It was an August marriage made in bass heaven, and what happened over the weekend in the marshes south of Bob’s Bayou Black Marina in Gibson reminded of the wedding-day necessity for all brides — “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.”
The “old” was the single-spin, three-eighths ounce H&H spinnerbait.
The “new” was H&H’s new Finesse Blade.
“Borrowed” came when fishing partner and Advocate videographer Gary Krouse was asked to hand over a one, just one, among his assortment of the stick worms, the Yum Dingers, Yamamoto’s Senko and other such lures that have become a must-have, soft-plastic lure for south Louisiana freshwater and brackish-water fishermen.
The “blue” was the color, as long as it was blended with white and chartreuse in the skirts on the “old” H&H spinnerbait.
It helped mightily that David Cavell guided the way in the marshes south of U.S. 90 from the Gibson launch.
It was a 12-14 minute run south. Brady Canal and run-outs from ponds into the Intracoastal Canal were the top spots.
Water movement was a key, too. A west wind, a problem for most coastal fishermen during the past six weeks, turned out to be a help, if only because it pushed water in the extra-shallow ponds into the cuts along the spoil banks in most canals. There was some tidal push into the ponds in the very early morning, but a falling tide, helped by the wind, concentrated baitfish and the bass, in mixing water around places where water funneled through smaller run-outs.
Cavell’s hints about casting small, white buzzbaits in the hour or two after break of day, then going with spinnerbaits and the Finesse Blade-rigged stick worms after that made it easy to hone in on the numbers of bass waiting to pounce on these lures.
“Some of the bass come up and are schooling on the baitfish,” Cavell said. “That’s when you can throw a Pop-R or similar topwater to take advantage of that frenzy.”
True enough, but only after the sun got higher in the sky. And the topwaters worked on smaller bass chasing small, two-inch and smaller minnows.
It was the size of the minnows that keyed the move to the single-bladed H&H, the double-hook lure that’s been a staple for Louisiana bass anglers for more than 50 years. The three-eighths ounce size mimicked the size of the forage the bass were chasing.
After pulling the spinnerbait from its package — its blue-white-chartreuse skirt was just the right color — the only change was to trim maybe a half-inch from the skirt to give it an even smaller profile.
Why that color? One explanation came years ago from legendary Denham Springs fisherman Jim Brackin — God rest his soul — who said he found blue goes lighter in slightly stained water and gives off a color cast that’s found in shad and small bluegill. He further explained that white and chartreuse are colors, in combination, that are so unique to catching bass in south Louisiana waters, and even works when it comes to catching speckled trout and redfish.
Brackin said no one seemed to know why this combination works, but that every bait we use in south Louisiana in freshwater and saltwater always produces more strikes than baits lacking something chartreuse either in the tail or along the body, and that only a couple of colors in baits he knew of didn’t need chartreuse and those were black/green Cocohoe Minnows and black/blue worms and jigs.
The Finesse Blade, unveiled to rave reviews at July’s ICAST Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, is an adaptation of a lure touring bass pro Keith Poche showed off during his run to a third-place finish in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River.
Poche showed a stick worm rigged with a small spinner he threaded into the tail of the worm on a small screw-like arm and a small swivel he rigged in his home workshop. It’s a design that’s been imitated by untold numbers of bass fishermen, but the H&H folks added a longer shaft to the screw that’s fixed with a swivel on a No. 2 Colorado blade for freshwater action, and to a No. 2 willowleaf to attract redfish strikes.
All totaled, these baits produced at least 100 catch-and-release bass Friday from the three boats and another 26 Saturday morning, results that old and new, borrowed and blue can take anglers to other places than an altar.
LOSP offers lottery hunts
It’ll take a road trip to north Louisiana, but hunters have a 4:30 p.m. Sept. 4 deadline to apply for lottery deer hunts on Office of State Parks undeveloped lands at Coochie Brake State Park and Big Cypress State Park.
Coochie Brake is located in Winn Parish while Big Cypress is in Bienville Parish.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is handling applications, which are available on the LDWF’s website: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/lottery-hunts under the “Deer-Office Of State Parks” category.
The application, along with a $5 administrative fee, must be sent to the address listed on the application form. The LDWF announcement also noted that details on the qualifications, application requirements, and dates of the hunts also are listed on the application.
For more information, call Britt Evans (225) 342-1587/Email: email@example.com.