All Ticky Delatte wanted to do was to show some old friends a good time bass fishing. That’s because all Greg Fontenot Sr. does is work at his grocery store in Whitehall.

And all Delatte, Greg Sr. and Jr. and Gabe Scivique did was catch fish, and come back with a heck of a fish story.

“Venice is back,” Delatte said after his weekend trip to Venice. “I remember driving the river after (Hurricane) Katrina and seeing all the animals dead and wondering how long it would take it to come back.”

Saturday, the four men found enough bass to bring a smile to their faces.

“We were flipping Humdinger spinnerbaits along the roseau canes and found an area where lilies (water hyacinth) were piled up and where the water was pouring through,” Delatte said. “I flipped the spinnerbait to the edge of the lilies and let the current take it and caught a good fish.”

He hooked up on the next seven casts: “Every one was over 3 pounds, and I asked why I couldn’t be fishing a tournament. I could see boats everywhere in the bay, but we had found the right spot.”

Delatte motioned the Fontenots to come to the spot: “Greg Jr. flipped a spinnerbait on top of the lilies, and I told him to work it off. When the bait dropped into the current, he caught the biggest fish of the day, one close to 6 pounds. His dad pulled one in that went about 5 pounds.”

They were on the east side of the Mississippi River where fishermen like to find narrow, roseau cane-lined, deep waterways that run off major distributaries like Batiste Collette and Pass a Loutre.

“We were flipping along the canes and catching lots of fish, most of them about a pound and a half. I guess we caught maybe 70 just in my boat,” Delatte said. “The river is down and the water is green, but the wind was kind of tough, and I never thought we could catch fish like we did.”

Delatte reported winds whipped The Jump so hard that it forced fishermen in smaller boats to turn away from running the Mississippi River.

“By Saturday evening, we were the only boats left in the slip (at Venice Marina), and I thought Sunday wasn’t looking too good,” Delatte said. “It calmed down. All the normal spots were muddy, and we had to hustle to find good water, but when we did, wow.”

He said the four men kept just enough fish for a meal.

“It all happened so quickly, the big fish I mean,” Delatte said.

“I’ve won a few (club) tournaments out of Venice, but this was the best trip ever.”