The sky was still black when Dusty Anders pulled up to Toledo Town & Tackle, the pit stop/tackle store on the corner of Highways 6 and 191 near Toledo Bend Reservoir.

I counted 32 fiberglass bass boats in the lot. I did some quick math and came up with $1.6 million sitting there.

And then there were the trucks pulling them — all new or nearly so and mostly full-sized, heavy-duty, four-wheel drive rigs.

It was a weekday and there weren’t any tournaments going on — just regular fishin’.

On top of that, the weather was iffy.

Earlier, when I woke up and walked into the living room of Anders’ camp in La Nana, he looked away from the TV he was studying.

“Well, we have Mother Nature to contend with this morning,” Anders said.

I stuck my head out the door. The wind was howling.

“That’s what’s bad about Toledo Bend,” Anders grumbled. “Most places, the wind lays down at night. Not here.”

We went anyway. I was determined to pick Ander’s mind about Carolina rigs, one of the most versatile and productive lures in a bass fisherman’s arsenal. 

The Carolina rig certainly came after the invention of the Texas rig in the late 1950s. It had been in quiet use, however, well before Jack Chancellor won the 1985 Bassmasters Classic on the Arkansas River using a version of the contraption.

Professional anglers now use Carolina rigs much more often than the slower-to-fish Texas rig. Many consider it their go-to rig.

Anders calls it, “a numbers bait.”

“It’s good for fun fishing — but it can also catch big fish,” he said. “That’s what I like about