STILL LEARNING THE ROPES
Last updated 3/3/2020 at Noon
”How can we leave,” asked Terry Robnet.“It’s pretty obvious the fish are here, but we just forgot how to fish.”
That enlightening statement was a logical assumption based on the fact that two anglers drifting the same flat were catching three or four fish every drift.At the same time, we were only three hundred yards east of them and lucky to catch a single trout. Our pile of wrong guesses littering the floor of the boat was growing!
The frustration really set in when they started their next drift much closer to the shore, immediately boated a red and a trout and left.The conditions were still perfect two hours later, but our patience had taken a hit.
Having decided six keepers would have to do, we elected to call it a day. As soon as I rounded the south point of East Pass I noticed the same boat was anchored on the north side of the Pass and the occupants were waving us over.
“When you can’t catch a fish you don’t talk to nobody…hahn?,” barked a Lake Charles friend that I had fished with regularly on Big Lake years ago.Following a couple more predictable jabs, he picked up his nearest rod and pitched his lure on the deck of my boat.
“Jason is fishing a jerk bait, but I have had this same Down South tail tied on all morning,” said Phil.“We have been fishing that flat a lot over the past two weeks and limited almost every trip.It took us a while to figure them out, but it was worth the work!”
It all started with Jason throwing a Spro McStick which is basically shaped like the Rogue or Long A, but sinks very slowly. That eliminates surface strikes, but you can fish it with a twitching motion at any depth with little or no effort.“When we figured out that the trout were only a foot or two beneath the surface,” added Phil, “I Texas rigged a Down South tail on a worm hook with no weight rather than a jig head. Jason’s bait is kind of pearl/purple, but I am catching mine on Texas Roach.”
Terry and I had tried countless lures that matched their lures in both color and body style, but we were fishing too slow.When we decided to stick with tails we kept our lures on the bottom and the fish weren’t there!
I would have never tried fishing a tail rigged on a worm hook with no weight, but the slow sinking motion kept it in the critical strike zone with far less effort on the angler’s part.I haven’t tried the set up yet, but I am sure it will be easier to cast with a spinning rig.I think the color of Jason’s McStick is called Ghost Magic Purple.
We have been fishing a jerk bait more lately than I have fished one in years and done pretty well.I change two of the treble hooks out for single hooks and if it doesn’t change the lure’s posture, I leave the middle hook in the box. I love braided line, but not when fishing a jerk bait.A loop knot is easier to tie with mono or fluorocarbon and the added stretch is more forgiving on the hook set.
Parts of the lake are off-colored due to the latest runoff and consecutive days of stiff winds, but it hasn’t affected the bite at all. The best news is that the bite is apparently good from Coffee Ground to the Causeway reefs.Even better is the fact that they are catching their fish on the same pattern.
Of late, it has been a matter of fishing tight to the shoreline when you spot small schools of shad next to the grass.On occasion you will see three or four reds pin them against the reeds, but even if you don’t see signs of fish…..they are there!
The second program is simply a matter of backing off the bank and fishing water three to five feet deep with the same lures.Another great choice for exploiting this pattern is to rig a tail or Gulp minnow under a popping cork.Shorter tails have produced better when fished under the cork.Bury the Talon or Power Pole immediately any time you miss a strike or catch a fish.One fish can turn into a dozen fish if you don’t drift through them!