Secrets And A Few Other Things
article by KENNY COVINGTON
I caught my first bass at the age of five, on Lake Lafourche, fishing off the pier on a bright chartreuse Mister Twister ribbon tailed worm, at my grandmother’s camp. That was over fifty years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday. The thrill of catching a fish, on a cast I had made, working the bait by myself, was the start of a lifelong addiction, and it still runs deep to this day.
As I began writing a skeleton outline for this month’s Bayou Life “Fishing with Kenny” article, I began going through my mind about all the lures, techniques and everything fish related we have talked about over the years. As I look back over the almost ten years of articles, it is amazing to see just how much we have covered. And just when I think there is nothing else to write about, another idea comes to mind.
When it comes to bass fishing, there really are no more secrets. With technology, “secret spots” are now considered community holes. “Secret lures” are now outdated due to the internet and YouTube. What was a secret today will be known by the masses by tomorrow. Such is the world we live in. But is this true? There are secrets, but we have forgotten about them because we have become blinded by the newest, best and brightest lures in our tackleboxes.
Let me give you a few examples of what I am talking about. When was the last time you fished with a Model A bomber crankbait? Or what about a Heddon Baby Torpedo? Seen anyone using a straight tailed Crème worm lately? What about a Lil George? All the lures I have listed, I can honestly tell you I have used with success over the past few years. One of the reasons for these lures’ effectiveness is because they aren’t popular choices anymore and the fish haven’t seen them. Let’s take a closer look.
The Model 6A Bomber was once the crankbait to throw. No matter where you went, you had one tied on your rod, especially on the Ouachita River and Darbonne Bayou. When the Bandit series of crankbaits was introduced, the Bomber series was pushed to the side. This was a mistake. A few years ago, I did very well in early springtime tournaments throwing a Firetiger colored Bomber 4A crankbait. Knowing the fish hadn’t seen one, I felt I had an advantage over my competition. Another Bomber crankbait I am quite sure no one throws, but is a staple in my fall fishing arsenal, is a Tennesee Shad colored 5A Bomber. It is a fish catcher!
Now that we are coming out of the spawn and are headed towards the post-spawn part of spring, topwater fishing has become a popular way to catch bass. A lot of fish will still be shallow and a topwater presentation can catch them as big as they grow. For years, my lure of choice from April through May, regardless of the lake I was fishing, was a Bullfrog colored Heddon Baby Torpedo. I wish I had a dollar for every dollar I had won in late spring/early summer tournaments using this lure. Taking it a step further, in the summer months, I had a lot of success throwing the clear Baby Torpedo around the grass flats. I haven’t seen another angler throwing this lure in years!
Most bass anglers know a Crème worm only when throwing a Wobblehead. Did you know it is one of the best flipping/pitching lures you can use in the summer months when the water gets hot, and the bass becomes sluggish? In August if there is a better worm to flip trees with than an 8-inch Plum Crème worm, I don’t know what worm it would be. The key is to use a smaller slip sinker, usually a 1/8th ounce, and a little lighter line than normal, I always used 14 Trilene XT, and be as stealthy as possible with your presentations. The lighter line and sinker allow the worm to “glide” as it falls through the water column. It’s deadly!
My Uncle Junior knew Tom Mann, the founder of Mann’s bait company, personally. He would call Tom and order the “Lil George” by the card full, and Tom would bill him for his purchase. That is saying a lot when you can call a tackle company and make an order directly from the owner. My, how times have changed.
At one time, the “Lil George” was arguably the best wintertime bass lure ever thrown on Darbonne Lake. I can remember sitting and listening to my father and Junior talk about the fish catches the George caught and from November through February, neither of them went to Darbonne or Claiborne without having one tied on. One of the reasons a lot of angler’s don’t throw the George or lures like it is because there is a touch or feel for fishing one. To the anglers who mastered the art of fishing the lure, it paid off handsomely. Sadly, it’s another example of a lure that has been replaced by newer techniques.
Ever throw a Rebel Floating Minnow? What about a Shad Rap or the original floating Rapala? I can go on and on about the lures I once considered to be my A List lures that I am now starting to bring back to life. These lures never lost their fish catching appeal, they simply lost an audience of anglers who still choose to throw them.
Well, it looks like we have run out of time and space again. Time and space sure flies when you are having a good time talking about something you love! Summer is right around the corner and more people are or will be using our waterways, please be safe and respectful to each other and remember, catch one for me!
See you next month!