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By Capt. Dickie Colburn
For the Record 

Which Way To Go


Last updated 10/6/2020 at 6:58pm

What a difference a week can make. “Last Monday I was hoping I could catch a few decent bass in the bayou or maybe a redfish or two in Coffee Ground Cove,” said Jarrod James, “and now its hard to choose between Sabine Lake and Toledo Bend!”

He and his wife, Carley, decided on Toledo Bend and caught fifty white perch and a pile of two to five pound bass in two days.They apparently made the right decision.

Jason said they caught white perch as quickly as they could lower a black-chartreuse tube jig over the side of the boat in twenty-four feet of water.“The mornings were cool and we weren’t hitting the water until nine o’clock.The bite never slowed down and most of the fish we kept

were a pound or better.

In the afternoons they drifted the flats between Six Mile and Housen from four o’clock until dark and caught and released solid bass the entire time. “I thought about you when we were catching those bass because we caught every fish on the old Whipporbill y’all used to fish

back in the day.”

I fished it out of self-defense.It was pre-Wacky worm and if you didn’t fish it, Luther White would embarrass you at the cleaning table.The Whipporbill was the name Luther attached to the lure which was actually a spoon bill Rebel.

It was all about long casts and even longer drifts.After initially getting it down to the desired depth with several quick cranks of the reel handle, it was simply a continuous repetition of allowing the lure to float upward and cranking it right back down.In all honesty, it was

both frustrating and amazing watching him and his clients wear me out

day after day.

How many techniques and lures that worked so well no longer have a place in the tackle box?I can understand the profound impact of technology and how much it has done to reveal deep water hot spots, but a lot of bass still reside in six to twelve feet of water!

I was fourteen years old before I discovered that Crème even made a six-inch worm without two in-line hooks and a propeller. It’s not like I knew what to do with a worm that wasn’t pre-rigged and in looking back, it was probably a mistake abandoning that original worm forever.

The same can be said for the Near Nuthin.That tubular chunk of plastic with a bucktail was easily one of the most deadly school bass lures ever invented.I don’t believe there was a single school bass in the Housen bay area that grew up without seeing the lure thanks to Preston Prince

and Roger Futch.I lost my last one to a schooling redfish in Sabine Lake!

The water has been both high and a little more off-colored on the north end of Sabine Lake, but the bite has gotten a little better every day. Even a couple of gulls or terns will attract every boater in the immediate area, but fortunately there are birds working all over the

lake right now.

As you run further south, the water clarity improves which does a lot for angler confidence.And at least from what I have seen, schooling redfish have been more prevalent.At the same time, I haven’t been able to tell much difference in the size of the average trout.

I was comparing notes with Capt. Chuck earlier this week and he had just made a couple of enjoyable trips as well.“The trout were small, but the fishing was as close to the old days as I have seen it,” said Chuck.“I never waded or tried anything more sophisticated, but I caught fish on most anything I threw at them.”

If you just want to avoid the crowds and still catch fish, try drifting a flat with a live shad or finger mullet under a popping cork.It doesn’t hurt to drag an unattended Carolina rig with a shad or mullet at the same time.

A four to six foot leader is the ticket as you want your bait swimming freely in that top water column.Many times you will see the strike before your cork even twitches.Robert Vail literally owns the technique and he and his wife, Betty, have already caught more trout and reds with

it than you or I can even hope to catch in a life time!


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