Trout photo for Thursdsay

Michael Matthews from The BackpaCker shows off a solid catch of speckled trout he took from the waters in the Venice area while scouting for Saturday's Fall-n-Tide Kayak tournament set for Cypress Cove Marina in Venice. Sponsored by the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club, the tournament is open to the public.


All it takes is for someone to make that first excursion into coastal marshes to get what longtime Advocate outdoors writer Bob Scearce called the “Trout Telegraph” to get clicking.

Michael Matthews, another veteran outdoorsman over at The Backpacker, joined in the information stream coming from the waters near the mouth of the Mississippi River — with a twist.

See, Matthews does his fishing from a kayak, and, to be on the safe side, has several buddies along for the trip.

“It’s on,” Matthews said earlier this week. “We caught a bunch of trout this past week in Yellow Cotton Bay on white and chartreuse Mullet on a quarter-ounce jighead.”

Matthews and friends were scouting for Saturday’s Fall-N-Tide XIII Kayak tournament set for a Friday check-in at Cypress Cove Marina in Venice.

This is the annual Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club’s open-to-the-public trek to the southernmost “inside” waters in our state. There’s a $50 entry fee, which includes Friday’s evening meal, a fish fry, t-shirt and captain's bag. You must preregister and you can go to the club’s website:

The usual rules allow for 'yakers to launch at locations near to their fishing holes, a move that takes them from paths of larger and powered boats.

The tournament comes on the approach of another cold front and stronger winds predicted to drop upland morning temperatures into the upper 40s/low 50s, but is forecast to hold in the upper 60s along the coast throughout the weekend.

Other recent reports had topwater lures working on both trout and redfish in cuts and ponds and near points on the east and west sides of the river in the Venice area, and a wide variety of soft-plastics colors (either under corks or on jigheads) doing the same after the sun gets up. The difference in color selection depended on water clarity with more solid colors working in muddy/cloudy water and clearer colors working in clearer water.

Other spots

Bayous, islands, cuts, runs and reefs north of Grand Isle and a as much as six miles south of Lafitte in the Barataria Bay gave up trout in the last week.

The Cocodrie-Dulac area, especially Bayou Terrebonne and waters off the Falgout Canal, are solid go-to spots.


Cold fronts bring high pressure, and the barometer is predicted to hit 30.18 inches Saturday, the highest so far this fall, with 15-20 knot east winds throughout coastal waters.

Go to these websites for current conditions:

  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Forecasts: Find the “Coastal/Great Lakes Forecasts by Zones – Gulf – New Orleans, La.” and a map with 13 different nearshore, offshore and Lake Pontchartrain wind and waves predictions for the next five days.
  • Weather Underground: Current conditions, a 10-day forecast, and hour-by-hour predicted temperatures, winds, precipitation and barometric pressure.
  • National Weather Service’s River Forecast Center: for river stages.

Duck hunters

Waterfowl hunter heading into the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area need to know about the expanded limited access area, acreage reserved for hunters using push poles, paddles or battery-powered trolling motors. No internal combustion engines are allowed in the LAA, which has been marked by WMA managers since the start of the special teal season back in September.

The new LAA boundaries are outlined on the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ website: