Archive for Sunday, January 28, 2001


January 28, 2001


This is especially so when Kansas fish exhibit a hankering for engulfing a jig in deep water.

The best time of the year to witness Bivins grand and manifold abilities at wielding a jig is during the coldest days of the winter. That is when Bivins normally frequents the heated docks in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Within the confines of these docks, anglers have watched Bivins catch 30 to 40 crappie while they struggle to catch one or two. After these anglers witness Bivins' mastery and try to mimic every aspect of his angling tactics, some become so frustrated they contemplate tossing their tackle into the lake.

During the harshest days of this winter, Bivins caught scads of crappie and white bass at the heat dock at Melvern Lake, and his fellow anglers described Bivins prowess as an amazing and humbling sight.

But as soon as the winter weather moderated, Bivins was in his boat, probing the two warm-water reservoirs in eastern Kansas and exhibiting his mastery at catching crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass and wipers with a jig.

For instance, in early January he returned to La Cygne Lake for the first time in several years. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, Bivins was known as the Savant of La Cygne, and on these two outings in early January he lived up to that old moniker.

On his first day the weather was relatively balmy. Thermometers fluctuated from 29 degrees to 49 degrees, the wind angled from the west by southwest at 10 mph and the water ranged from 37 degrees to 51 degrees. The lake was about two feet below normal.

Bivins began this day at 9:45 a.m. by employing a seven-foot casting outfit, a 3/8-ounce black-and-blue jig festooned with a No. 11 black Uncle Josh pork frog tied to 15-pound Berkley Big Game line.

Bivins probed a submerged bend of the North Sugar Creek channel, making casts into four feet of water and slowly crawling the jig down the steep slope of the creek channel. As Bivins retrieved the jig through some brush in seven feet of water, a six-pound, five-ounce largemouth bass engulfed that jig.

Then, a few minutes later and several yard yards up the channel, Bivins tricked a four-pounder into taking the jig. After that he tangled with several smaller bass.

Later he tried his hand at enticing some white bass and wipers with a chrome Rat-L-Trap and a silver Bass Assassin on a 3/8-ounce jighead at a long, flat mid-lake point. He caught nearly a dozen white bass.

From the point, Bivins moved several miles to a deepwater covert in the cold water. There he caught and released oodles of crappie by manipulating a quarter-ounce blue-and-white Leroy Spellman jig in 15 to 20 feet of water.

By the time the sun neared the western horizon on that day, Moss had caught several passes and scored two touchdowns in Minneapolis, and Bivins calculated that more than 130 fish had been hauled over the gunnels of his boat.

The next day Bivins returned to the lake so he could catch them again.

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