The Louisiana Sportsmen’s Coalition celebrated Tuesday’s move of House Bill 391 from the Louisiana House Civil Law and Procedures Committee to the House floor.

The bill, authored by Rep. Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell, seeks to halt the increasing moves by landowners to block public access to the state’s waters affected by tides.

In addition to the Coalition, the bill attracted backing from the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

Opponents included the Louisiana Landowners Association.

After amendments to accommodate waterfowl hunters and allowing properly-permitted gates erected before March 2 this year to be unaffected by the bill, the committee passed it by a 5-3 vote.

“We are thrilled by the favorable report of HB 391 by the House Civil Law & Procedure Committee. This exciting development is the first Legislative step in the process of securing public access to more of Louisiana’s tidal waters,” Coalition treasurer Sean Robbins said. “Looking ahead to the next step, we encourage members of the public to contact their state representative and ask him or her to vote yes on HB 391.”

If the bill passes a State House floor vote, it will move to a State Senate committee.

A silver lining

With more than a handful of coastal fishermen moaning about the weekend forecast — rain coming in Friday and lingering into all-day Saturday thunderstorms — John Rucker didn’t mind passing along a report on the Louisiana Troutman Facebook page about how he cured having to sit at home during last weekend’s foul weather and heavy winds.

Monday afternoon, Rucker said he and his buddies put a limit of catching 60 speckled trout and, “We caught 60 trout exactly and left.

“We fished deep canals in Delacroix (area) with Matrix Shad and H&H TKO Shrimp,” Rucker said, adding, “As always, Standard Mapping got us there (and presumably back) safely.”

Another report coming from The Fourchon saw anglers have success with double-rigged H&H chartreuse split-tail beetles for catching trout up to 16 inches. These guys worked tandem rigs last spring with similar results. Although there were mix of shorter than the 12-inch minimum trout, maybe one in five, the two were able to bring back a limit Monday and reported taking 25 more Tuesday morning in the bay north in the East Timbalier.

From Grand Isle, the action is sporadic along the reefs behind the island, but mornings appear to be the best time.

Redfish, sheepshead, trout and largemouths are showing up in catches in the MRGO area. Spinnerbaits are taking reds, bass and trout, while shrimp under a cork worked around rocks and pilings is the approach for sheepshead.

Remember, the four-tide stretch we’re in through most of April, and the tides are stronger than normal for these rare four-tide days.

In freshwater

The first run on bluegill has started in the Verret Basin and the Lac Des Allemands area.

As usual, crickets under a cork are best, and it appears canals and the edges of lakes near the canals are producing some bream, but it’s not the kind of action awaiting us in the coming weeks.

The Elites

After the extreme weather system that rolled through the southeast last weekend, you can bet the B.A.S.S. bosses and the 110 anglers in its national Elite Series are ecstatic they postponed last weekend’s tournament from Orange, Texas.

The event was postponed by previous heavy rains and what B.A.S.S. called “unsafe boating conditions.”

B.A.S.S., with Orange County officials, agreed to reset the tournament for June 7-10.

It’s the nearest Elite Series event of the year for south Louisiana bass-fishing fans.