FRANKLIN — Errol Sigue figured if he and Ron Boutte were going to come out on top at Wednesday’s Wednesday Night Hawg Fights Bass Tournament Series contest out of Fairfax Foster Bailey Memorial Landing, he’d get the bass to hit on top.
“What I did was grab a rod and cut off the bait I had on. ‘This is what I want on,’ ” Sigue said, explaining he believed conditions called for a popper.
“Really. Topwater. I figured out a little top, something different” would unlock some bass jaws while they were fishing the evening bass tournament.
On Sigue’s first cast with the popper, which his tournament partner later identified as a popping plastic frog, a 3.91-pound bass blew up on it and attached itself to the hooks. The Grand Marais bass angler reeled it in.
“Ron couldn’t get the net fast enough so he bear-hugged him on the side of the boat,” he said with a laugh.
Sigue and Boutte, of New Iberia, made the most of “eight or nine bites” and came back to the 8:15 p.m. weigh-in with a three-bass limit weighing 8.34 pounds. They topped the 26-boat field and won $585.
The winners needed every ounce to turn back New Iberians Johnny Schexnayder and Brandon Sellers, whose three bass included the night’s biggest bass, a 4.36-pounder Schexnayder caught on his second cast while fishing the Quintana Oilfield area. Their 8.02-pound limit was good enough for second place and $351 while the big bass was worth $130.
Ben Suit and his younger brother Zach Suit, both of New Iberia, finished third with three bass weighing 6.56 pounds for $234. They also moved back into the top spot in the standings through three tournaments in their bid to defend their two-time Angler(s) of the Year title in the WN Hawg Fights BTS.
Sigue, 49, who owns Errol’s Repair, which works on sugar cane equipment, said his fishing buddy called him the day of the tournament to see if he wanted to fish that Wednesday. He has been concentrating his bassin’ efforts on the Bayou Sale and Quintana oil field areas while Boutte has been fishing Franklin Canal.
“That’s pretty much where we fished. That’s the first time I’ve fished there in a while,” Sigue said.
Boutte, 42, recently laid off during the coronavirus pandemic from Enterprise Alamo National Holding, said he has been fishing the canal regularly.
“He’s not lying. He’s telling the exact truth. For the last month-and-a-half I’ve been fishing in the canal teaching my spouse how to cast a baitcaster,” he said about his wife, Kay.
They were in Boutte’s high-performance bass boat and decided to target bass there in the canal right next to the boat landing rather than make the long boat run to Lake Fausse Pointe, as several boats did, or to Quintana.
“I wasn’t sure how the fish were going to respond (to changing water levels). We were already on that end so we decided to go. I was flippin’ jigs,” he said.
“He had been catching flippin’ a jig,” Sigue said.
But the bass turned their noses up at jigs, which prompted him to switch to a topwater. And got a thunderous result.
Boutte said, “I thought, ‘Well, he may be on to something.’ Later on, he caught No.2, a 13-incher. A few minutes later we had No.3. It was 6:50 p.m. and we had a limit already. So I made a change, changed over to a frog popper like him. I’m glad I changed.”
He was glad because he nailed a 3.67-pounder on a dark green Stanley Top Toad, which sealed the deal.
“Those fish came up and demolished it. That fish was angry at it,” he said.
Sigue had a hunch they might finish first.
“I told Ron, ‘With everybody running to the lake, we might have a chance.’ When Ron caught the last big fish, I told him, ‘I think we got it,’” Sigue said.
“I expected us to place. I didn’t expect to win. He (Sigue) said, ‘Ron, this time of year, those fish in the lake are in a turnover mode. The fish are a little standoffish,’ ” Boutte said.
It was their first WN Hawg Fights BTS appearance of 2020. He enjoyed it.
“It’s good to be back in it, to hang out with the guys, shoot the bull and have a good time,” he said.
The next WN Hawg Fights BTS contest is a makeup tournament scheduled to be held Wednesday at Lake Fausse Pointe out of Marsh Field Boat Landing. It is one of two regularly scheduled tournaments that were postponed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions put in place March 23. Entry fee of $60 per boat must be paid before 1 p.m. the day of the tournament at Cajun Guns & Tackle in New Iberia.