Laisse le Bon Temps Rouille!! (Let the Good Times Roll!!) 133 Fish, Stillhouse, 28 February 2013

This afternoon I fished with Taylor and Carla Carmouche of Killeen.

Taylor and Carla with lagniappe!

Both are bona fide Cajuns from well south of New Orleans. I’ve never met a Cajun that didn’t fish well, and these two were no exceptions!! We specifically delayed the trip today so as to enjoy the benefit of the winds that were to peak at around 16 mph with some higher gusts. Cold, bright, still mornings seem to put a damper on the fishing, and, with the temperatures dropping to the low to mid-thirties overnight, it is much more comfortable for my guests to fish at this time.

We got on the water at 2:00p caught just one fish in our first 45 minutes on the water, then moved and found fish further downlake. Thanks to a couple of loons who had worked to find bait, I was able to find some fish near that same bait just off the river channel in about 35 feet of water, and that led us to fish. We found fish a big “cranky” at first, unwilling to go for anything not within a foot of the bottom. From Area 1172 we boated exactly 56 fish before the action faded out. Every one of these fish came on a vertically jigged TNT180 slab, ¾ oz. white.

Our next (and last) stop came at Area 981, again, right on the edge of the river channel. I eased into this area based on recent success enjoyed here during a scouting trip late last week. These fish were just a few yards upstream of where I’d last encountered them. At first, we attempted a slow “smoking” retrieve for these fish, but they seemed a bit reluctant to pull up off bottom despite a great number of fish initially showing on sonar in a very aggressive posture. So, after pulling fewer fish than I thought we might by smoking, we went back to vertical jigging, picked up a few more fish, but this time, as we reeled in those fish from bottom, the entire school lifted up into the water column. So now we had fish at 24 feet down to 32 feet over a 40 foot bottom. We wore these active, suspended fish out with a smoking retrieve, taking our count from 57 fish up to 133 fish by the time we’d thinned them out and they lost interest.

As we closed in on a 100 fish day, the excitement was building. Carla and Taylor had a little friendly competition going on over who was going to boat that 100th fish. I just put my rod up at around fish #95 and let the two of them “work that out” themselves.

After #100, then #101, then #102 and so on came over the side, Taylor said, “Now this is lagniappe!” – that’s Cajun for “a little something extra; a bonus”.

When all was said and done we had boated 131 white bass and 2 largemouth bass. Today, the big one really DID get away. Taylor had a largemouth that would have gone about 3 pounds do a classic boatside headshake and disappear for good before we got him in the boat.

I appreciate the Carmouche’s having faith in my call on the weather. When they saw such cool temperatures and higher than moderate wind speeds, they thought twice about coming, but, I assured them these were great conditions for this time of year – stable weather in an unstable season. They let the guide be the guide and were rewarded for it.

TALLY = 133 fish

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Start Time: 2:00p

End Time: 6:25p

Air Temp: 57F at trip’s start

Water Surface Temp: ~55-56F

Wind: Winds were NNW16 at trip’s start slowly tapering off to NNW9.

Skies: Skies were fair on the NNW wind.