Being a country reared fellow, there is one thing I have encountered, and if you grew up in the country you did too, it is snakes, creepy crawly reptiles with no shoulders that can get my immediate attention.
Over the course of my life, I have had up close and personal encounters with snakes that have slithered themselves into my memory vault.
One of the most memorable events took place when I was a kid down on the creek at the swimming hole. I was enjoying the cool clear waters of Molido creek with my brother, Tom and our cousins Doug and Sambo. Also along on the trip was my little puppy whose name escapes me; I’ll just refer to him as Fido.
While paddling along with Fido, I suddenly felt a sharp pain behind my knee. I thought at first that Tom, Doug or Sambo had sneaked up behind me and pinched me but glancing up, I saw all three on the opposite bank; it was obviously something else that had me by the leg. Reaching down, I pulled up a big black snake as long as the leg he was nibbling on. When my companions saw the snake, they were as concerned as me especially when they saw blood streaming down the back of my leg.
Doug, who apparently was bent on one day becoming a surgeon, reached for his rusty Barlow pocket knife and was preparing to slice into my leg to release the venom. Just before Doug began his procedure, we noticed that there were no fang marks at the site of the bite, just a row of teeth marks indicating I was attacked by a non-venomous water snake. Doug was the only one of us disappointed because he missed his chance to show his surgical skills.
On another occasion, I was hunting squirrels down on Clear Branch when I spotted a squirrel in a tree across the narrow stream. It was an easy hop across to put me on the same side of the water as the squirrel, so I made the leap to the other side. While halfway in my leap, I saw a flash of white at exactly the spot my momentum would have carried me to touch down. The white I saw was inside the mouth of a venomous cottonmouth. What I did next was to defy gravity; somehow, I was able to add to my leap another three feet while airborne and I landed safely on the other side of the snake. To this day, I still don’t know how I was able to do that.
This week, I encountered another snake but this one presented no threat whatsoever to me. My wife and I were having lunch when I looked out on the driveway and saw a snake that was struggling with something it was trying to swallow. I grabbed a shovel, walked out the saw that the snake – I wasn’t sure of the species – was trying to swallow a toad.
I nudged the snake with the shovel, it released the toad which probably set some sort of record in leaving he scene; I never knew a docile toad could move that fast.
I nudged the snake again and it spread its neck like a cobra. Nudging it again, the snake immediately flipped over on its back making me believe it had expired. I knew what it was immediately since I have encountered spreading adders or hog nosed snakes before. It is a completely harmless variety so I walked away leaving it to flip back over and crawl away to safety. A snake and a toad have me to thank for saving both their lives. If you are out and about this time of year, there is a good chance you’ll encounter a snake. In my case, I was bitten by a non-poisonous one, leaped past a bad one and had the opportunity of seeing nature do what it does to protect its own.
”This hog nosed snake was in the process of swallowing a toad until disturbed. After releasing the toad, it flipped onto its back feigning death.” Glynn Harris Photos
CANEY LAKE – Bass are starting to school with best fishing on Yellow Magic lures along with tail spinners around points on the main lake. Old Monster worms and crank baits are best on the deeper holes. Crappie are around the deeper tops and hitting jigs and shiners fished 12 feet deep in 15-25 foot water. Bream are on the beds and hitting crickets and worms. No report on catfish. For information contact Bateaux’s on Caney Lake at 259-6649, Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BUSSEY BRAKE – A good may 2-3 pound bass are being caught around the willows on spinners and soft plastics. Bream are good around the trees. Crappie are scattered. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bass have been fair around the edges of the grass on jigs and spinners. Bream fishing is good around the tupelo gums. Crappie are scattered and slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – The river is fairly high with best fishing reported in the river lakes down south on jigs and shiners. Bass are fair in the lakes on spinners and soft plastics. Crappie are fair to good fishing jigs and shiners around tops in the river and river lakes. No report on other species. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE –Crappie fishing continues to be best fishing the flats in 25 foot water fishing 15 feet deep on shiners or jigs. Bream fishing is good on worms and crickets. Catfishing continues to be good off the banks on night crawlers and cold worms. Bass fishing has been best fishing the deeper channel holes and old sloughs on jigs, crank. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Bass fishing has been best at night fishing the lighted piers with crank baits. A good many stripers are being caught along with the bass. Some are also being caught along the dark banks at night on black spinners and crank baits. During the days fish the main lake points with crank baits and soft plastics. Bream are on the beds and fishing has been good on crickets and worms. Crappie fishing is fair around the tops and better below the spillway on shiners or jigs. Catfishing is good on night crawlers or cold worms. For latest information, call Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Bass are fair. Catfish and bream are good. Crappie are best fishing jigs or shiners on the south end of the lake. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – No report. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water level is fairly stable with better reports this week on crappie and catfish with bar fish also showing up. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
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