My first trip to Bayou Black proved to me to be one of the most unforgettable bass fishing trips in many years. During the week of February the 6th I received a call from Ricky Naquin, who is on the Louisiana Nitro State Team.
Ricky was doing some pre-scouting for an upcoming tournament and wanted to know if I would like to tag along to learn some of the areas of Bayou Black. Without even thinking, I jumped at the opportunity to fish with Ricky in this new world of Bayou Black. I had read so many great articles about this area that I couldn’t ever dream of turning down a trip to fish there. Plus it would be a fishing trip to get to know this friend even better and see what makes him tick so well. After our day on the water, I realized that all the articles were true to their word, because this is a great paradise to fish indeed. During our phone call we discussed the different baits that we would use during the day and that we would met at Bob’s Marina in Gibson, La. Now Bob’s is a first class place with a nice tackle shop/store and parking for hundreds of bass rigs. They also have many tournaments that go out of his launch including the BFL and some BASS tournaments. I enjoy getting together with my team mates to fish when I came. Both Ricky and I are team mates from Boat City USA; he is sponsored by Nitro while I am sponsored by Tracker.
Well, as if Saturday morning couldn’t come fast enough, “mother nature” threw us a big old curve ball. The weather went from being in the upper 70’s to being in the lower 30’s in temps with light rain mixed in. Talk about a fishing weather change as we went from t-shirts to mummy suits over night. At the boat launch that morning we were met with 33 degree temp’s with 20-25 mph winds that would stay with us all day long. It seemed that everything we had planned during the week would have to be revised or adjusted due to this new weather front blowing through. Ricky was hoping to use this time for some pre-fishing/scouting since he was fishing the Media Tournament Trail the next day with his regular partner. As we discussed our new plans over a nice warm cup of Cajun coffee, we decided that today would be a good day to check some spots of his while we tested some new baits from our sponsor’s.
As Ricky fired up his Mercury powered Nitro, I settled down in my seat in order to brave the long run south. Before blasting off I had set both of my Fish Hedz mask from Save Phace on our seats for easy grapping. These 2 face mask would prove their weigh in gold before the day was out. Our first milk run would be 30 minutes down the Intracoastal Waterway into the howling cold wind @ 65-70 mph before turning into a small canal. We had decided to go fast instead of running slow, hoping that we wouldn’t freeze as long. An insert into my log book now says that it doesn’t matter if you run fast or slow in 33 degree weather into the wind, you will still freeze your butt off. I also found out why I like dual console boats when I’m the non-boater, that extra console and windshield is also worth its extra money when you’re the one without it. I think my next team boat will have a dual console so my partner will have the same comfort zone as me as we fish together.
Once we got to our first area to fish, I realized why this is truly called the “Sportsman Paradise”! With the hundreds of bayous, canals, pipelines and open bays off the Intracoastal Waterway, there is something to offer every bass fisherman whatever their style of fishing is. Our first stop proved this to me as we pulled into the back of a canal into a stump flat. The first few cast had us doing battle with some very nice redfish, which was a first for me. Now I love to bass fish, but those redfish sure can put up a fight too. With a few redfish and bass caught, we moved on to our next spot farther down the waterway. On our way there all I could hear was Ricky Naquin’s Guide Service, how can I help you! It seemed that the Redfish were moving more than the bass on this very cold windy day for sure. As we came upon our second spot to fish, we decided that we would only bump the bass or shake them lose so we wouldn’t hook them in order to help his next day fishing. This bayou was full of stumps and fallen trees were a good flipping technique could be used. Ricky pulled out his flipping stick with his sponsor’s V and M plastics on it while I pulled out my spinnerbait rod. I had tied on one of my sponsor’s Secret Weapon spinnerbaits in white/chartruese color. It wasn’t long before I had shaken a few good bass off my SWL spinnerbait when Ricky decided to tie on one of his Fat Ratz spinnerbaits. After a few more fish and fighting with the cold wind we cranked up and headed for another honey hole.
As the light rain stopped, the skies turned into a beauty blue bird day with the cold winds still howling at 20-25 mph. It was still a cold day but the fun kept us going. Rick eased us into the back of a cove from the wind so we could flip down a long bank line filled with stumps and fallen trees from last year’s hurricanes. Now this is were Rick shined and I took a back seat. I have never been a jig and pig fisherman. In fact, I hate to flip a jig and so I never use one, never! I always find me another alter bait to use or get by with so I don’t have to use that jig and pig. Today was different with Rick, instead of letting me stay in the back of the boat and throw my alter bait I was ordered to move up front with him on the front deck. He told me that today I was going to learn how to use the jig and pig and that we were going to practice it in this cove that he knew held fish in it. As Rick pulled out his flipping rod loaded with a Falcon jig, I was searching for my Pitch, Rattle and Throw jigs that was send to me from Stew Casey of Payson, Az. Stew is another small jig maker and a great friend to me. The last time I had talked to Stew they had not had any rain in the past 211 days, no wonder he lives in the Arizona Desert. We both added V and M plastic trailers to our jigs as we started our trip down the bank line. After a rather large number of misses and about that many choice words, I had my first jig bass and it was a dandy. Before long I was having a ball catching bass with this darn thing called a jig and pig, even the cold howling wind didn’t seem so bad after I got the hang of things. I may even have to keep fishing with this bait because it sure helped me put fish in the boat.
Even under the worst conditions a fisherman could dream of I had a fun filled day with my friend Ricky Naquin. He not only helped me with a new technique of flipping, but he shared a lot of his knowledge with me that took years for him to find out. Even if some of the things he shared with me sounded a little “shaky” at times, it sure put bass in the boat and that is what counts in our tournament life. I would also like to thank Boat City and Tracker/Nitro for their support of the Louisiana State Teams. Sometimes we often forget what ALL of our boat dealers and companies contribute to help keep our sport alive so our kids and grandkids can have the same simple pleasures of bass fishing that we have today. Please try to help and do your part any time you can, sometimes even the most tiny things show up big in the eyes of the beholder.
Once again I would like to say thanks to Ricky for sharing his wealth of knowledge with me and for showing me yet another part of our great “Louisiana Sportsman Paradise”, it’s truly a great state to fish in!
Until next time, have fun, fun hard and stay safe; because someone loves you!
Please remember to take a child fishing when you can, it just might make you a “star” in their little eyes! Also remember our Troops in your prayers; it’s because of them that we have this great freedom of ours that allows us to do the things we do in a free country! May God bless our Troops!