A SPRING BREAK TO REMEMBER
It will come as no surprise to his Mom if her fifteen year old son, Bo, balks at the idea of returning home after a week of fishing on Toledo Bend.“He will fish in a mud puddle,” says his Mom, “and he jumped at the chance to spend his entire spring break at his Uncle’s camp.”
His initial game plan was to fish 24/7 for sac-au-lait off his Uncle’s pontoon boat, but that all changed Friday evening.“We were still unloading the truck when he grabbed his tackle box and headed for the boat. He idled around to the nearest point Dickie Colburn dropped the anchor.” Dickie Colburn“My Uncle said the sac-au-lait wouldn’t Dickie Colburn biting until later,” said Bo, “so I tied on a green craw worm with a split shot and just started casting.There was one little patch of grass in about twelve feet of water and every time I hit it I got a bite.”
“I wasn’t even holding my rod when the big bass caught himself,” laughed Bo.“My rod was going over the side when the reel handle hung on the railing.”After kicking over his cold drink and stomping the stuffing out of a boudain sandwich, he regained his wits and the battle was on.
When he finally slid the big bass across the deck, his Uncle’s neighbors anchored a short distance away said they had some scales.“It was the biggest bass I ever caught and I wasn’t going to put him back, but they talked me into it and took a picture on their phone.”Bo’s “lifetime best” weighed a shade under seven pounds and while that is indeed a nice bass, the youngster was just getting started.
That night those same neighbors bragged on him and, more importantly, pointed out that his Fluke was dragging over the remnants of an old brush pile rather than grass. They also pointed out that he could hit that tiny piece of structure every time if he would line his casts up with the end of the nearest dock.They should have taken their own advice and gotten up earlier than the youngster.
As of Tuesday he hadn’t caught a single sac-au-lait and not a lot of bass, but his personal best was moving upward every day.“Saturday, I caught an eight pound bass, Sunday my sister caught one a little larger that I had to reel in and Monday I caught one that weighed ten pounds!”
“My Uncle wins all kinds of bass tournaments and he said he has never caught a ten pound bass,” added Bo.“He might need to start fishing off his pontoon boat.”I am betting that he won’t make that switch any time soon, but I am equally certain that he won’t overlook that brush pile in his next tournament either!
Bo and his Mom were buying a couple more packs of craw worms when I received the call and with all the confidence in the world he added, “I have four more days left and I might catch one fifteen pounds by the time we leave.”He promised to call if that happened.
At about the same time, Keith Cloessner made a quick run up to his camp on T-Bend to take care of a few things and found just enough time for a four hour round of fishing in a friend’s boat.“I didn’t catch many,” said Keith, “but they were all good bass.”His largest bass made the seven pound mark.
The similarity to Bo’s trip was that they were both fishing the south end, both were fishing with watermelon colored soft plastics and both of them found their fish in 12 to 15 feet of water.The key seemed to be locating a patch of grass or any type of subtle structure.
There are apparently some very good bass still staging which means that you have not run out of time to take advantage of the spawn and land your own personal best.I don’t, however, think fishing off a pontoon boat will swing the odds in your favor.
The Bass pros headed to Orange later this year have to be licking their chops.I still feel like the winning catch will probably come off the Neches or Sabine rivers, but five fish limits are all but a guarantee for the folks fishing the marshes.I spoke with several redfish pros two weeks ago that were scouting for their tournament and they said the bass were an absolute nuisance everywhere they fished!