“It’s really kind of crazy the way fishing goes through cycles,” said
Ronnie Lott.“Forty years ago when I was working in a refinery every
plant or refinery had a bass club.At least over here, they just kind of
died out when gas got so high and for some reason the bass fishing on
Rayburn got so tough!”

“In the mid 80”s most of the really good bass fishermen I had competed
against stayed closer to home and started chasing trout and redfish.When
folks found out how many big trout we had in the lake, the Bay boat
business just exploded.”

Lott continued reminiscing while filling the gas tank on his boat.“I
haven’t only gone from bass fishing to trout fishing and back to bass
fishing,” he pointed out. “I’ve gone from aluminum john boats to bass
boats to a Center Console and back to an aluminum bass boat.”

“Following Harvey, I parked my 22-foot Pathfinder in storage and I
haven’t fished out of it since.Local bass fishing is probably better now
than it ever was and my grandson and I do all of our fishing out of this
aluminum Express bass boat.”

At least genetically, Lott’s twelve year old grandson has a leg up on
most of his friends when it comes to developing his fishing skills. Not
only does he have a grandpa with a world of fishing knowledge, but one
that will take the time to share it with him.

A lot of Dads and grandpas are missing the boat, no pun intended, when
it comes to spending quality time with their youngsters.

“We fish at least one day every weekend and most every holiday,” says
Lott through a beaming smile.“Don’t get me wrong…we both enjoy catching
fish,” but even when the bite is tough, the benefits are endless.Gordon
appreciates and respects everything that has to do with the outdoors, we
leave any and all problems at home, look forward to launching the boat
and hate putting it back on the trailer at the end of the day. And it
usually starts with a pre-dawn breakfast burrito!”

Lott also pointed out that while it may surprise some, he can attest to
the fact that kids don’t really need cell phones and video games to fill
their free time.“When we fish, I bring my phone for any emergencies, but
Gordon leaves his in the truck.Aside from school work, most of his time
spent on his computer involves watching fishing techniques on You Tube.”

I was recently visiting with Bob Crew, an Orange angler that was fishing
the marshes from Black’s Bayou to the Sabine Game Reserve before there
was a Toledo Bend and a 9.8 horse power motor was a big engine and he
readily agrees with Lott’s assessment.

“I raised my boys and their friends fishing and hunting and those trips
still represent some of the most memorable days of our lives,” said
Crew. “I no longer have to catch a single fish to enjoy a day on the
water.What else can I do that affords me the opportunity to witness a
gorgeous sunrise, watch the wildlife react to an approaching norther or
scan the sky for the haunting sound of geese headed southward?It will
always be a rush!”

I couldn’t agree more with either assessment or the possibility that
local bass fishing may indeed be better than ever before.During the
early sixties we took the incredible bite for granted, but while numbers
were no problem, a four pound bass drew a crowd!

That is no longer the case. The Sabine, the Neches and area marshes all
have the potential to regularly yield bass in excess of six pounds and
the average size bass today is much better. We have even seen a pair of
nine pound fish over the past couple of years and there was a time when
we thought we would never see bass that heavy on Toledo Bend.It is most
likely that our larger bass are kinfolk of the Florida strain that
escaped both Rayburn and Toledo Bend.

Aside from the fact that the bass fishing is continuing to improve, the
best part is that it is happening right here in our backyard.Mother
Nature plays a huge role in this resurgence, but sustaining this
resource is dependent on the fishermen.

Take a youngster fishing this week end and make him or her a partner in
keeping it going!


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