FISH EARLY OR LATE
I didn’t realize that the 20 mph wind that had forced us to fish the
more protected bayou had completely died until I picked up a can of
scented spray.I discarded it faster than I picked it up as the
combination of a broiling morning sun and no wind had rendered it too
hot to touch.
Welcome to southeast Texas fishing in the summertime.If you’re not
dodging thunderstorms you are enjoying ninety plus degree temperature
and humidity to match.While Jason Lane and I would have preferred to be
fishing the open lake, the bayou at least offered a little shade thanks
to the scattered tallow trees.
The water clarity was still on the muddy side, but Jason quickly fooled
a slot red and a pair of keeper bass with a chrome She Pup.By the time
we reached the next bend in the bayou we had three fat goggle-eyes, a
fifteen-inch flounder and another slot red in the livewell.
More importantly, we were already re-applying sunscreen and were both on
our second bottle of water.“I don’t know if we brought enough water to
fish two more hours,” remarked Lane and he wasn’t kidding!
All of this fun was taking place at nine o’clock in the morning which
meant the heat would get worse before it got better.We had wasted the
coolest hours of the day hoping to find fish in the open lake, but
thankfully Plan B was holding up.
We were initially going to hit some flooded marsh lakes off Burton’s on
the way back, but it seemed like there was at least one bass boat in
every pond. That bite is no longer a secret and the only impediment is
low water.Up until the early 80’s it was rare indeed to see even a few
other aluminum boats in those marshes.
If it weren‘t for the GPS, more folks would enter those marshes than
return without help most days.I cannot count the number of calls I have
responded to over the years from folks that picked the wrong trail!
When forced to fish the bayous or marsh drains, we have relied on
smaller lures and lighter rods to make the catching more enjoyable.We
are occasionally underpowered when an oversized red or misguided gar
crashes the party, but diversity is the best part of the game.
Small crankbaits, four-inch worms and a small Assassin tail called a pro
tiny shad have all worked well.The tiny shad has worked the best, but
that may be because it gets the first call and will fool everything from
a flounder to a bream.As a matter of fact, we discovered how well it
worked on bream while trying to catch flounder.
It fishes best on a 1/16^th ounce jig head, but I prefer fishing it on a
1/16^th ounce horse head jig that Eddie Hudson poured for me.The longer
hook shank he employs results in more hook ups.That same set-up works
equally well when fishing drains or the shoreline in the lake.
I will have more as I learn more, but Tony Viator, Daniel Metreyon and
Fletcher Pipkin are currently finalizing plans for another tournament to
replace the popular Cops Helping Kids event. This tournament will
benefit SETX children’s charities and will be hosted out of the Orange
Public Boat Ramp. Hopefully, it will become an annual event as well.
As in the past, the guaranteed payoffs will be significant and the new
event will target only bass and redfish. The tournament is scheduled for
August 10^th with a Captain’s meeting the night before.This tournament
will be fun and will draw a huge crowd.Go ahead and mark that weekend on
It is apparently just as hot, if not hotter on Toledo Bend, but it
hasn’t slowed down the crappie bite for folks with well-maintained brush
piles.Thus far the only change has been that the fish have been holding
a little deeper, 22 to 26 feet, and are eating shiners much better than
The size is still excellentas well as I received a text and picture from
Mary Carlone holding three crappie that made the two pound mark last
Friday.She added that they caught 29 keepers before nine o’clock and
that the guided trip was a birthday present from her Grandmother!