With all the good news for fishermen — not the least of it is that the redfish and trout are biting on the east and west sides of the Mississippi River — there’s bad news coming from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
According to a GMFMC release, the recreational season on greater amberjack in Gulf waters will close at “12:01 a.m., local time, on March 24, 2017 (Friday), and will remain closed until January 1, 2018.”
As explained, the closure comes after federal managers determined the recreational catch for 2016 was higher than the targeted 1,255,600 pounds and 2017’s “adjusted quota” of 335,741 pounds would be caught by Friday.
City Park's fish bash
The country’s oldest freshwater fishing event, the City Park Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival, cranks up for the 70th time Saturday morning in New Orleans.
The rodeo begins at dawn. Registration at the Casino (it’s on the road behind the Museum of Art) opens at 6 a.m. The fee is $10 for 13-and-older anglers and $5 for younger fishers. Fishing the park’s lagoons runs 6:30-11 a.m.
It’s a bass tournament with Rod-and-reel, Fly rod, Junior and Kayak divisions along with a special Rio Grande Perch Team Fishing category.
Added in the past few years was Boats on the Bayou for fishermen using “non-motorized craft” in Bayou St. John for bass, redfish and speckled trout.
And another is the Battle for the Bass for students in grades 7-12. Schools form teams of up to five anglers who work to catch two or more bass. The winner is the team with the heaviest combined weight of two bass.
The Fishtival runs 9 a.m.-noon and includes casting contests, exhibits, fly tying, food, drinks and a fishing-gear (not beads) Mardi Gras Toss.
The Junior Southwest Bassmasters-Denham Springs club is growing as evidenced by Saturday’s turnout of 37 young anglers and their adult fishing partners who had the option of fishing the Belle River side of the Atchafalaya Basin from Adam’s Landing.
And they did well, showing up with 19 five-bass limits.
Club organizer Jim Breaux reported most of the bass were active on the Ribbit Frog, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, lizards, worms, flukes and the Speed Craw.