SOCIAL DISTANCING NOT A GIVEN
Last updated 5/5/2020 at 8:40pm
"Is today Saturday," I asked Todd Dore as we slowed to an idle in the smaller waves splashing up against the North Levee wall. "What kind of a question is that," he snapped into the wind."Every day is Saturday right now isn't it?"
The reason I even asked was due to the number of trucks and anglers lining the wall. It looked like the old days at Rollover on a weekend morning. We immediately chose not to make the first cast and entertained ourselves by idling the entire length of the wall while watching the fishermen negotiate the rocks in an effort to acquire even a smidgen of real estate.
It was crazy. So much for the idea of going fishing as a way to have fun and still practice social distancing!
A handful of anglers fishing from boats were attempting to avoid the cob web of lines extending from the shore, but there were very few open holes. By the time we could see the first set of pipes, Todd had counted sixty-eight trucks and that number did not include several compact cars and motorcycles.
I knew that we weren't going to be able to fish, but I also knew that the trout were there. We saw no really good fish being dragged back up the rocks, but we did see lots of small keepers paying the ultimate price. The fact that I spotted several friends that frequent the wall on a regular basis lent further credence to speculation that it was indeed going on.
A call to one of those friends initially resulted in a very nasty greeting as he fumbled with his phone while trying to maintain his balance on the rocks. "Why are you calling me......I see y'all out there," he replied. "Do you think I would be fighting this crowd if the fish weren't going nuts? Larry and I caught our limits an hour ago, but can't leave because his truck is pinned in. I don't even know where you could turn around right now anyway!"
There was never a moment when we couldn't see at least one angler lifting a trout up on the rocks and they were catching them on everything from live bait to tails. Someone must have done well on a chartreuse Trap as well because I never saw so many folks throwing the same lure.
The south wall wasn't nearly as crowded, but the incoming waves were much higher. We eventually ran back to the Louisiana shoreline and finished the morning with eight small keeper trout. We caught every fish on a Lil' John under a Mansfield Mauler. The water was high and a little dirtier than it has been.
I doubt that the kids will see the inside of a class room in the near future and while that disruption is just one more of the devastating effects of the pandemic, it will give them an extra month to practice
for the annual CCA STAR tournament.
I cannot imagine any parent that enjoys fishing not signing up their youngster with the additional time and all the scholarship money up for grabs .For that matter, I have never understood why anyone that enjoys any form of saltwater fishing would not join the CCA and participate in
everything from the tournament to their annual banquets!
The tournament kicks off on the 27th and there is an entry form and rules on their web site. There is also a list of the incredible prize money and scholarships up for grabs in each division. Both weigh stations for local anglers are located on the south end of Sabine lake.
Phase One has seen a few more folks on the road and shopping local businesses, but I remain a tad leery as far as social distancing is concerned. Part of that is because I fall out amongst the more vulnerable "Over the Hill "gang, but more so because of what a friend from Baton Rouge recently told me. His neighbor just won a miserable battle with the virus, but he was quick to remind me, "I don't care where you live in the United States, nine of every ten people you will walk past today
has not been tested!"
I laud the job that John Gothia and local leaders have done thus far, but this is not the time to take their work and our good fortune for granted or declare it to be an over blown fuss about nothing. Stay the course and let's get back to living!