While many of us so called “hard core fishermen”were parked on the couch
or in a favorite recliner watching football, 498 teams of high school
bass fishermen were taking advantage of a wet, but otherwise perfect
fishing day.

Sam Rayburn was the scene of the first event of the year last Saturday
and raingear was the order of the day as it was damp even when it wasn’t
raining.Fog played a significant role early, but the overcast skies
proved user-friendly and kept the bass on the move all day. Not
surprisingly, three Orange County teams earned a spot in the top ten at
the final weigh-in and eleven teams earned a top fifty finish!

The Vidor team of Kullen King and Trent Korman posted a fourth place
finish with five bass weighing 16.81 pounds.Orangefield brothers, Conner
and Kade Griffin finished eighth with 14.15-lbs while the LCM team of
Braxton Rambo and Cameron Dougharty, fishing their first high school
event, claimed the tenth spot with a 13.84-pound bag.

It was a battle at the top as fifty of the teams all weighed in at least
a ten pound sack.The winning team topped the massive field with a
19.71-pound catch.As in most tournaments, their winning weight was
anchored with a “game changing” 6.34-pound kicker bass.

If you find yourself on a fishing aisle in a department store or
shopping in a local tackle shop like Rambo’s dedicated to supplying
information as well as tackle, do not make the mistake of hustling noisy
teen-agers out of the way.The chances are very good that they are ganged
up in front of lures that work and they may well be some of these same
youngsters.Slow down and listen!

I have become more aware of the fact that I no longer leave the house
with the intention of catching every fish in the pond, regardless of
weather, and the past couple of days confirmed that line of thinking.On
the heels of three days of unseasonably warmer weather, we unexpectedly
discovered that it was windy and much colder than anticipated.Shorts and
t-shirts under rain gear were not enough!

That under dressed mistake inevitably occurs when you get so caught up
with catching that you could care less about the weather report.A
falling barometer and cloudy skies had been exceptionally good to us and
we unfortunately ignored the forecast.

Banking on it warming up, we decided to give it a try anyway.It never
warmed up!

The only guarantee when winter fishing, fresh or saltwater, is that you
will never do well when you are more concerned with the cold than the
bite.Your lure presentation is bad, the ability to feel your lure is
greatly diminished and your “give a hoot” is solidly frozen.

Even with all of those negatives, however, I returned home in a hurry to
get back as soon as it warms up just a little.Tyson Bray, thirty years
younger than I, had no clue as to when or how to fish a Corky or
suspending mullet imitation.The closest thing he had to one of the
winter time favorites was a chrome-blue back Bomber Long A.

In a brief forty-five minute span he missed several strikes while
boating his limit of specks.For years, prior to deciding there were
better choices, we religiously fished jerk baits like the Long A and
Rogue in Sabine Lake.

I am not sure why we put them away forever as they were extremely
versatile lures that attracted not only redfish, but big trout as
well.They were deadly fished in that top column of water.You could
simply twitch them on the surface, jerk them down a foot or so or
retrieve them slowly so that they wobbled just beneath the surface.

For some unknown reason they were relegated to an empty corner of the
work bench in favor of the more publicized Corky, Mirrodine and Catch V
series.I can’t tell you that any of those lures would or would not have
out fished Ty’s Long A as I never made the first cast. That would have
required taking my hands out of my pockets and I didn’t feel like there
was a trout within casting range worth warming my fingers up again.

In any event I have now added a box of Long A’s to my winter arsenal
that I didn’t even remember owning and I can’t wait to tie one on.Right
after it warms up a little! .