The likely next stop for young Jacob Kimball and Bryan Bergeron is the CIA’s class on keeping secrets.
Very few anglers among the 42 boats entered in Saturday’s inaugural Anglers Against Autism Bass Tournament wouldn’t so much as mention they were in the water until the 3 p.m. weigh-in much less discuss lure choice, fishing location, catch — the hows, wheres, whens and whys long-practiced south Louisiana bass fishermen won’t even tell a priest in a confessional.
“We were close to Grand Lake,” 11-year-old Jacob pronounced, the excitement of a trip into the vast Atchafalaya Spillway still in his voice. An audible groan followed seconds later from nearby adults, the loudest from a cadre of old-time bass catchers.
“I caught my big fish on a crankbait, green (top), white (sides) and orange (belly), and we used a worm…a cotton candy color and a spinnerbait,” the youngster continued.
“My dad (attorney Kevin Kimball) caught his big fish around a laydown (brushtop)…we caught maybe 10 fish…and my dad got (the boat) stuck,” he added.
Bryan Bergeron nodded all the while and mentioned something about a canal off Grand Lake where they had some success and told about catching his biggest bass around 8 a.m. in Grand Lake, that his buddy Jacob put the first “keeper” bass (the Spillway has a 14-inch minimum size bass limit) and that Mr. (Kevin) Kimball’s bass was caught around 1 p.m.
So, when old-timer Don Hutchinson and his day-partner, the middle-timer (not old enough to be an old timer) Corey Wheat came in with what turned out to be the winning stringer from Grand Lake — 15.04 pounds on a five-bass limit including the 4.72-pound tournament lunker Wheat caught — the two youngsters weren’t surprised.
“There are a lot of good fish in there,” young Bryan said.
“Yes, we were in there,” Hutchinson confirmed. “We caught fish most of the day and used five different lures.”
Wheat said the big bass came “…punching a (Sweet) Beaver in the grass” at about 9:30 said the duo caught “a lot of bass on a Tony Landry Humdinger spinnerbait.
The fish were really eating that, but the big fish came on other baits.
“We were working a small spot in the lake, and we hit a canal during the day,” Wheat said. “We caught fish throughout the day.”
New hot spot
The weekend’s hottest report from the Grand Isle area is that CCA’s latest project, the newly refurbished Independence Island Reef, is paying off with speckled trout up to 18 inches long. After layering tons of limestone on the reef earlier this year, CCA and its partners anchored mooring buoys on the reef so that boats could tie-up and fish and not have to drop an anchor to stay on the reef.