FISH PHOTO

Gentry Rogers took the title in the 7-10-year-old age group in last weekend's Junior Southwest Bassmasters two-day tournament on Toledo Bend with a total weight near 11.5 pounds. The Denham Spring anglers stunned the much older age-group fishermen when he claimed the big bass honors for the weekend with the 4.28-pounder he's holding in his right hand. A cold front's north winds made fishing difficult on the state's largest reservoir, but conditions settled during the week and reports from The Bend had sac-a-lait moving out to 30-foot depths and bass gorging on shad in and near creek channels.

Hurricane Ida left a swath of destruction that will be felt for months in a handful of areas along and inside our coast mostly in waters between Grand Terre Island west to Cocodrie.

From the folks gathered Thursday evening for the S.T.A.R. awards banquet in Baton Rouge the word is how much debris has remained in the waters around Grand Isle north into and throughout the Barataria Basin and in The Fourchon.

The debris? Refrigerators, washers, dryers, building material, sunken boats, golf carts and a couple of larger vehicles litter these waterways.

It’s not that some who’ve been to their home-away-from-home places have spent all those hours recovering from this tragic storm, because reports are they’re catching fish — from the bank. No one has the means to transport a boat to these hard-hit locations, so bank fishing is the be-all and end-all of their fishing endeavors.

Farther east and west of the aforementioned area, the action on speckled trout and redfish has been over-the-top good.

Charter skipper Tommy Pelegrin said he’s running west of Cocodrie and catching enough 1-2 pound trout to make anglers happy, and added there’s been off-the-chart action on bull reds. And Bill Lake is reporting first-rate catches from his place southwest of Houma.

To the east, North shore rivers and bayous have settled out from the storm and the action around the mouths of all these waterways appears to be teeming with predator species which are feeding on shrimp, small crabs and any other finfish morsel (mostly pogeys) living in these brackish-water environments.

The marshes around the Intracoastal Waterway and the MRGO have stabilized, too, and bass and redfish are making their way back into the ponds.

Take note of Wednesday when another cold front will bring rain and stronger northerly winds into south Louisiana.

Thibodeaux strong

Levi Thibodeaux from (where else?) Thibodaux won the inaugural Abu Garcia Bassmaster High School Combine last weekend on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama — and he earned a bass-fishing scholarship to LSU-Shreveport, too.

The two-day competition involved three point-producing skill challenges — casting distance, knot-tying and casting accuracy — and Thibodeaux beat out second-place finisher Jeremy Radford of Huntly, Virginia, by just four points 153-149.

The champion said he relied on consistent execution in all three skills and outpointed Radford 53-49 in casting accuracy to take the title.

“I’m just thankful I got the chance to attend this event and be a part of this inaugural combine. ... Fishing is my passion and being around others that share that passion is an incredible feeling,” Thibodeaux said.

Tyler Morris of Port Allen finished seventh with 142 points.

Go fish!

The Wildlife and Fisheries’ Inland Fisheries Division is stocking all 17 community fishing locations with channel catfish this week for a Halloween weekend treat in these areas.

Check the LDWF’s website: wlf.louisiana.gov/page/get-out-and-fish locations

There are locations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and the Florida Parishes.

A special program is set Saturday for Ida-stricken Houma. LDWF staff is offering anglers showing up at the Bayou Country Sports Complex to borrow rods and reels to catch catfish. Hours are 8 a.m.-noon.

Snapper

LDWF fishery managers estimate our private recreational red snapper take hit 655,033 pounds through the Oct. 10 LA Creel survey date. That’s 80% of this year's 832,493-pound allotment and represents a one-week take of 43,100 pounds taken since the Oct. 3 reporting period.

The season is open daily with an increased four-fish-per-day limit and a 16-inch minimum size limit.

Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced that state’s recreational red snapper season is over, and it took its fishery managers until the middle of October to figure out anglers had taken Florida’s red snapper allotment in the June 4-July 28 (55 days) season. Last week’s announcement was to tell Florida anglers there would be no fall red snapper season in Gulf of Mexico Waters.

The Bend

The Junior Southwest Bassmasters made the trek to Toledo Bend last weekend for its annual fall two-day tournament and rough north winds made it touch on the young anglers.

With The Bend’s 14-inch minimum “keeper” size, JSB’s leader Jim Breaux said the youngsters and their adult “captains” caught lots of small fish. Spotted bass dominated the fish brought to the scales. None of the top juniors weighed a two-day limit. French Settlement’s Destin Morales came the closest with his eight-bass total weighing 16.16 pounds to lead the field. Gentry Rogers of Denham Springs won the 7-10 age group with 11.44 pounds including the weekend’s heaviest fish, a 4.28-pounder.