Finally, not only did the weather improve,
but a near-record breaking cool front settled
over the area this week.
Of course, I had to work nearly every evening,
just because the weather was so nice.
But I finally got a break on Thursday, and a
couple hours before dusk, I threw my tackle
into the back of the truck and took off for
the nearest pond I could find. Okay, I didn't
"throw" it into the back of the truck, but
you get the idea.
Arriving at the pond of my choice, I quickly
assembled and strung up my five-weight Redington
RedFly. In the spring, I usually fish this pond
with a four-weight, but by July it has grown
heavy with weeds. The fish really aren't large
enough here to justify a heavier rod, but the
five-weight has just enough backbone to drag a
few out of the vegetation.
I had to decide what to put on the leader. After
a round of deliberations, I settled on a Jitterbee
under a strike indicator. This received only a few
half-hearted nibbles. I wanted to work a black
bugger around the edge of the weedbeds, but
they had grown considerably since I was last at
this point and I had little faith in my success.
When the breezes finally succumbed near dusk, I was
ready with my all-time favorite popper, the Accardo
Spook, and the little bass thanked me by attacking
it with enthusiasm. I could barely get the head of
the line out. They'd ravish the Spook just off the
edge of the bank I stood upon.
It was a great hour or so of fishing. Did wonders to
improve my mood after months of daily rain and several
weeks of temperatures that kept me stuck inside the
house. The little bass, the largest no more than
twelve inches, the smallest less than six, were
jubilant and invigorated under the cooling air.
I'm told that the goggle-eye and chinquapin are
literally jumping into the boat on Grande Lake a
couple miles from my home. I plan to get out there
this weekend and verify this. By the way, "goggle-eye"
are something like warmouth and "chinquapin" are
shellcrackers, I believe. Just like "crappie" are
called "sac-au-lait" down here in Acadiana. Then
there's the "choupique" which is known elsewhere
as the bowfin, which I firmly believe is more eel
We also catch the occasional "gaspergoo," which is
a carp of legendary note. From this the Cajuns make
"courtboullion," an oily dish served on rice and
pronounced "koo-bee-yon." Years ago, when they were
much more prolific, we caught "goojahn" in the bayou,
the great yellow catfish.
Yes, it gets difficult to know what the heck we're
catching. Every manner of panfish, except sac-au-lait,
are pretty simply just "perch." Only a few of us make
distinction between the species. We catch "barfish"
in the rivers, along points where water is rushing
fast, though these are more commonly referred to as
Anyway, I hope to finally get some serious fishing
in this weekend. I have a stash of new Jitterbees
ready to go. The boat just returned from the shop
after the engine blew a head gasket last weekend
on my one failed attempt to go to the lake. I imagine
the heat got to it, too. I feel like I'm about to blow
a head gasket when it gets that hot. There's nothing
more humiliating, too, than getting towed in. Luckily
my neighbor was on the lake already, and I called him
by cell phone for a tow, so I didn't have to suffer
the indignation of being towed by a total stranger,
Wish me luck! ~ Roger