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May 2018 Fishing Report

5/4/2018 11:50:06 AM

Spring is finally here and the fish have somewhat settled into a more normal pattern than they did during April. It appears that the cold fronts have finally receded back up north where they belong. Now all we have to deal with is a bit or rain and some light winds, if one could consider the thirty to forty mile per hour gales of the last few days. However this will soon pass and our lake will return to what it usually is during May. Expect all species but the catfish to have spawned and moved from the shallows toward the deeper water, that is if they truly ever went shallow. It would appear that the normal pre-summer pattern is upon us and following are my suggestions on how you the angler can approach your next fishing trip.

Black Bass will have completed the spawn and begun their move towards deeper water. This by no means is meant to imply that all the shallow water fishing is over. Deep is a description that is open to interpenetration. In a shallow lake or pond deep may be five feet or so while in a lake the deep could translate into water from ten to fifty feet in depth. For this report deep will be meant to imply water of over twelve feet. There are a lot of bass holding in the water abutting the brown breakwater that protects the eastern shore shoreline. In some mornings there is a good buzz or topwater bite from the area in front of the Hilton Inn all the way to the lower lake. The trick is to where the bite will occur along these stretches. One sure way to know if your lure is in the right area is to observe the birds. Blue Herons and white cranes sitting near the water's edge means that baitfish are present and if the bait is there so will be the bass. In the absence of birds just open the eyes and look for breaking fish or shad that are spawning near the shore. Topwater lures or shallow running crankbaits are the ticket to get these bass. Later switch to soft plastics and cast into the deeper water off long points with Texas Rigged Worms or the Carolina Rigs.

Crappie have done their thing and have moved into water fifteen to thirty feet around brush or standing timber. Check out the standing trees north of Highway 66. Ease into this timber and try each large tree. There are crappie here that have never seen a lure or minnow. The bridges are the main stay of crappie fishing in Hubbard because the columns provide, shade, differential in depth and a place for the baitfish to congerate. Ths fish will move up or down these columns depending upon sun ray penetration and temperature.

Sandbass and Hybrids have been on a tear lately with catches of fifty to over a hundred common. Both species are in tight schools that are driving shad to the surface where they voraciously feed in frenzied surface activity. Small topwater plugs or Rooster Tail spinner will quickly lead to easy limits. Just a word of caution; the small hybrids are mixed in with the sandies and it can be very easy to drop a couple into the ice chest without knowing. But I assure you that the Game Wardens know the difference!. When in doubt open the fish's mouth. On sand bass there is a heart shaped tooth patch on the tongue while on hybrids there are two separate tooth patches. Each will appear as a slightly grey area near the back of the tongue.

I think all one needs to know about catfish is to paraphrase the old scribe[I think it was Horace Greasly] and go to the rocks my friend. The cats are spawning and all that one needs to catch them is a slip cork combination and some punch bait or better still-fresh caught shad. The cats will be hitting in water from about a foot ind depth to perhaps three feet.

I was a bit late with this column because the weather in April had been so crazy that I was leery of making predictions. I am now satisfied that the patterns have come around to what they normally should be and that the pre-summer pattern is here to stay. Good luck my friends and I thank all of you who called to see if I had passed. To somewhat quote another great writer, Mark Twain, the rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated! Until next month. The Cajun Guide/Johnny Procell

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