SPORTS

OUTDOOR CORNER: Of all the species of fish, Bass just can’t be described with words

Lyle Johnson
See what I mean. Isn’t it a thing of beauty? Not me. The bass.

I was visiting the blogosphere the other day at www.bayouwoman.wordpress.com. This site is Captain Wendy Billiot’s blog page that I enjoy reading and insert a comment into occasionally.

I don’t blog a lot but this site is pretty unique in lots of ways. First of all, it’s hosted by a lady that likes to fish and is an inshore charter captain at that. What’s not to like about that. The “Bayou Woman” lives and is headquartered down in Theriot, just below Houma where she operates Wetland Tours and Camp Dularge.

Wendy is a north Louisiana native that ventured down south where she met and married a Native American who she lovingly calls “the Captain.” They have five children and her life on the bayou is what the blog is all about.

Captain Wendy is also an award winning writer and outdoor photographer which makes her blog a very quality site that everyone can enjoy. It’s about fishing, family, food, fun and life on the bayou. Her passion is coastal erosion and wetlands loss. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Log on to her site and see for yourself. You might even win a neat prize from Community Coffee.

I was reading her latest blog with a bad case of jealousy about a two day in a row, speckled trout slaughter in Lake Decade and stumbled across another of her readers’ blog that’s from way up north in Illinois and there was a contest about bass fishing. The first question was “Are you a bass angler?”

Well, that was enough for me and I spent a few minutes responding to the three question survey. But it really made me think about fishing and how much I really enjoy fishing, especially for bass.

If you’ve had an opportunity to read any of my previous columns, it wouldn’t be all that hard to figure out the fact that I like to fish. Being from south Louisiana, aka “The Sportsman’s Paradise” affords me and many others the opportunity to try our fortune for more different species of fish than the law allows.

Raised by a “fishing fool,” my angling career started over 50 years ago by catching bream with a cane pole. I still love doing that. I soon learned cat fishing with a rod and reel, trot line and hoop nets as well.

Then came bass fishing in the Amite River/Blind River basin along with many forays into the Atchafalaya Basin. After years of fresh water fishing exclusively, Goosie Guice introduced me to the saltwater and a new chapter of fishing opened up.

Added to the list of species were croaker, redfish, speckled trout, drum, sheepshead, of course the dreaded hard head catfish and many other inshore species. Offshore fishing was next on the list and plying the many oil rigs in the Gulf only added to the already growing list.

Red and mangrove snapper, white trout, grouper, lemon fish, sharks, king mackerel and the pull your arm off amberjack are just a few of the different species that I’ve managed to land. Trolling the blue water was added to the mix and wahoo, dolphin (mahi-mahi), black fin and yellow fin tuna. I even got to experience blue marlin violently striking my lures and tail walking on the end of my line although I’ve never landed one.

A few recent excursions to Alaska added rainbow trout, silver salmon, pike, arctic grayling and pink salmon to the list as well. But there’s just something about those green fish (bass) that just can’t be described with words.

I know there’s many a wife and girlfriend out there that just can’t understand the pull of a green fish with scales that makes your hand stink can have on a man and the ladies also. But to the true bass angler, that smell and a cut up thumb you get from unhooking a bass is a true trophy that gets shown off at the landing all the time.

A friend was talking to me this week about bass fishing and his plight to learn a new area. His weekly adventures usually resulted in no fish, occasionally catching one or two. His wife asked him over and over, “How can you keep going back to fish and not catch anything?” “I just gotta do it”, was his answer.

I’m not a proponent of bass fishing at any cost, certainly not at the cost of a relationship. But I do understand the pull it has on a person. Do it in moderation if you must do it. Remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard, especially on a bass. So until next time have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God bless you.

Captain Wendy Billiot chartering a fishing trip that included speckled trout and bass.