A few days back I wrote about meeting Mr. Alvin Green, the only surviving member of the Lake D’Arbonne Commission that was in place when the lake was built. Today, I’ll share his best kept fishing secret. But don’t worry, he said it was okay.
“I had a whole tackle box full of baits back when the lake opened, but I had one I fished more than any other,” he said. “It had caught fish for me on the Ouachita River and Bayou D’Arbonne and it was the best lure I had on D’Arbonne. It was a pearl River Runt. I always kept about three of them. I tried other lures, but I always went back to the pearl River Runt. I fished it right up until the time I quit fishing.”
Don’t rush to town looking for any. I’ve bought them all up! Actually, if you found a pearl River Runt in the box today, it would be a miracle. They haven’t been on the market for about 30 years. You can pick up one on E-Bay, but it will run you $40-$50 in the box.
Besides his family being a large landowner in the basin where D’Arbonne lake was originally formed, Mr. Green had one recreational passion in his younger days, which led to him being asked to be on the lake commission to start with. And now, at 88 years of age, he still remembers most of those “good old days.”
“Fishing,” he says, looking out over the lake. “That’s all I did. My mom and my dad fished all the time. I grew up doing that and I never stopped. Back in the days before the lake, we fished the Ouachita River up off the Alabama landing, Grand Mary Lake and bayous D’Arbonne and Corney. In fact, Corney Bayou ran through our property. Right out there where that big leaning cypress just north of the (Bernice) bridge is the corner of my property line. You could see it if it wasn’t under water.”
Some of Green’s fondest memories on the lake were several big bass boats, which he says he tore up on all the stumps in the lake. Finally, on about his fourth boat, he had learned enough about where to go and NOT to go to keep from tearing the boat up. He used to have a boat house built out over the lake where friends and family gathered almost every afternoon during the spring and summer.
“We used to cook fish, sit on the pier and talk and have big celebrations at times like the Fourth of July,” he said, “But in the early 1990‘s a huge flood came through and the whole thing went under water and was ruined. We just pushed it in the lake, what was left of it. There was some good fishing by it for several years. Now it’s gone.”