“We were throwing chartreuse beetle spins without the harness and blade 
and just catching the heck out of goggle eye and small bass when my 
brother, Cy, hooked something big,” said Vinny Benoit.“I thought it was 
a big red, but he thought it was a big turtle because it was hardly moving.”

When it finally surfaced, Vinny went into panic mode and kicked his 
tackle box over the side of his flat bottom boat in a rush to dig out 
the net.“Mr. Dickie,” said Vinnie, “It was the biggest flounder either 
of us had ever seen!”

The two Lake Charles anglers finished the day with a handful of bream, 
four bass, two Louisiana legal reds and a 6 pound 14 ounce flounder.Cy 
said it looked like one of his brother’s floor mats floated up when it 
first broke the surface. “Everybody at the boat ramp wanted to take a 
picture,” added Vinny.

That catch took place Monday evening and the oddest thing about the 
catch was not that they caught the big flounder in the Shell Cut located 
well up the Intracostal, but the fact that they caught a flounder at 
all.While the main conversation amongst Sabine Lake anglers continues to 
be the shortage of keeper size specks, the flounder fishermen suffered 
through a tough 2018 as well.

Donavan Simon who virtually lives at the Cameron Ferry throughout the 
highly anticipated annual fall run said it was the worst run he had seen 
in the last fifteen years. “I would occasionally have a day or two when 
I could catch a few small flounder, but for the most part it was a waste 
of gas said Simon.”

The fact that the pair of south Lake Charles anglers were fishing small 
plastic grubs came as no surprise either.That approach has dominated the 
scene lately for local anglers that just want to get a bite rather than 
focusing on bass.Everything that swims in the river will eat a small 
tail or jig and catching is far more enjoyable than casting.

Make no mistake about it, the more persistent bass fishermen were the 
first to discover that everything from undersized reds to bream were 
beating the bass to their smaller offerings.River bass have always liked 
a four inch tube, but it is hard to keep it away from an improving bream 
population right now.

Absolutely the only silver lining for local fishermen following Harvey 
was the improved fresh water fishing.It has been years since you could 
realistically expect to catch enough eating size bream in a morning of 
fishing, but that is no longer the case.If the river and bayous will 
ever clear up again, that bite will be off the charts.

I enjoy catching pan fish on the river with a light spinning rod loaded 
with six or eight pound monofilament, but the bigger kick is fooling the 
fish with a five or six weight fly rod.Every time I take a youngster to 
a private pond in the area, I bring only the fly rod and a box of small 
poppers and four inch Crème fly worms.

If we did nothing more than learn to cast it would be an enjoyable 
outing, but watching a small popping bug disappear off the surface is 
icing on the cake.Both the popping bug and the small worm are all you 
need when fishing the river and area bayous.

I know several anglers that have taken that approach for years, but get 
it done a little differently.They opt for the same small jigs, but fish 
them on eight to ten foot rods or cane poles with less than six feet of 
line attached to the tip.

They do not miss a square inch while slowly working a shoreline.They 
simply pick it up enough to clear the surface and lower the tip again as 
they dissect everything from cypress knees to holes in the vegetation. 
Because no back cast is required, they can also fish tight canals that 
eliminates conventional casting.It may be a crappie or even a grinnel 
that inhales the tiny offering, but it is hand to hand combat on a short 
line when the fish is duped.

For those of you that may be wondering, Vinny and Cy did manage to 
retrieve Vinny’s small tackle box!