Hughes said that he starts just after dark and usually fishes until midnight.“If the fish don’t quit biting I stay out until they do, but the latest I have fished is 2:00 in the morning.Every strike is an adventure and I haven’t seen one other boat on the water!”

Hughes said that he is fishing the Ribbit on a 4/0 wide gap worm hook and retrieving it just fast enough to keep it on the surface.The subtle noise produced by the small paddle feet is apparently the ticket as the bass just explode on it rather than silently sucking it off the surface.“The thing I most like about the frog over the buzz bait is that when they miss it I can let it just sink for a second or two and more often than not they will come back for another shot.”

“My wife says the best part of all is that the only time I crank up the big engine is to run back to the camp and she doesn’t have to worry about me breaking down.I just put the troll motor down and start fishing the shoreline.I have caught a few nice bass around docks, but the biggest bass are holding in that scattered grass and a lot of it runs well off the bank.I’ve used up about two miles of shoreline since Carl left and it has all been good!”

They are fishing his brush piles without him, but Hughes is still getting his fair share of fried crappie.“Aileen and I don’t need but three or four to make a meal and the neighbors keep us in fillets.Their grandkids are out of school for the summer and they love fishing my brush piles.”

He added that the brush piles in 20 to 26 feet of water had been the most productive and that they were using only minnows.“I think they could catch them on jigs as well, but there is no since experimenting with the kids!”

Much closer to home, Simon’s Outfitters and Bass Kandi Baits announced that they are teaming up to host the Sabine River Challenge bass tournament on July 25^th .It will be a team event and will be hosted out of the City launch on Simmons Drive here in Orange.

For more information at this point, you can drop by Simon’s Outfitters on MacArthur Drive.