With the last pages of the August issue of Louisiana Sportsman heading to the printer, my thoughts wandered to catching a few fish. And the phone call from buddy Eric Williamson of St. Gabriel only fed the deal.

The gist of the report was that crappie fishing was on fire in the Atchafalaya Basin. Williamson’s father and a buddy had slammed them the day before

Not dink sac-a-lait, either. Genuine slabs.

OK, so I’ll admit that I’m a mediocre (at best) crappie angler, but with a report like that — and an agreement that my dad and I could follow Williamson to the honey hole — we quickly made plans to head out.

It was clear when reached the landing this morning that the secret was out: The Bayou Pigeon boat launch parking lot was absolutely packed.

Thirty minutes after daylight, we were tossing micro-jigs along a grass line off of West Fork. It was slow going, with only one bite missed in the first 15 minutes, but the bite was supposed to be a little later. So no worries.

Then I stepped on the trolling motor controller to turn and get a snagged jig, and I heard a pop I knew was just bad news. Sure enough, a control cable had snapped.

Our day was done.

We watched Williamson’s buddy land a decent fish as we passed on our way to make a tour of the area. My father had never seen Grand Lake, so I ran him through the lake and headed back to the landing via Big Bayou Pigeon.

The water was just beautiful pretty much everywhere we went.

Finally, it was just too much to ignore. Trolling motor or no trolling motor, we were going to give it a try.

So we tucked the boat amongst some flooded cypress trees in Big Bayou Pigeon to dunk some crickets. I figured I could just drag the boat through the trees by hand.

The bite was anything but fast, but there were definitely monster goggle-eye using the trees as ambush points. A 30-yard stretch of the bayou produced a half dozen thick warmouth that were a blast to catch on the jig poles and ultra-lights we were using.

We finally ran out of trees, and decided it was just too much work to drag the boat through the trees. But we felt certain a working trolling motor would have allowed us to quickly pick off a good mess of goggle-eye.

I’ve got the location saved in my GPS, and I’ve dropped off the trolling motor at Front to Back Boat Service — and have been assured the cables would be replaced today.

The boat trailer is still hooked to my truck, and I’m planning to head out again tomorrow.