Sunday, October 5, 2014

All about decisions - The D'Arbonne experience.

Had the weekend free for the 1st time in a while so I decided to hit a lake I have been trying to fish for over a year.  Lake D'Arbonne, a well known crappie lake in NELA.  No rest as usual the night before, up early and out the door before 5am.  Made the hour drive from my house and arrived at the state park before dawn.  Nothing like watching the sunrise at the boat launch.

Sunrise at the launch
I love hunting season b/c there isn't much boat traffic.  Fall is a great time to be a yak angler.  Parking was a breeze, as expected the lot was empty...hardest decision was trying to predict which tree would keep shade on my black truck the longest...failed!!

Bait at the surface = swimbait action
It was a chilly start to the morning.  The temp on Friday morning was 75f, but thanks to a cold front, dropped to 48f over night.  Which highlighted my 1st questionable decision...wearing shorts and was a little frigid for an hour.  I pushed off the bank and water splashed through my scupper holes and soaked my bare feet, AWESOME!!  The water temp wasn't the problem, it was like bath water compared to the air temp...but having wet feet wasn't fun. Standing in a yak with numb feet isn't the easiest.  Add in some rolling fog along the water to confuse my equilibrium...and you have a wobbly leg fool standing (2nd questionable decision) in a yak trying his best to stay in the yak.  When I realized I was more focused on balancing than fishing...I sat down.  Which ended up being a good decision b/c I began to notice how fishy the lake looked.  I was getting excited to fish.

I made my 3rd questionable decision of the morning when I decided to head SW towards a major creek.  I didn't know it at the time but the water was much clearer towards the main lake.  I caught a small bass early and nothing for an hour.  Kept heading the same direction and the water got muddier.  Finally decided at 10am to cross the lake and head back.

A local that came to introduce himself.  Nice to meet you too.  Go get bigger, plz!
Got another good thump on a swimbait and caught a catfish.  Seems like the last few trips I've gotten good at catching catfish while I'm bass fishing.  SO, to curtail this behavior, I'm putting it in writing...I'm bringing a stringer for all you catfish that eat my bass baits.  No more CPR of cats.    
Attached a note to him that said, "catfish taste delicious"

On the way back to the state park the wind picked up and I picked up another small bass on the swimbait.

I found a nice lily pad field in about 7 fow and had a good fish on but lost him in the pads.  That wasn't fun but it was encouraging to find some good cover and get a solid thump.  But it didn't change the afternoon for me.  Found lots of fishylookn places with no fish.  Even these guys seemed to be struggling.

See'n any fish dude?

Lots of fishy lookn spots.

The water visibility was much better after I passed the state park.  I wish I had gone that direction in the beginning.  I had 1 more good hit.  I found a grass covered flat and started working the valleys with a big ole worm.  After about 10 min's of dredging with the worm I pulled into something that felt like more a tug back...set the hook.  And this is how my last fish was lost.  Set hook and fish on...tried to pull him out of the grass but ended up pulling my yak to him.  He was buried deep I could see a tail about 3 feet below the surface...and no matter what I did I couldn't get him free.  I leaned way over the side of the cuda.  To the point where, I knew I was a gust of wind from being in the water with the fish.  It wasn't too deep only 7 fow and I thought about going in after the fish.  But decided that wasn't a great idea...I had made enough questionable decisions I wasn't sure how big he was.  If he'd been over 6 lbs...I'd be wishing I had packed a change of clothes and a towel.  But not happening today and the fish broke off a few minutes later.

Lots of fishy lookn spots!!

That was when I decided to end the day with a good I pack it up and head to Monroe to join the family for an early dinner and a cold one to help me think about the decisions I had made.  Over all it was a great trip.  I gained some valuable experience and developed a plan for next time.  At the end of the day I got to fish and spend time with my family...the best decision I made all day!!!  Till next time.

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