Last Thursday’s fishing report on the waters in and around the mouth of the Mississippi River spurred hopes for a fall bass pattern most folks only see in their dreams.
Remember Gary Krouse and Jeff Bruhl talking about catching dozens of 3- and 4-pound bass in the runs off the main passes? And that the New Orleans gauge was at 3.5 feet?
Well, in the few days between their catches and the approach of Hurricane Nate that river gauge shot up nearly 2.5 feet — it was at 5.9 feet Sunday — but has since retreated to a 4-foot reading.
Veteran fishermen find much more favorable conditions for catching bass, trout, redfish and other saltwater species (even flounder) when the river falls below the 5-foot reading at New Orleans. And like it even better when it dips down to that 3.5 level and remains there for six weeks or more.
Problem is the forecast is for a rise, and a hard rise. The river at Baton Rouge is predicted to pass the 8-foot mark Monday on its way to a 13.5-foot reading Oct. 23, and folks down river can expect to see rising water, too.
Rise then fall
What made Hurricane Nate worse for the inside marshes was it came after a week of moderate, but constant east winds.
It wasn’t that Nate was strong enough to push loads of water into lower Terrebonne Parish marshes, but water began rising there a week ago Monday on the east wind, and pushed water onto the roads in several places in the Four Point and Theriot areas. When Nate made its push Friday, the water moved higher.
Thank goodness the storm moved rapidly to the east, and for the past three days, catches from Dulac east into Delacroix waters picked up on falling water levels.
Likely by this weekend, water draining from ponds and small lakes will have stopped, but the predator fish should remain close to the run-outs and drains until another system comes along to move them off that feeding pattern.
Fall water levels should help the qualifiers from across the Southeast who are in Venice registering for the Friday-Saturday IFA Redfish Tour Championship.
Teams will check in from 5-7 p.m. at Venice Marina and launch from there at safe light both days. Teams qualified from the IFA’s five divisions, and the winning team will take home a Ranger 2260 Bay boat rigged with a 150 Mercury outboard.
Also at stake is the $5,000 Cabela's Overall Team of the Year award.
On Lake Long
Fishermen and hunters need to heed a Wildlife and Fisheries’ advisory about a Thursday-Friday (Oct. 12-13) plan to use a helicopter to spray herbicides over about 650 acres of Lake Long and Little Lake Long in Lafourche Parish in hopes of controlling water hyacinth.
The advisory indicated workers will use the public boat launch on Texas Gulf Road in Bourg for a staging-refueling site.
At 70 years old, Will Major is still bringing it on the water. The Port Allen angler finished second in the Nonboater Division in the three-day Bassmaster Central Open that ended Saturday on Grand Lake near Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Major held the division’s lead after the second day with a two-day, six-bass limit weighing 15 pounds for a $250 bonus, but caught one fish Saturday to finish behind Oklahoma’s Steve Tennison.
Elite Series pro James Elam won the Boater Division. Being it was his second victory this year, it opened up a spot for another Elite Series angler for the 2018 Bassmaster Classic. That spot went to Mike Iaconelli, who holds the current consecutive Classic streak after Elam’s win allowed him a spot in his 17th Classic.