Sometimes I can’t remember why I got up and walked into another room. But I remember the biggest stringer of bass I helped catch on Lake D’Arbonne like it was yesterday. The old article below, republished here today chronicles that catch. It was made years ago the Saturday before the Super Bowl. The yellowing original of the article about the trip, printed in the Monroe Morning World (boy, that dates it) hangs on my father-in-law’s wall.
Some days are just meant for fishing
Saturday before last was just too pretty of a day for any fisherman to stay home unless he had too. And since my father-in-law Jack Brumfield of Baton Rouge was visiting and he is just as fishing crazy as I am, we decided to head for Lake D’Arbonne and give the bass a try. Only it wasn’t that simple. First we had to go to town and get a new battery for his car, since he had barely made it into town on his old one. Then, on the day before the Super Bowl, my television made a funny sizzling sound and the picture went out. After debating about whether to get it fixed or buy a new one, we just decided to go fishing.
Now I’m glad we did. Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day with hardly any wind. The sun’s heat warmed up the air despite the water being “too cold for bass” or something along that line that I’m sure I said on the way to the lake. With the bad luck we had that morning, I didn’t even figure my outboard would crank when we got to D’Arbonne, but it did.
I didn’t have much of an idea of where to fish either in the colder water, but I went to the edge of an old creek and started fishing the timberline where a friend said he saw bass schooling a few weeks earlier on a pretty day. We fished for about two hours with no luck when Jack finally hung into one. We moved to another spot and found nothing, so we decided to call it a day after we made one more pass through the first spot. When we got there, sure enough, there was something creating a commotion on the water. It was a school of shad and we cast into it with small crank baits. There were bass all around it and Jack had three in the boat before I got the right bait tied on. There was some mumbling about somebody getting skunked. But soon I was in action, too, and keeping pace if not catching up.
When the sun set an hour later, we had kept 19 bass in the livewell that weighed 52 pounds. There were three right at five pounds and several near four. It was a dream trip on a most unusual day right in the middle of January. And with all those big bass, we didn’t lose a single one. That included us hoisting them over the side of the boat without a landing net.
I mean, who would need to bring along a net on a cold day like Saturday when we probably wouldn’t catch anything anyway?”