CENTIPEDES AND BOUDIN BALLS
Last updated 1/29/2019 at Noon
Before I could even say “Hello”, Jason Leger was blurting out an
invitation in the form of a question.“When was the last time you caught
a bunch of fish,” he asked. My answer obviously surprised him.“Two weeks ago,” I replied.“We just hammered the crappie on Lake Tyler.”Unimpressed, he responded, “Crappie don’t count….I’m talking about bass!” The north wind was blowing 17 mph at the time of his call, it had rained most of the night and from a distance it appeared that the mercury on my Pepsi outdoor thermometer was still frozen at the 36 degree mark. “O.K.,” I responded.“Spin your tale, but I am not driving to your place to freeze my rear off today.” “Ever since the lake hit the 172 mark I have been catching bass like they were bream stacked around my dock and the weather hasn’t
mattered.Even the time of day doesn’t seem to slow the bite too much.I
don’t know if it is because they are generating or what, but this is
like magic.” Two days later it was 58 degrees and as instructed, I headed up to
T-Bend for a shot at non-stop bass catching.I have been fishing far too
long to expect anything of the sort, but I hadn’t visited with Jason in
a long time and he would keep me laughing if nothing else.
“All you need to bring is rain gear to keep you from whining about the cold wind and a spinning rig loaded up with 10-pound mono or fluorocarbon.Don’t come up here with braided line on your reel and a half dozen spicy boudin balls would be nice!” “I know you’d rather jig a spoon than drop shot he mumbled through a mouth full of Danny’s boudin, but the drop shot is the ticket here.He zeroed the troll motor in on a waypoint marking 26 feet and lowered a nose-hooked Centipede over the side.
“You better hurry up or you will be one bass behind before I finish this last ball.” He was right.Before I could even flip the bail on my reel he jerked a two pound bass into the boat.“Since you caught all those crappie you don’t have a reason to save any fish,” he stated having already released the bass.
Jason caught nine bass between two and four pounds and I caught five or six before we reversed our mangled Centipedes.“If I am lucky enough to get them back, I turn them around and hook the other end,” he
offered.“If not, I would go through a helluva lot of Centipedes. This user-friendly action was taking place in the middle of the day.We
fished four different spots in 25 to 30 feet of water and caught no less
than a dozen bass on each stop.Only one spot served up smaller fish and
most of those were Kentucky bass.Our largest bass might have weighed
five pounds, but that was a guess as we kept no fish. I never gave a spoon a try, but I had no reason to experiment.It was indeed crazy how easy the catching was, but I was more excited about the amount of new growth hydrilla he had located.“I have found pretty big patches as shallow as three feet deep from Tennessee Bay to Buck Creek,” stated Leger,” but I am more excited about the 10 to 16-foot stuff.”
I returned home with orders to send him a couple of bottles of
chartreuse Spike-it dye and as many packages of his favorite color
Centipede as I could find.I only found six packages, but I think the
fact that he was dipping the tail made the bigger difference.Once we
turned a used bait around it didn’t seem to generate as many strikes.
One trip is certainly no reason to encourage others to give drop
shotting a try, but it could make a huge difference for those fishermen
that detest jigging a spoon.You will have to do your homework with your
depth finder as we never fished a spot that didn’t mark fish.
I am also unsure as to why Jason preferred mono over braid for drop
shotting, but he gave me no reason to question that decision.I, too, am
a firm believer that a spinning rod works much better for that
technique.We used seven-foot medium action rods and missed very few strikes.
Even if it doesn’t work for you it will give you an opportunity to
locate new hydrilla growth and the big bass will stage in that stuff