Old Caddo Lake has been flexing its muscles lately but as I speak, it is in a relaxed posture some 12 inches above normal. A trip up to Lake O’ the Pines this week found water level a little above normal.
The months of May and June when water levels are stable on both Caddo and Lake O’ the Pines have always been prime times for the perch and bream fishermen especially. Perch and bream, especially bream, offer daddies and mamas a chance to carry the small children out and locate a bream bed where you can sit in one place out of the wind and in the shad and let the children experience pulling in a fighting blue gill or mason perch – there is nothing more fun than bream fighting because you don’t have to wait to get a bite – as soon as that bait hits the water, one of those scrappy critters will grab it.
Perch fishing takes more patience as you have to move from tree to tree and if it’s windy, holding the boat can be difficult. If you are looking for perch, you will still find a few around the points of little trees fishing about two feet deep but as the perch finish their spawn, they move out into deeper water around the single big trees fishing three feet deep.
One of the best fishing trips I ever had on Caddo fishing for perch was exactly this time of the year. I was fishing for perch right out from Tar Island Slough on the Louisiana side of Big Green around the big single trees. I was fishing with a friend of mine, George Quick. We were fishing about three feet deep using shiners. When we pulled up to one of those big singe cypress trees, we would drop our hooks in one on one side of the tree and one on the other side. When we dropped it in, one would grab it. George and I caught our limit quickly and headed back to the house.
That’s not even the best true story I have known about a friend or relative. This true story happened to my uncle Hoyt Mullikin who was an ardent fisherman and is the person along with my daddy Dee Mullikin that taught me how to fish and hunt on Caddo Lake.
Hoyt had a friend by the name of Walter Pittman. They fished together all the time. Walter was bald headed and everybody called him “Naked Head.” Even though those two were close friends, if one of them found a real hot fishing spot, they would not tell the other one where it was.
Here’s what happened – Hoyt found a good size open hole back in the woods and when the water was above normal, the perch would get back in that hole to spawn – the only way you could get into the hold was in a bateau. Hoyt eased through the woods to the hold and sure enough, the perch were in the hole spawning. Hoyt loaded the boat with some of the biggest perch he had ever caught on Caddo and you know how fisherman are – Hoyt went around bragging about his big catch but he would not tell anybody where he caught them – not even his good buddy “Naked Head.” Hoyt made sure he did not let anyone know where he was going.
The story goes on and finally after “Naked Head” tried to follow Hoyt and catch him, he finally figured out where the spot was but it was too late – the water fell and the fish moved out.
And finally, here is the sworn message that Hoyt told (and “Naked Head watch Hoyt eight those big perch): Hoyt weighed 50 of the biggest perch and they were weighed right at 100 pounds.
This is the best fishing story I have ever heard involving perch on Caddo Lake.
■ Tucker’s Camp – Caddo Lake (318) 433-6057
Water level is two feet above normal. Perch are around single big trees near Bird Island three feet deep on shiners and jigs. Bream are around islands one foot deep on worms and crickets. Black bass are around big trees in Old Folks Area. Catfish are good on trotlines on Big Lake.
■ Crip’s Camp – Caddo Lake (903) 789-3233
Water level is two feet above normal. Perch are good three feet deep on jigs and shiners around single big trees in Little Green Area. Black bass fair around big trees on plastic worms around Goos Prairie area. Catfish are good on trotlines on shiners and worms around pipeline. Bream are good around islands on worms and crickets.
■ Johnson’s Ranch – Caddo Lake (903) 789-3213
Water level is two feet above normal. Perch are good around single big trees in Big Green area on shiners and jigs three feet deep. Black bass fair around big trees on plastic worms in Turtle Shell area. Catfish are good on trotlines in Buzzard Bay on shiners and worms. Bream are good around islands one foot deep on worms and crickets.
■ Johnson Creek Marina – Lake O’ the Pines (903) 755-2530
Water level is up two feet. Perch in woods are good three feet deep on shiners and jigs. Black bass fair along shorelines on top water lures. Bream are good in creeks along shorelines on crickets and worms in woods.
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