Outdoor Corner: Louisiana’s top Outdoor Media treated to a taste of Blind River fishing

Lyle Johnson
This is the new lure, a Spin Bomb 60, by Berkley that caught my two largest bass of the day.

The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association held its annual conference in Ascension Parish this past weekend. Tracy Browning and the Ascension Parish Tourism Bureau really went the extra mile and treated some of the best outdoor media in the state to a taste of our culture.

Friday mornings of our conferences are reserved for fishing trips, usually hosted by local anglers. Ryan Lavigne and the Ascension Area Anglers provided us with five boat captains that took visiting writers to Blind River to take in the sights and sounds of South Louisiana.

I was joined in the boat with my co-host of Ascension Outdoors TV, Goosie Guice and our captain, Dave Cavell. We launched David’s boat in the Diversion Canal. The “Three Musketeers” (or maybe the Three Stooges) headed to Blind River to get in some early morning top-water action.

Blind River has been dedicated as a Natural and Scenic Waterway by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries since the early 70’s and certainly lived up to that reputation Friday. The lilies are in full bloom, and the moss draped cypress/tupelo swamp is in its full plumage and green color.

As usual in the early morning, a full array of wildlife was out and about. We spotted plenty of osprey on the hunt for fish to feed their youngsters waiting in their nests for breakfast. Egrets and great blue herons were out looking for an early morning bite to eat, as well.

There were a few nutria finishing up on their nighttime feeding forays, and it didn’t take long for one of the many alligators that inhabit those swamps to come after our top-water baits thinking an easy meal was available.

The action in our boat started off slowly. Dave and I each caught a fish but had a few blow ups, missing the fish and a broken line or two while fishing the cypress trees. Not giving up a bit, the trio headed to another location to find some different-looking water.

We stopped where there was some more cypress, but we were fishing lots of lily pads. The water changed from black-looking to a more stained color. Not too clear, not too brown--you know, just right.

Although the action picked up our success rate didn’t progress as well. We missed a few more fish and had another broken line. Something just wasn’t right. We crossed paths with another boat in our group captained by Cory Wheat. Fishing with him was Gary Rispone of Paradise Louisiana and Chris Holmes of the Louisiana Sportsman Magazine. They had a little success, but they were missing strikes as well.

We never gave up and finally made adjustments. Our success rate picked up considerably. Dave had some success on a spinner bait and buzz bait. I switched to a pearl white Strike King Rage Tail Craw and fished weightless, swimming it on top.

Right before a rain storm came through we made a move to another location. As soon as we stopped, the action was fast and furious. I picked up a 2019 bait by Berkley: a Spin Bomb 60 in the bluegill color. It’s a top water prop bait fished with a slow retrieve. Explosions on that bait started to take place, and I had no problem with hook ups.

We ended our short trip catching 25 or 30 bass with a monstrous thunder storm on our ride back to the launch. Cory Wheat and his crew did just a well as we did. The thunder storm ran us for shelter and our two boats along with another pair of anglers found the same spot to escape the rain and lightning under a boat shed near a camp.

After a few minutes I looked over at the other boat and recognized one of them that I grew up with in Gonzales, and his dad. Roy Louviere and his dad, Roy Sr., were the two other anglers. We had sort of a reunion right there in the rain. Just like the weather passed, we passed a good time reminiscing about our childhood. Too good to be true.

A big shout out to the Ascension Area Anglers for hosting our visitors to a great time fishing in Blind River. All this action can be seen on EATEL Channels 4 or 704 on Ascension Outdoors TV in September.

So until next time, remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God truly bless you!!

Lyle Johnson is a free-lance writer, co-host of Ascension Outdoors TV and Curator of the Louisiana State Fish Records. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net.

Outdoor Calendar

Aug 18: Ascension Area Angler's 4th Annual Open Team Bass Tournament will be held @ Doiron’s Landing benefitting anglers qualifying for the BASS Nation Championship, Fishing for Tucker, and our newly developed High School bass fishing program led by Nathan Bourque and Doug McClung. Entry Fee $100 per team Contact Ryan Lavigne for info rlavigne12@yahoo.com or 225-921-9332.

Aug 20: East Ascension Sportsman’s League monthly meeting held at Chef KD’s on Hwy 74 starting at 7:00 p.m. A meal served and special speaker will be in attendance.

Aug 24-25: CCA’s Ride the Bulls Kayak, the world’s largest extreme fishing tournament. Held out of Bridgeside Marina. Log on to www.CCAlouisiana for all the details.

Sept 15: Anything Outdoor Helping Kids Fall Fest fundraiser will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Tickets are $5.00 for entry. There will be food & drinks, silent auction, a blood drive vendor booths and plenty of fun for the kids. A cook-off for mini & reg pot jambalaya along with four live bands, including Kenny Cornett. Find them on Facebook for all the info.