For the Record

Capt. Chuck Uzzle

 

In all my years on the water I can’t remember ever having this much wind for

this long during the month of April. It has just absolutely howled for nearly a

month straight and according to the forecast it doesn’t look like it plans to

let up any time soon. For obvious reasons the folks wanting to get out on Sabine

Lake or Calcasieu has been pinned down to very small areas that offer the most

protection. These spots tend to get crowded in a hurry which only adds more

misery to the equation. For a few anglers these poor conditions have been just

what the doctor ordered to force them to spend some time fishing water they

normally wouldn’t look at.

For plenty of local anglers the wind has completely shut them out and forced

them into doing yard work or picking up the golf clubs. Those that just have to

fish have been probing the river and surrounding bayous and finding some really

good fish, especially largemouth bass. There have always been a few dedicated

anglers who never left the protection of the river for the wide open spaces of

the lake. These guys are the ones you never really pay attention to as you run

by them and they like it that way. These guys never leave the river and there is

a good reason for that, they are catching good fish and don’t really feel like

sharing that with the rest of the world.

Now anyone who has done much fishing locally has run into a few bass here and

there but that’s not the case right now. I have seen a couple of local 5 fish

stringers in the past two weeks that would lead you to believe they came from

Toledo Bend or Sam Rayburn, I’m talking about 20 pounds plus! These fish are

typical river and bayou fish that relate to all kinds of structure. Boat docks,

brush piles, and just about anything else you could imagine are holding fish in

good numbers and size. A couple of guys I know well have a very defined route in

which they fish both natural and man made structure as of late. Small spinner

baits, crank baits, and wacky worms have been the best producers day in and day

out with a few good fish coming on small top water plugs as well. Easily the

biggest key is to find some structure and have a decent tide change working in

your favor. Those two elements are a must if you want to catch some of these

better fish.

Easily the best bass I have personally seen caught this spring in local waters have been full of

shad so it’s not hard to figure out what to key on.

The huge schools of small shad have lead many anglers to

productive areas that they normally don’t fish; they have just been following

the bait and fishing these areas thoroughly. I’m sure they will keep hustling

these good fish as long as the wind keeps them pinned down and the fish continue to cooperate.

 The combination of good fish close to home is a

tough pattern to top.