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Lake life

Up the creek without a paddle

675Second of a three-part series

Being up the creek with no paddle isn’t a problem for Scott Long. He doesn’t need a paddle. He just needs some good boots, a long stringer and a couple of white H&H spinnerbaits. And maybe a few tube jigs if the white perch are biting. And the bass better watch out.

“Yeah, when the river is at its best for bass fishing, it’s nothing more than a small stream in some places – shallow enough to walk across without getting your knees wet,” Scott says. “What I look for are fallen logs, stumps, branches and the like – anything that creates a drift on its upstream side. When I get to spots like that and the water is right (at the right level and not too muddy), I know from experience that I stand a great chance of landing one, and the anticipation is almost as exhilarating as the catch.”

Walking the banks and wading into the shallow creeks to fish near his old home in Winn Parish isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. And while he has his favorite spots, there are also creeks and small bayous close to where you live in Louisiana, or probably anywhere. You should give one a try sometime. But there is a catch.

scottcrappie“It really isn’t easy,” he says. “You have to be in pretty good shape just to get to the good spots, and fishing them is a lot harder than casting a line out into an open lake or pond. If you’re not careful, you can get snagged so often that you’re spending most of your time either wading out to unsnag your lure or tying on a new one.

“A good pair of hiking boots helps, but the most important gear to bring for this kind of fishing is a good mosquito repellent. Typically I wear a fanny pack strapped to my waist, which serves as my tackle box. The only other essentials are a good pocket knife and a long stringer.”

Scott loves catching bass and his two favorite lures are white double bladed H&H spinner baits and large Beetle Spin lures.

But he doesn’t mind catching crappie either, usually on tube jigs or occasionally on live shiners.

“There’s nothing like getting in on a school of sac-à-lait. That’s what I call them when I’m down here in South Louisiana. If I find myself north of Bunkie, but still within the confines of the Bayou State, I call them white perch. The rest of the country calls them crappie, I hear.”

Next: Fishing’s other reward

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