When Mother Nature quits her crying for a few days, the rivers that drain lower Louisiana clear up but still flow swiftly. That pretty water allows the Kentucky spotted bass that crowd the rivers to go on feeding binges fit for a Roman god.

Usually when that happens, Joe Lavigne is waiting. The Independence resident has been fishing the rivers all his life, and he's caught largemouth bass on them weighing up to 6 1/2 pounds. But the Kentuckys are what the rivers really produce, and they're no slouches either, growing to 4-pound weights.

Lavigne has taken me on about a dozen of these adventures over the years, the latest being this week, when the cameras were rolling. It was Lavigne's first river float since November, thanks to winter and early spring rains that never allowed the waterways to get clean.

Not sure what we'd find, Lavigne and I were delighted when the first fish hit less than two minutes into the float. We would get MANY more bites over the next five hours, keeping some and releasing the rest.

It's a great way to spend a spring day when winds don't allow much else on the water.

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