Lakecaster Online

A Mid-Mornings Bite
By Ed Snyder

Fishin' The Bend
June 7, 2000, Lanana Bayou, Toledo Bend Lake, LA.

-"OUCH!!"- Yelping out in sharp pain when a lively White Bass manages to slash me before wriggling free of my grasp, I quickly re-grip the unruly critter and toss it into our live well. With razor-like cuts pulsing pain & blood I have little time for mending as some really "HOT" Toledo Bend fishing action was occurring right in front of us.

A previous afternoons "on-lake" cell-phone call from Toledo Bend fishing amigo, Glen Freeman, alerted me that he was slap in the middle of some "HOT" White Bass & Striper action and asked if I wanted to get in some of the action. "WHEN, was my excited response, "NOW, was his just as excited reply, requesting that I meet up with him in one hour, ..."no can do"...was my sorrowful decline as I just had too much paper work in front of me, "but after pleading for another chance, a gruff, but solid, OK, booked me for a 9:am trip.

Nine a: m was a bit late, "I thought, being tuned towards the more normal early & late White Bass feeding patterns, "but, Glen Freeman's almost frantic tone alerted me to re-set my schedule, and my alarm clock for my trip to Lake Toledo Bend.

As the 9:am sun began climbing above the tree-tops, pushing the morning temps towards the "shimmer" zone, Glen finally wheels into Lannana Bayou's launch ramp, where, short work is made of load & launch before running his Champion/Yamaha bass-rig to the deepwater flat which was holding the reason for his previous days frantic phone call. "Holy Cow was my surprised remark as I frantically focused my camera on the amazing scene which was being scanned by Glen's Lowrance X-85 LCD digital depth recorder.

"Here, Glen irritates, "put your camera down and focus on this instead, handing me a Shimano V- Rod and Shimano reel rigged with a funny-lookin' little lure, Glen strongly advised that I quit "cutting-bait" and start fishing. After snapping another frame, or two, I hurriedly stow my Camera and refocus my attention on catching some of those "mega-pixels" which were concentrated on the 24' sand-flat that we were drifting over.

"Let the Rinky Dink fall all the way to the bottom, Glen advised, "then use short, hopping jerks to attract the bites. Only a "milli-second" after his "bites" word, Glen quickly hooks into our first "mega-pixel" of the day as his rod suddenly bends to the gunnel. "Got some shoulders on this critter, he grits as his rod bows & strains to a good fish. Watching Glen trying to maneuver and land his fish I suddenly feel a "tick-tick" sensation through my rod which quickly triggers my own reaction into our 2nd "mega-pixel" as
Only seconds after Glen landed of his fish, my "slightly smaller" but just as spunky White Bass comes to hand "where, it painfully marks its displeasure with its sharp gill-plates. But "ouch" is all the time I have for as Glen's rod is already bending to another fish before I can even shake off the pain.

"After the Spring spawning run up the Sabine River, Glen notes to me, "the whites start returning to the main lake area where they begin holding on the river sandbars and main-lake points. "At this time, Glen informs, "They can be caught on tail-spinners such as Rinky Dinks, which are deadly on post-spawn whites. "Another important tool for being able to successfully feel the often times finicky bite of post-spawn whites, Glen advises, "will most definitely be your fishing rod where quality is of the utmost importance.

Our fishing sticks for today's fishing are Shimano V-Rods which were designed with tapered actions to fit just about all fishing patterns & techniques, from pitching shoreline brush, to working top-water timber or flippin' heavy-brush, to jigging deepwater spoons or skipping under boat-docks or "ticking" deep grass-beds. The V-Rod that Glen chose for us to work with today were 6-ft & 6 & ½- ft Shimano precision tapered V-Rods which have super sensitive graphite blancs with strong backboned action tips which are sensitive to the slightest bite, but yet strong enough to stand up to the strongest of game-fish fights.

Our lures today are "Rinky Dinks", a very interesting tail-spinner type lure that was designed, tested, developed and successfully marketed by Hugh Wrinkle, of Nu Wrinkle Enterprises in Shreveport, LA. Manufactured in the more popular sizes of ½, ¾, and 1oz weights, the lead-headed tail-spinner has a hole drilled right through its body for passing the line before tying on to a set of treble hooks. The colors of these neat "little lures" are copied with most of the popular food-fish shades such as hot/pink shads and chartreuse combos as well as other popular fishing shades/colors. The interesting design of having the line pass through the body of this lure allows for "instant" feel of the strike which connects the fish bite directly to the anglers rod, the slip-thru line also allows the lure to move freely up & down the fishing line while fighting the fish, thus, minimizing the throw-off factor.

"And when you can add that unique quality of the bait to the unique super sensitive quality of the Shimano V-Rod, Glen wisely informed, "the combination can become absolutely deadly. Glen quickly adds clout to his statement by moving from our white bass action -(under "vigorous" protest I must convey)- to a deepwater ridge, which he is sure, is holding some Black Bass. "Now, Glen begins to inform before suddenly being interrupted by an incoming boat that is slowly making its way towards us. "I don't know who these people are, Glen whispers to me, "So I don't want them to know that we have fish holding here. "After a few seconds of "Oscar" performances for acting like we weren't doing anything, Glen finally recognizes the incoming crew as Harold Allen, and his fishing party slip in next to us.

Harold Allen, a long time and highly respected Toledo Bend National Bass Pro, was guiding a fishing party in a nearby area when he spotted us. After some friendly banter with some fishing information being passed between the two guides, Harold slips off in another direction, leaving us right back where we were before the pleasant interruption. "Now, Glen begins anew, this will take some finesse skills on our part as we have to fish our baits on a vertical pattern. As Glen explains more about this ultra-finesse procedure, he hands me a 6 & ½ ft V-Rod rigged with a lightly weighted Texas style worm. "The light, ¼ oz weight, will make it very difficult to feel the bait, Glen advised, "but it's necessary as these bass are very skittish and hard to catch right now, "so just drop it straight down to the bottom, and with the rod tip only, just give it some real light twitches to about 1 foot off the bottom as these bass are "flat" on the bottom so we have to put our baits in front of their noses before they'll hit it. "And when they do take it, Glen alerts, "it'll feel just like you're snagging on a tree limb. Emphasizing this fact Glen quickly lowers his rod tip then arches back up into full hook-up as Glen quickly reels in our first Black Bass of the day, a real nice 16 incher of about 3 lbs. After a couple of tries, and only after Glen boats 3 more black bass to show me how, my efforts finally pays off as I "stumble" into my first "finessed" tree-limb... "no comment".

"Also, at this time of year, Glen further advised, "you can expect to find some Striped Bass action in these same fishing areas as they can be caught on the same lures that we were using for the whites, "much like what I was doing yesterday, Glen growled, "when I phoned you from the boat to see if you wanted in on some of the action. "Brainstorming" while I'm re-rigging another finesse worm, I suggest that we might want to attempt to finish out our late mornings fishing trip with some Striper action. Quickly agreeing to this idea, Glen re-positions our boat over a not too distant deepwater sandbar. Re-arming ourselves with the Shimano V-Rods rigged with those "funny little lures" we begin searching the drop-offs for Stripers.

Glen Freeman, a former auto-body collision shop owner from Mansfield LA, now lives with his wife and two children in Converse, LA. Heeding the call of nature, Glen managed to team up with National Bass/Pro, Harold Allen, to fish, guide, and compete at team/bass tournaments to make an outdoors lifestyle for himself, and his family. Being located on a huge, rambling reservoir such as the 75 mile long, 184,000 acre Toledo Bend is a dream come true for him as he's able to enjoy fishing and guiding along Big T's extensive 1200 mile shoreline which buffers as a common border between the States of Louisiana and Texas. As Glen now enjoys being a part of the Shimano Pro/Fishing Team as a field and regional tackle Rep: his lifestyle now involves traveling to National tournaments and trade shows to promote the Shimano Products. "Not a bad job for anyone who enjoys fishing, and who can make a living at it such as what Glen Freeman and Harold Allen enjoy.

After we work the sandbar area drop-offs for another 45 minutes, which were "exploding" with Striper action on the previous day, we manage to catch only a few stray bar-fish and one "humongous" Goo! Asking Glen where the Striper were, a short grin and even shorter answer puts everything back into the fishing perspective as he states, "well, you shoulda' been here yesterday!"......... "OH".

"It was time for making a run to Randow's for finessing one of their in-famous Cheese Burgers".

For information on Glen Freeman's Guide Service and the new Shimano V-Rod, call (318)-567-1086 -or E-Mail to glenfree@wnonline.net to enjoy his specialty for Black Bass, White Bass, and Striped Bass.


What a "mega-pixel" white bass school looks like

That "funny Lookin' little lure"
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Glen Freeman with a "chunky" mega-pixel

Back to Lakecaster Online contents