By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
For a young man, Caddo fishing guide Chaz Warren thinks the old ways are the best.
“I try to keep it traditional,” Warren told the Jimplecute.
Warren trained under one of the most famous Caddo fishing guides.
“Me and my old boss, Henry Lewis, hung onto this big crappie,” Warren shared a favorite memory. “Henry convinced me to filet it out. I wanted to stuff it. It was four pounds or bigger. I put into a five-gallon bucket and its tail was still sticking out.”
Lewis, who appeared in several films and was widely known, died last year.
Perhaps it was Warren’s association with Lewis that keeps him old school. While some guides use lures, Warren likes minnows. Some guides have high-tech ways of finding fish. Warren has a more primitive method.
“I’m poor,” Warren, who has guided on Caddo since he was 16, said. “I don’t have $25,000 to spend on a fancy TV screen. I see with a bell weight. I drag the weight along the bottom and bounce it.”
The weight helps Warren locate the brush piles where crappie like to lurk.
“Crappie are ambush hunters,” Warren said. “They gang up in groups. Structure provides shade and protection from appaloosa or big mouth bass. They love structure.”
Warren has another way of finding where the crappie are.
“You have to remember where all those old trees fell years ago,” Warren said.
Once he locates the crappie, Warren prefers live bait to artificial lures.
“I like to go with minnows, a pole and a cork,” Warren said, “unless it is wintertime and they go deep. Then I use a long pole and drag the bottom.”
Warren’s Caddo resume began at an early age.
“I’ve been on the lake all my life,” Warren said. “I was a tour guide at 12. I used to be a spotlight boy for my uncle and listened to all the history and legends. I fished for fun until about 16 and got a little boat.”
Caddo still holds charm for Warren.
“My wife and I were fishing one time,” Warren related. “A Great Blue Heron took off and this monster big mouth bass jumps up and grabs one of his legs.”
Warren paused a moment still in awe at the fish’s audacity and the struggle that followed.
“The bird got away.”
Then there was the time an elderly client snagged a 22-pound catfish on her $300 fly rod, but you’ll have to get Warren to tell you the rest of that story.
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