When you’re hot, you’re hot, when you’re not, well, you’re not. This is an old adage that applies perfectly to the great sport of fishing.
When the time is right, you can do no wrong. Even the bad casts are scoring fish and in the hot zone. Likewise, some days you cannot buy a fish with good money. When it’s bad, it’s real bad, but when it’s good, it’s great. Fish long enough and you will encounter both extremes. It’s how you handle either that makes you a more effective angler.
Mike Tate set a due north course, and was bound and determined for Toledo Bend. A front blew through to welcome him, so conditions weren’t exactly prime. He headed out into a north wind dressed in his warmest skivvies.
The white perch action was due to turn on, so he headed for his honey hole. He was well rewarded, with a saddle-blanket white perch weighing two pounds, three ounces. The fish weren’t stacked up like they will be when it’s a bit warmer, but this spot is entered on Mike’s GPS. He’ll return at a later date.
As the sun warmed the water, it was prime time to check out the bass bite. Mike shifted gears and went into largemouth bass mode. The fish were finicky, until he found the right lure and presentation.
Mike broke out his hole card bait — an umbrella rig with five lifelike shiners. This contraption represents a small school of baitfish and a tempting gourmet meal for a hungry bass. It would turn this trip around.
It was like flipping the switch, as solid, aggressive bass turned on. This newfangled bait takes some patience and getting used to, but the rewards are well worth it. You cannot pitch this bait into cover with five bait hooks ready and willing to hang up immediately. You must pick your spots, mostly looking for unobstructed areas to cast the umbrella of fish into. It’s worth learning how to fish it.
Anglers with Mike were not catching much on their standard one-lure presentation. But after he boated numerous good fish, they began paying close attention.
Sometimes you have to be flexible and experiment with new baits and presentations. It’s wise to keep an open mind and try something new and improved. On this day, the umbrella method saved the day. Mike put together a great catch on an otherwise tough day. He boated some heavy pre-spawn show bass that fell for the multi-fish presentation that worked like a charm on this special day.
It’s a day local bass fishermen have been waiting for for one year. The beautiful freshwater marsh, better known as Lacassine Reserve, opens March 1. This vast marsh has produced many double-digit bass in its day. And if you enjoy marsh fishing in lily pads and lots of vegetation, this is the spot. The flats are shallow, so a big part of the enjoyment is being able to witness the strike. A big fish in skinny water is a sight to behold when it chases and attacks the bait.
Just ask Jacques Benoit. He and his fishing bud had endured a tough day in good old “Lacafish” last season. They decided to try one more spot on their way back, and that turned out to be a great call.
On Jacques’ first cast, all hell broke loose. The shallow water came alive as a giant chased and engulfed his bait. The trophy bass put on a show in four feet of water, as Jacques played this marsh hawg down. He boated the giant 10-pound-plus hawg and, the rest is history. Jacques is loving Lacassine!
Chances are Jacques will be back to enjoy more trophy bass fishing in Lacassine this spring. Happy fishing!