The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

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By Capt. Dickie Colburn
For The Record 

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

things out.

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!


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