THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
Capt. Dickie Colburn
For The Record
“We had a really good year two years ago fishing right here around the camp with a Catch 2000 and a MirrOdine when no one else could make the school bass bite,” said Warren Evans.“I think the one with the silver sides and green back worked the best, but we didn’t experiment much with other colors after it worked so well!”
“The 2000 fishes much like the old Near Nuthins which you can’t find anymore,” added his fishing buddy, Len Peavey.“You can throw it a mile, it sinks slowly and you can work it as fast as you need to.”
Both anglers also turned to saltwater lures to catch bass over eight pounds drifting the shallow moss flats last February. Their lures of choice were Corkies and Mirrodine XLs.“They are easier to keep just above the grass than a Trap and you don’t need a bunch of different colors,” said Peavy.“If they aren’t biting that copper colored slow sinking Fat Boy then I figure they just aren’t biting that day.”
For years the trout and redfish enthusiasts have gotten it done with lures as well as tackle designed to catch bass.A large percentage of them catch trout on everything from topwaters to plastic worms and the redfish just can’t turn their backs on a spinner bait or a shallow diving crankbait.
Right here on Sabine you would be hard pressed to nail a local angler down on what species he is targeting for the day based on what is in his tackle box.The same lure fished in the same water could dupe a bass, red, flounder, trout or even a striper on occasion.
I was helping a visiting pro angler scouting for an upcoming tournament earlier this year and the first three fish we caught were all redfish.I was throwing a Whacky worm and he was throwing a chatter bait.We even caught bass on a Vudu shrimp under a cork that day and he eventually decided to hang his hat on pitching a pegged craw worm under the docks in Cow bayou!
Not surprisingly, while some lures are exceptional cross over baits, they require a modest amount of tweaking to render them even more effective.“The number one topwater lure in my box is a bone colored She Dog and it has been for quite a while. I finally quit trying to hide it after sharing the secret with so many friends, but you have to doctor it up a little.”
It is an easy lure to walk the dog with and as noisy as you want it to be,” but it comes right out of the box like that.To make it even more productive I make a few minor changes.
The best color for me is the base bone color of the lure underneath the flashy paint job.My second choice is the painted bone/silver, but it doesn’t work quite as well for me.I always have several scarred up She Dogs lying around that I eventually scrape the remaining paint off of while watching football on television!
Once the entire lure is that flat bone color I swap the treble hooks out for single hooks and add a white bucktail to the rear hook.I put the hooks on with the barb facing to the rear so I can more easily work it through the floating grass and there isn’t a bass in Rayburn or Toledo Bend that can resist a bucktail.It was equally deadly on the trout and redfish after Ike floated all of the marsh grass and root balls out into the lake.
I initially took a page from the lower coast trout fishermen in swapping out the hooks as they have to deal with the grass every day and that adaptation solved the grass issue for them.There is also no need to worry about losing more fish due to removing the treble hooks.I don’t waste my bucktails in saltwater, but I do fish single hooks and find that they work just as well as the stock treble hooks.
The largest trout I ever caught ate the front half of a jointed Redfin. Brian Sandow told me about the altered bait and it was a simple adjustment that worked very well at least once for me.He simply removed the rear section at the joint, added a hook and bucktail and fished it just like that.It was a shortened topwater that not only had a bucktail, but would dive as well.
We are blessed to have such a terrific and diversified fishing hole at our back door.Taking full advantage just requires a little imagination