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Lake life

Listen to the preacher

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Good old Humminbird Helix 9: See the details? 8.7 feet deep; water temp 65.6, speed 3.0 mph and what’s missing? Wave height: three feet.…And notice the wiggly line showing the bottom? It’s wiggly because that’s what the bottom of the boat was doing…going up and down, up and down….Read more below…

Even if he doesn’t say anything,  you better “listen” to the preacher.

It was about 30 years ago when I, some family members and friends went on an overnight fishing and camping trip in the Atchafalaya Basin the weekend before Easter. When we got to the Belle River ramp to put in and run across the big expanse of Lake Verret,  One of our party was a Baptist preacher. His motor wasn’t running just right, so he decided to load back up and go home.

I just have listened.

Not to what he said, but what he did. This was before the weather channel and cell phones and me paying any attention to the elements. Later that night, it started raining. After a great day of fishing, that first night a Nor’easter blew through the Sou’swamp. Waves were three feet high, tornadoes touched down in the area and every water moccasin within 6.5 miles sought shelter on the same little island we were camping on. It could be because of about 100 catfish we cleaned there, though. My former brother-in-law even put on his lifejacket and tied  himself to a tree. I kid you not.  Get the picture.

History kinda repeated itself one day last week.  I called a preacher cousin of mine and asked him if he wanted to go catch some white perch. I said “white perch” because he’s from Caldwell parish and doesn’t know what a crappie is.  He declined, saying he’d been busy all day and he thought he’d wait and go another day.

I should have listened. But I went anyway.

I had seven bites. I caught two fish and involuntarily released five at the surface. I broke a fishing rod and got hung in the treelimbs much more often than normal.  The three mile an hour wind turned ten miles an hour and brought me some more three foot waves. It is probably because I forgot to even wear my lucky fishing hat.

I have one lone cypress tree that I can always depend on for three or four fish if it hasn’t been pounded. As I eased up to it, I saw five shiny new yo-yo’s dangling in the water, What was funny was they belong to a man who had just three days earlier stood on his dock watching and said, “I don’t fish for crappie”.  That’s his right for sure and it is what it is.

I just needed two more good fish to make a mess, so I made one last stop near my boat dock. I reached down to lower the trolling motor into the water and the rope broke. I had to get my dear, sweet wife to come down to the boat dock and lower the boat cradle down about four feet into the water so I could troll up on it and then raise the boat up with the trolling motor still in the water.

There was still hope. I had put out four yo-yo’s on the dock and baited them to help me catch a mess. One was hung up, one had the hook straightened out and two were tripped, probably by little snip nosed yellow bass that have started moving in. Nothing but empty hooks.

I should’ve known. The way I see it, I can pay more attention to the preacher when it’s time to go fishing. Or maybe I should just not hang around preachers when it’s time to go fishing.

That’s it. Problem solved.


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