Here’s something to ponder: Louisiana’s tourism folks have worked hard to get the Redfish Tour and Redfish Cup to hold tournaments here. This year, there will be a total of seven such events in the Bayou State, several of which will be televised on ESPN. […]
ON THE COVER: You don’t need crickets to lure strikes from hand-sized bream, like these caught by Gabby Crawford, Taylor Masson, and Andy Crawford. […]
I admit, when it comes to bass fishing I am only a novice at best. That doesn’t keep me from daydreaming, however, that I just might be able to hang with some of the pros if the conditions were right.
Like most fish stories, this “hanging with the pros” stuff sounds like stretching a 14-inch fish into another category. But isn’t a guy entitled to his dreams? Moreover, I realize that if I were a betting man, I certainly wouldn’t be betting on yours truly. Yet, note that I said, “I might be able to hang … if the conditions were right.”
My first condition would be to fish the canals south of the Intracoastal Waterway and east of Bayou Sale Bay. It is in these canals that I dream of going pro.
The second condition would be making sure I was ready to start fishing the moment the tide started to fall. The short time frame where the tide sort of stands motionless is when you should be running to the canals to rig up your favorite bait.
Spring inshore fishing can be such a tease. Specks are ready for their reproductive business, but extreme changes in the weather make fish extremely mobile, rendering even the most up-to-date information obsolete.
But that compares little to the games redfish play as they ease into the warm-weather pattern. Reds are more than willing to mass in the shallow ponds and show themselves in all their bronze glory, but getting them to bite is an entirely different matter. […]
It was a steamy summer afternoon, and we were fishing in Mama’s Pond in the western Atchafalaya Basin. The water was just high enough to back into the trees and bushes along the shoreline.
My partners and I were throwing chartreuse buzz baits into the cover as far as we could, and we got a few good strikes on top. Still, in some spots, we could see about 8 more feet of good-looking water that we couldn’t touch with those buzz baits. That was 8 feet of fish-holding water that we couldn’t access, and it deeply annoyed us.
We all fiddled with some of the lures in our tackle boxes, and the three of us probably all gave a frog or a rat bait a brief look. It was weedless and maybe suitable for the situation, but that kind of lure is more of a novelty isn’t it? It catches fishermen, right, not bass?
That was our thinking, and it probably cost us dearly.
Roland Martin is given credit for having coined the phrase “pattern fishing” during the 1970s. He was one of the first anglers in the country to understand that replicating the exact set of water conditions like depth, cover, structure, temperature, clarity and current prevalent when he got a bite would lead to many more bites. […]
In the days before any European set foot in the New World, the shorelines surrounding Lake Pontchartrain were inhabited by several Native American tribes. Bayougoula, Mougoulacha, Chitimacha, Colapissa, Quinipissalive and the “corn-gatherers,” or Tangipahoa Indians, fished the big lake they called “Okwa-ta,” the wide water. […]