Fishing with family produces memories that last a lifetime

Lyle Johnson
Wesley Johnson displays a four-pound catfish and eight-pound redfish caught with a “Rage Craw” recently near Lake DeCade.

My fondest memories from my childhood revolve around spending time with my dad, Jerry Johnson. That usually consisted of time in the outdoors, either hunting or fishing. The latter happened more often as he preferred to fish more than hunt.

I could bring you back down memory lane and tell of the trips we made all the way back when I was 7 or 8 years old, that's how vivid they are. Those memories are really great, so it only makes sense that my favorite way to spend a day on the water is with my son, Wesley.

New Years Day was spent with six of my seven siblings along with their children and grandchildren. Needless to say, the house was full. We had a lot to be thankful for as my nephew Brian is well on his way to a full recovery from a terrible auto accident and was not expected to live.

But along with all the wishes for a prosperous new year and celebrating Brian's recovery, much of the conversation centered around guess what? Fishing! That happens a lot when the six boys are together and the host, Pat lives on the water. There was even much fishing going on from his pier and the two-man boat that he keeps in the water.

I was enjoying all the celebration going on and the fishing that was happening but there was a little something else on my mind most of the day. Me and Wesley would be heading out at 5 a.m. the next morning for a trip to Falgout Canal Landing and a day of fishing around Lake Decade.

On my last trip there I caught three bass in a canal during a speckled trout fishing trip and that got me itching for a day of pitching plastic and setting the hook on some of those green fish with black stripes. That rush of adrenaline just can't be matched by any other fish that swims and I'd be sharing some of that hook setting pleasure with my son.

There's nothing quite like taking off in a boat at sunrise with the anticipation of getting the opportunity to catch a few fish and this morning was no different. The weather was just about as perfect as it could get. We went from record snow in December to Indian summer in January, how crazy can Louisiana weather get.

Man there's nothing like the first stop; get the rods out and anticipate that first cast, just thinking about it makes me want to hook up the boat and head back. My weapon of choice today is a Strike King “Rage Tail” craw in the Okeechobee Craw color.

A little over a year ago Strike King developed the “Rage Tail” line of plastic lures that featured the Rage Tail shad, frog, craw and chunk. They've developed four more baits in this line and they are well worth a look at www.strikeking.com. The fluttering action of the rage tail is what makes them irresistible to bass and as we'd discover later, a variety of other fish.

It only took a few pitches to confirm my hunch about the Rage Craw as I set the hook on our first bass of the morning. I unhooked the feisty 12 incher and began the process again. A couple of hours and seven bass later convinced Wesley to tie on one of those craw baits and his success ratio went way up.

Not only did he catch the largest bass (three pounder) of the day but he went on a rampage. Versatility became his strong suit as he landed a 4   pound blue catfish and an 8 pound redfish along with the other bass he caught for his efforts with the Rage Craw. Fresh fried filets of catfish are what made it to the supper table that night.

There's nothing quite like the marshes of Louisiana to end up with a catch like we made that day. We ended up catching twelve bass, two catfish, one redfish and one goggle-eye. Two of the bass were caught on a spinner bait but the rest of the fish fell victim to the Rage Craw.

Hey, Goosie and I will be making a personal appearance at Cabela's on Saturday, Feb. 14 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Come by and visit with us a while and bring along the kids, especially those that have had their picture on Ascension Outdoors seen exclusively on EATEL FiberEdge channel 4.

Price for the launch, five bucks; gas in the boat, ten bucks (we didn't go far); a day on the water with my son, priceless. Remember, keep the slack out and set the hook hard. So until next time, have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God truly bless you.

Pat Johnson displays a sac-a-lait recently caught on Lake DeCade.