Even many diehard coastal and offshore anglers look forward to this time of year. When the winter chill begins to thaw, they put away their meat sticks and pull out their ultralights, rigged at the end with tiny little baits designed to catch fish that aren’t much bigger than the lures they use the rest of the year.
It’s the season when crappie, known as sac-a-lait in South Louisiana, move up to the banks of rivers, bayous and canals to make future crops of crappie, and catching them becomes all many people can think about.
There are at least two reasons this enigmatic species of fish is irresistible.
The first is that sac-a-lait taste better than just about any other food on the planet. Put them side by side with lobster, caviar or the finest wagyu steak, and most people will finish the crappie fillets first.
Secondly, sac-a-lait bite when they want to and look at your lures with utter disgust when they don’t. Everything is always on their terms, which adds to the attraction and intrigue. They are the prettiest girl at school — always there, always tantalizing, but so often just out of reach.
So when they DO bite, few activities are more fun.
That was true for my son Joel during a trip this week on the Tchefuncte River. He took his buddy Emile Cangiamilla along, and they targeted fish up shallow under tiny styrofoam corks.
They caught a few that way, but what they discovered was that the fish haven’t moved up shallow quite yet, so they changed techniques and whacked some slabs.
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