Fishing demands cautious approach
Last updated 8/4/2020 at 7:35pm
“Either we are fishing in the wrong place or we are the only people on
the lake,” said Ray Bayliss on a very hot afternoon last week.I feared
when it rained earlier in the day that it would at least feel hotter
than usual after it stopped due to the humidity and the fact that the
thermometer was hovering around the 93 degree mark.
With the light wind I also assumed that the boat ramp would be packed
with local fishermen hoping to squeeze in a few hours of thinking about
something other than Covid-19.The past week apparently did little to
quell those fears, however, and launch time was not an issue.
“I had two good friends test positive recently and I am afraid to even
answer the phone anymore,” added Bayliss.“Connie and I wear our masks
when we walk to the mail box and she sure wasn’t happy about me asking
you to go fishing. She threatened to move in with her Mother if we took
our masks off before we got to the middle of the lake!”
“Connie…..I promise that we kept our masks on both coming and going and
probably even met social distancing recommendations thanks to the all of
the floor space in Ray’s 25 foot Majak.
I appreciated the brief outing as an opportunity to do something other
than mow grass and walk the dog, but I still had red fish on the half
shell on my mind.We were fishing on a short clock and undoubtedly fished
a little too fast the first hour.We also spent way too much time
catching and releasing twelve inch trout that were all over a huge
school of small menhaden shad.
We finally settled down and found the redfish running a shoreline just
south of Three Bayous.As far as we could see, small groups of redfish
were blowing shad up in the cane.A four inch black-chartreuse Swim Bait
proved to be the ticket, but without fail, every redfish was either too
large or too small to make the trip home.
Ray eventually won his tug of war with a flounder large enough to feed
both he and Connie and we called it quits to minimize any problems we
might experience on the return trip.My only problem with fishing late
evenings is breaking down after dark and I have done that more than once!
While putting the boat on the trailer we learned that Ray’s earlier
diagnosis was on the money.We had indeed fished in the wrong place.
Two friends of his hollered at us as they were pulling their rig out and
said that they had just killed the trout all afternoon long.They proudly
hoisted a couple of solid keepers, but Ray grabbed my arm and said that
we couldn’t look at the rest of their fish or walk over and visit them.
“They don’t have masks on,” he warned aloud and it doesn’t matter if
they have a Great White in their cooler.Connie would lock the doors and
divorce me if she found out we visited with them!”
He called me later that evening and said that they had called and given
him a report on the way home.They had run south around noon to avoid a
small thunderstorm and ran across a school of surface feeding reds near
Blue Buck Point.
They managed to box two limits before electing to drift the deeper shell
north of the Causeway.The trout bite wasn’t just crazy good, but they
saved two limits of fish up to three pounds.All of their fish hit either
a five-inch glow-chartreuse Down South tail rigged on a quarter ounce
head or bone-chartreuse Die Dapper.
Ray added that they felt like they missed part of the bite due to
drifting too deep early on.They started in 10 to 14 feet of water, but
caught all of their fish in six to eight feet of water once they figured
One of the benefits of fishing the open lake is that you can usually get
some idea of where the fish might have been judging by areas getting
pressured the most.That can help eliminate a lot of water and cut down
the time spent searching.
That benefit has all but disappeared, however, since Covid-19 found its
way into our area and rightfully so.Lots of concerned wives could care
less about their favorite fisherman catching a fish right now!