Mardi Gras Bassin’

There was some discussion between a few of us at the shop during the days leading up to Fat Tuesday. A few of us knew we wanted to be on the water come Mardi Gras, but there were some concerns; one being the inevitable boat traffic, and the other being the weather (always a factor). It was looking to be windy, real windy. My original plan to fish PAC or Cocodrie was not looking good, but I’ve been trying to fish more freshwater lately (I say this at the start of every Spring). After talking it over with my buddy & coworker, Stephen, we decided to go bass fishing.

There’s no hiding where we went as it’s one of the most fished spots near Morgan City, the little town in Lower St. Martin Parish, Stephensville. We fished on the Lake Palourde side of the levee and used the camps as protection from the wind. We made our way to a residential canal that we both normally fish. Stephen and I were joined by Stephen’s friend, Derrick, who caught the first bass. It was small but still a keeper and better than my first two. He caught a second right as I was landing my first.

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I was throwing a crankbait along the banks and around the base of the cypress trees. The first and second fish were about the same size and were caught where the water went back further into the swamp.

We decided to start heading out to the main channel. Stephen left a lot of his bass tackle in Lafayette while visiting his family so I let him take a pick from my crankbaits. He tied on a deep-diver and went to work. After a little while, he starts freaking out that he had a big one in the middle of the canal. At first I thought he was snagged and joking around, until I saw his rod tip. After an interesting fight and a broken set of fish grips, Stephen boated a 30 lb. (approx.) catfish. Say what you want about catfish, it was still a nice fish and a fun fight for Stephen.

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After we left the residential canal, we headed across the bayou to a small bar pit pond. The pond is about 7-8 feet deep and has stumps along the bottom. We were both cranking deep divers and trying to find a deep bite. After about 30 mins, I decided to change up and use the wind to help me troll the bank while throwing a spinnerbait. I left the pond after hooking a long-nose gar. I headed up the main bayou to where it opens up a bit and found a protected bank. I got snagged twice before finally finding a bite. A 2.5 pounder isn’t huge, but it worked and qualified as satisfactory for me.

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The second shot was taken back at the launch after I’d gotten out and taken off my life jacket, I always were it while on the water. Anyway, I always release bass when I do catch them and even most times I fish inshore. John Williams, Pack & Paddle’s owner, does fish print art and I wanted to get him a bass to print for me, and this fish will work even though it’s average for our area. And because this is Louisiana, it will be cooked and eaten.

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I wanted to try to keep the bass alive at least till I got home so that River could see a live fish. He recently learned to say “bass” as a type of fish (we’re working on “redfish”). It was a treat for him and he enjoyed seeing it.

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I can’t wait for him to get the full experience. But until then….

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