"I'm killing them right now," Halbrook exclaimed. "You just can't believe how big they are this year. The fish I'm catching right now are the biggest ones I've ever caught on the Caney. I had a trip yesterday, and we caught 100 giants with a few over two pounds. The amazing thing is that they haven't really moved up to spawn yet either."
The big chinquapins are holding in 5 to 6 feet of water right off the edges of the beds. Halbrook expects that to change this weekend, though, as the full moon should move a wave of fish to the beds.
"The best way to catch them so far this year has been fishing cold worms on the bottom in that five foot zone," Halbrook revealed. "I've been using an ultralight reel with a slip cork, so I can stay off the fish while still hammering that magic depth. I've even heard of a few people catching them on crickets. I've never done that, but I guess they're just eating anything they can find right now."
Halbrook pointed out the backs of Hancock Creek and Boggy Branch as two potential hot spots. The real key is to find the dollar lilies like those across from the State Park beach in the back of Boggy. Any creek with the dollar lilies is likely to be a honey hole as the weeks progress and the fish move deeper into the spawn.
"If they move up this weekend," Halbrook said, "you're going to have to change your fishing just a bit. When they go to the beds, you need to throw your bait right in the middle of those honeycomb-looking areas. Use an ultralight and stay way back and you'll catch them until you can't stand it anymore."
If you're interested in booking Eddie Halbrook for a chinquapin trip, you can contact him at 318-259-4454.