Its human nature for fishermen to sometimes overanalyze things, such as what lures we use, what days to fish, and where the fish may be located on that particular day. Figuring out the fish is something we subconsciously try to do whether we’re aware of it or not. There are some days where the fish are biting so good that the little things don’t matter at all. And then there are other days where it’s a tiny adjustment that we make that makes all the difference in the world.
On a recent fishing trip to the W-14 Canal in Slidell it was one of these “small adjustments” that turned the trip around. Todd Oalman has been fishing the W-14 Canal all his life and invites me to join him every August. It has become an annual trip for us and I look forward to it every summer. We launched his 14’ flatboat at the Salt Bayou Bridge on Hwy 433. The sun was barely peeking over the horizon as we made our way up the bayou. “One of the most important things is getting an early start when fishing this area because of the daytime heat,” Todd said to me as we passed camp after camp on our way to our fist spot.
We arrived at our destination shortly after and started fishing a small tranasse that drained out from a duck pond that was located in the marsh. Todd motored past the cut and positioned the boat to where the falling tide would move us slowly past the outlet. The water was pouring out of the cut.
The water that spilled out of the drain was mixing with the clean, dark water of the main canal. This was exactly what we wanted to see. “Those fish will hug that mixing line and ambush baitfish as they come out of the muddy water and enter into the clean water,” Todd explained. We made numerous casts on our first pass by the cut. I was using a Shu-Shu Marsh Minnow in the Watermelon Wreck color and Todd was throwing a white REBEL Crankbait but the first pass didn’t produce any fish. Todd repositioned the boat again so that we could target the drain. On this pass Todd caught a 12” bass on the crank bait and we began to get excited. After numerous passes we ended up with 3 bass with an hour of fishing. Then it happened. I casted out into the mudline and started retrieving my minnow back while popping it at a high speed of one twitch per second. Distracted by our conversation and the lull in the action, I let the lure sink approximately 10” below the surface. I then saw a flash of green and white underneath the water’s surface. I set the hook and reeled in a solid 13” marsh bass. Now we were onto something!
I told Todd about the subtle change in presentation and he switched over from his crank bait to the Marsh Minnow and mimicked my retrieve. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him heave back and set the hook on another quality fish. From there on out we finished the day catching bass on almost every cast and it was all due to a subtle change in lure presentation. “I knew the fish were there! Sometimes it’s just a matter of slowing down and dropping that bait down to them that makes all the difference in the world,” Todd said.
Bass Assassins is holding its next tournament at Lock One in Pearl River on Sunday, August 6th. For more information please contact Chris Basey at (985) 707-7857 or email email@example.com.
FPBA is holding its next tournament at the East Pearl River on Saturday, August 12th. For more information about becoming a member please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A tournament to benefit Adalyn Mince will be held on September 16th at the North-pass boat ramp in Manchac. The 2 year-old is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. For more information please contact Patrick Engerran at (985) 474-6112 or email@example.com.
The Inaugural Judy Bourgeois-Brueau Memorial Bass Tournament/Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, August 12 at Lock #1 in Pearl River.
All money collected will benefit Noah Brueau, who is an only child that recently lost his mother to cancer at the age of 55. Noah’s father is a recent stroke victim who currently resides in an assisted living community.
For more information contact Lance at (985) 966-3532.
(Keith Lusher Jr. writes a weekly column. For more info, visit NorthshoreFishingReport.com.Contact Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org.)