It’s one thing to report fish are being caught across southeast Louisiana, and another thing to know just where and how.
Here’s the wheres and hows.
- The Delacroix area has exploded with speckled trout. Use any soft-plastic minnow imitation you like as long as it has some chartreuse coloration, and as long as you put it under a cork, and as long as you chase the birds. You can match the dominant color of your lure with the available light — dark colors for low-light hours (or cloudy days) and lighter colors for the brighter days.
OK, the birds are laughing gulls which are laughing a lot these days with the amount of shrimp they’re eating. It’s the same piles of shrimp the trout are eating as they prepare for their first major spawn this year.
- Waters east and west of Grand Isle are producing trout, redfish and sheepshead along with a few drum and flounder. Live shrimp (under a cork) are available at most bait shops, but you’ll have to contend with hardhead and gafftopsail catfish. The bonus these days is that topwater plugs are producing both trout and reds along the beaches and over the reefs. Chasing birds is productive for smaller trout.
- Platforms in Terrebonne Bay along with the beaches in lower Terrebonne are good trout and redfish spots. Topwaters and soft plastics either on jigheads or on jigs under a cork are working. Live minnows drifted into the platforms are taking heavier trout. If you want to cast something different, then try a jerkbait like a chrome/blue Long A.
- The Verret Basin is the hottest freshwater spot. Bass, sac-a-lait, bluegill and catfish are showing up in catches. Bass are taking spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits in Lake Verret and waters from Belle River south to Lake Palourde. Sac-a-lait are in heavy brush and around docks and piers. Bluegill are bedding now that water levels have stabilized and like crickets and are taking poppin’ bugs. You can use cut bream and worms for catfish. No word yet on chinquapin.
- Water near Venice, and off the Mississippi River, are giving up bass along the narrow runs and in the ponds. Flip soft plastics along the cane-lined runs. Use buzzbaits and jerkworms in the ponds.
- After last week’s rain, the Florida Parishes rivers and bayous continue to be high and muddy.
With the red snapper season opening May 28, don’t wait to get the no-fee Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. You need the ROLP in addition to the state basic and saltwater fishing licenses to land red snapper and most all other reef fish.
You can get the ROLP on the Wildlife and Fisheries website: wlf.louisiana.gov. Or, you can get a smartphone application via Google Play or iTunes (save the electronic copy on your mobile device).
State wildlife biologist Cody Cedotal posted a summary of this year’s turkey season, and said the take was “down almost 11% from 2020.”
Cedotal noted heavy spring rains likely was the reason for the take of 1,886 wild turkeys as compared to the 2,117 taken last year.
Another note was hunters reported seeing more young turkeys called “jakes,” which, he said, was “an indicator of moderate to good reproduction,” but added the recent heavy rains likely will negatively impact this year’s production of poults.
If you’re a fan of "Wicked Tuna," then you know about bluefin tuna of the East Coast.
But, there’s a substantial annual run of bluefins in the Gulf of Mexico (offshore anglers must have a federal permit to take one aboard), and a run on this giant fish showed up off the Louisiana coast a couple of weeks ago.
Three 600-pound-plus bluefins were reported from Grand Isle. Apparently those were not the only ones taken, because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration closed the bluefin tuna season in the Gulf effective May 4 and it will remain closed through the end of this year.
The NOAA announcement said “fishermen may catch and release, or tag and release, bluefin tuna of all sizes subject to the requirements of the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs.”
The NOAA allows for an incidental catch of bluefins with a target of 3,968 pounds per year, and the closure is meant to prevent anglers from going over that targeted amount.
A $2 million grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to Ducks Unlimited will be used to construct 1,000 acres of coastal wetlands in the East Raccourci Bay area in Terrebonne Parish.
The project’s target is building 53,000 linear feet of marsh terraces “to reduce shoreline erosion and encourage growth of submerged aquatic vegetation, creating habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, fish and other wildlife.”
Rep. Garret Graves, R-Louisiana, announced last week a plan by Department of Agriculture to buy up to $25 million of wild-caught shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic waters.
It’s part, Graves said, to offset the “disruptions in the food system supply chain and food insecurity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“From pandemic-related disruptions and record Spillway openings, to being forced to compete in markets rife with unfair foreign trade practices, Louisiana’s shrimp industry has been getting killed by an onslaught of challenges — this is the kind of help needed,” Graves said in the announcement.