State Wildlife and Fisheries followed last week’s announcement by federal fisheries managers to close the recreational season on greater amberjack by closing state waters to the same group and for the same species.
The state closure, effective Thursday means both state and federal waters are closed to the recreational take of greater amberjack for the remainder of the year.
The moves came after federal fish counters estimated recreational fishermen would reach 2017’s allowable catch.
The reason for the extra-short season is federal managers believe the recreational sector exceeded 2016’s allowed catch. Federal rules mandate a penalty for the next year, which means the annual recreational quota of 1,255,600 pounds was reduced to 335,741 pounds this year.
T“During the closure, recreational harvest or possession of greater amberjack is prohibited in state and federal waters," the state's announcement read.
Two weeks of warming conditions have put speckled trout on the move from the interior marshes to waters nearer the coast. And fishermen are taking advantage on the schools of specks at Delacroix, the lower Pontchartrain Basin, in Barataria and west into the Timbalier and Terrebonne areas.
The first reports of catches are coming from the Grand Isle area where the action is north of the island, places like Manilla Village and reefs along the eastern side of Barataria all the way up to Bay St. Denis.
If you’re into tackle-busting redfish, then head to the eastern side of the lower Mississippi River, east and south of Venice where reds are attacking topwater presentations on points where the river dumps into bays.
Fishing points and islands in the interior of places like Batiste Collette and Main Pass have produced with large soft-plastics on a stout jighead. That combination has been productive on reds up to 20 pounds.
Go lighter with lures for speckled trout. The key is finding clearer water. Most of the areas off the river are holding muddy water, but clearer water moving from the marshes and small cuts send clearer water into the larger runs, and that’s where the fish are holding to feed on morsels moving from the marshes.
Moving water is the key.
Because of earlier weekly deadlines, the weekend weather forecast will no longer will be carried on this page. Over the years, these trusted websites have been, over time, been the most trusted weather and sea-condition sources.
Here are websites outdoorsmen can use for weekend conditions:
- Weather Underground: wonderground.com. Users can type in locations across the state and the country to get current conditions, a 10-day forecast. By clicking on a particular day, they can determine hour-by-hour predicted temperatures, winds, precipitation and barometric pressure.
- National Weather Service’s River Forecast Center: crh.noaa.gov. Users can find current Mississippi River status, get a seven-day summary and forecast and a 28-day forecast of projected river levels from several Louisiana locations. By clicking on “Observed and Forecast River Conditions” (from the menu left of the Mississippi River clock), you can find river levels at five points along the Atchafalaya River, and stages for the main Florida Parishes’ river.
- National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Forecasts: nws.noaa.gov. Find the “Coastal/Great Lakes Forecasts by Zones — Gulf — New Orleans, La.” and by clicking on a location on a map of southeast and south-central Louisiana, you will find wind and wave predictions for 13 different nearshore and offshore (including Lake Pontchartrain) zones for the next five days.