CRAZY CROAKER MAY BE THE ANSWER
I was fishing with Bill Keller earlier this week and we were discussing Hurricane Florence which had drawn a bead on the east coast at that time.“It seems like yesterday that we were going through the same thing with Harvey,” said Keller.
“We could never have dreamed that we would flood where we built, but we lost our dream house which we had lived in only two months, both cars and our dogs.That is a helpless feeling when you are in such danger that you can’t even consider your home or pets!”
Like too many other folks, Keller and his wife had no flood insurance and were forced to sell “as is” and move.“We put a trailer on six acres of land we own near Montgomery, picked up a new dog that my wife named, Harvey, at the rescue shelter and all is well.”
Bill and Sharon Stanley of Orange also made the tough decision to move rather than rebuild after Harvey and guess where they moved.Hopefully, they are far enough inland that Florence won’t wipe them out again.
It never fails that just about the time we convince ourselves that the fishing is going to turn around in Sabine Lake, we get more rain than is needed.I fished with Lamar Belcher last Friday, the day after he had very nearly limited on both trout and redfish and we managed to put that bite to sleep.
He had been at the right place at the right time on the right tide and found the fish following big white shrimp out of the marsh.I am not sure that we saw a single white shrimp the next morning, but that’s fishing.
The following afternoon, a storm cut our trip short, but we boxed nine trout and five redfish, before seeing the first bolt of lightning.We were fishing a slow outgoing tide and found the fish beating up on schools of shad in four to six feet of water.
When the rain slowed down Monday evening, we ran to the same area and the shad were nowhere to be found, but the fish were still there.We kept seven trout and four redfish while releasing a good number of undersize twelve to thirteen inch specks.
Even with all of the rain and dirtier water I am eager to get back out there simply because we caught fish on a lure that I have not fished in a long time and it may be a difference maker.We caught our first few fish on a small spook and a DOA shrimp under a cork, but Johnny changed the game when he tied on a Crazy Croaker for no good reason.
They ate it like it was candy over the next hour or so. The soft plastic crankbait has always been at its best when the shrimp start entering the lake.It also seems to be at its best when nothing else is working particularly well.
The first time I really saw the lure do its thing was years ago on a trip to Big Lake. Brad Deslatte and I were catching trout here and there on Corkies and tails when he broke out a Crazy Croaker. We instantly started catching fish that we had obviously drifted through with little luck only moments before.
It was also raining cats and dogs that day so maybe it is at its best in foul weather.I detest the stock hooks as they are small and a little on the weak side, but changing to a larger hook kills the effectiveness of the bait so I put up with a few missed fish.Getting strikes beats the hell out of casting practice with another lure.
It is also a lure that you can easily throw a long way even when casting directly into the wind.It isn’t much to look at as it is short and compact and produces little or no vibration when retrieved.I think the smaller profile makes the difference.
This is also a lure that I prefer to fish on monofilament rather than braid as the added stretch of the mono doesn’t overpower the smaller hooks.A softer action rod helps as well.I fish much of the time with a medium light action Laguna, but I will switch to the lighter Latis model when fishing the Crazy Croaker.
We will just have to see how all of this rain effects the bite, but I would recommend targeting balls of shad with the smaller crankbait on your next trip. And, yes, the redfish will eat it as well!