Outdoor Corner with Lyle Johnson: Share at Every Opportunity
In last week's column we talked about the release of rainbow trout in the big pond at Lamar Dixon. The trout were purchased by the Ascension Parish government and stocked for the benefit of folks to be able to enjoy some time with family and kids to get a chance to catch a few fish that you’d have to travel a long way to find them.
So on Monday, the 21st, Goosie and I met at the big pond to film an episode for Ascension Outdoors TV that will air on EATEL channel 4 or 704 during the month of January. We arrived at 10:00 am to meet with our videographer, Trevor Vampran and got things underway.
There was already a handful of folks fishing already as it was a beautiful sunny day with a nearly perfect temperature. As we got ready I noticed a few of the anglers catching some of the rainbow trout so we were hopeful at our prospect of being successful.
Our usual repertoire of tackle for rainbow trout fishing consists of inline spinners of some sort and Berkley Powerbait shaped like a small marshmallow as a natural substitute and canned corn. We cast out the natural baits to fish on the bottom while casting/retrieving the spinners.
The action started off very slow for us as we moved several times without having a bite. On the fourth move I landed two trout on the Fox silver spinner chosen when we started, then everything quit.
So on to spot five but things were a little slow as well although we saw some trout coming to the surface. That gave us enough hope to stick it out for a while. I switched to a gold spinner while Goosie kept switching baits.
The gold began to pay off a little as I caught a few. It seemed like we’d see the trout move a little, get a few strikes and catch one or two, then everything stopped for a while.
That scenario repeated itself for a while, then Goosie tied on a small, gold Rattle Trap. That’s when things changed for us. Every now and then we would see some small shad being chased and jumping out of the water. The sun was very bright which probably caused the shad to have a gold tint, hence their aggressiveness to strike the gold baits.
I did sneak one in on the Power Bait but it was the only one as all of the rest of our catch came on artificial baits. Two other factors worked in our favor as well. The trout like the sunshine. I don’t quite have that one figured out but over the years that has become very noticeable.
The other thing working in our favor is the trout seem to bite better in the afternoon as well. The later it got in the day, the better they seemed to bite as we left the fish biting when we called it a day. We probably caught 25 or 30 and kept 7 of them for table fare.
The highlight of the day was not all the fish we caught. Nearing the end of our filming we decided to go where there were still some folks fishing to talk to them, hoping we’d be fortunate enough to get them catching a fish.
As I was reeling in another trout, two young boys, Eduardo and Jamar, from the nearby neighborhood came up to the pond and stood alongside to watch. They asked what it was that I caught, so I took a little time to explain what I was doing.
I asked if they’d caught any of the rainbow trout as they fished the pond regularly. They responded, “No, the hadn’t.” I asked them if they would like to give it a try. Their tackle was ready to fish with so I suggested that they use mine as it was ready to go. Their answer was a resounding, “Yes!”
So for the next 30 minutes or so, I spent a little time with those two youngsters, coaching them on casting, retrieving and how to handle the rod after the trout were hooked. They missed a few as the fish threw the gold rattle trap but the pair ended with five rainbow trout to take home and cook. Jamar said that he’d cook them as soon as they got home.
I tied one of my baits on their pole for them to fish with. I looked back to where they were fishing and it made my day. There were smiles on their faces and excitement in their voices as they anticipated catching some more fish. I sure hope they did.
I can remember like it was yesterday when I was a kid and men in my family created memories spending time with me, showing things I didn’t know about the outdoors. Taking me fishing and hunting when they probably would have had more fun without me being around.
They gave up their time and their effort to let me give it a try. It wasn’t always successful but that didn’t matter to me. The fact that they spent part of their life with me was valuable to me. That effort paid off in spades in my life.
Now I get to experience it as I’ve taken my time to teach my kids, grandkids, hopefully great grandkids friends and even strangers how to enjoy themselves in the outdoors. Just maybe it has instilled something in them that they will pass on in the future. 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!!
- LDWF Updates; All Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries offices and wildlife management areas are open with mandates for social distancing, face masks and other virus-preventing measures. Public restrooms at those sites are closed.
- Hunter Education; Hunter Education classes have resumed. Check Website for details: wlf.louisiana.gov/page/hunter-education.
- Closures; Elmer’s Island, Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge & South Bosco Tract ATV/UTV Trail on the Russell Sage WMA are closed.
- Squirrel & Rabbit Season; Oct 3rd thru Feb 28th. Limit 8 per day with a 24 possession limit.
- Wildlife & Fisheries Commission Meeting: Jan. 7th —9:30 a.m., Joe Herring Room, state Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. COVID-19 limits for attendees.
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