Small Change Makes Big Difference
“We either have to fish the ship channel or Keith Lake if we are going to catch any trout,” stated a frustrated David Lowe.“We’ve got no wind to speak of, the water clarity is better and we’re still not catching fish. Let’s run down south or go fish my brush piles for crappie on Toledo Bend!”
I opted for the second choice as I’d rather eat crappie than any other fish, but because we were already on Sabine Lake we ducked into the Intracoastal and headed south.It’s a long boring run, but it proved to be a good decision.
With no specific game plan in mind, as soon as we found a little clearer water I dropped the troll motor in the water and we started working the scattered rocks with a She Dog and a Catch 2000.We had been fishing those same two lures all morning long while avoiding bank fisherman and caught and released only three small trout.
I heard the trout slam David’s topwater and turned around just as his 18-inch fish went airborne.Two casts later my snagged crankbait magically turned into a slot red and fishing was fun again.When I picked up the troll motor to try another stretch of rocks about thirty minutes later, we already had one more red, a flounder and seven keeper trout in the box.
Aside from catching fish, the best part of it all was the fact that there wasn’t another boat in sight.The farther south we ran, the more fishermen we saw, so we had apparently picked an unpopular spot to start our search.
As the incoming tide picked up its pace our bite slowed significantly.David switched to a four inch silver shiner Usual Suspect and simply bounced the bait off the bottom in six to eight feet of water. The change of tactics yielded three quick trout, but cost him four lures as well as the rocks were unforgiving.
I switched to drop shotting a four inch Sea Shad to minimize hang-ups and caught two more trout before Dave made the same change.We only kept twelve trout, but could have easily kept two limits by the time the sun cooked the fun out of the catching.It was a learning experience, but I was a little miffed that I had chosen to curse the wind and a dirty lake day after day rather than make the run south.
While on the subject of fishing crankbaits, or for that matter any lure, it was pointed out by a reader of this column and my blogs that “crankbait” is a pretty generic description.He wasn’t asking me to share specific colors or locations, but different crankbaits do different things!
For that….I apologize.The only reason I write this column and my blog is to celebrate other angler’s accomplishments and share techniques that are currently working for us.After forty-six years of guiding I can assure you that you may have a spot or two that no one else knows how to fish, but there are no secrets when it comes to catching fish…..nor should there be.
I built a solid guide business on the belief that the more you share the more others will share with you.I have been taught far more than I have ever learned on my own.
That was a long winded apology for not being more descriptive when discussing a particular lure.As of late we have done better fishing shallow diving crankbaits that quickly climb back to the surface like a Swimming Image.As a rule, when the fish will eat that lure they will also eat a slow sinking lipless crankbait like the 2000 or Mirrodine.
I prefer to fish tails, which also come in a multitude of shapes and colors, but there is a time when nothing out performs these crankbaits.I have also found that I lose fewer fish throwing both them and topwaters with a softer rod action and monofilament line.Too many times we inadvertently take the lure away from the fish with a stiffer rod and braided line.
So……..what’s a little more gas even at the rising cost if the gas you are currently burning is wasted anyway?Until the bite improves significantly….I will continue to make the run!
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