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Bass are biting

These six lures are responsible for taking most of the bass in both the Verret and Atchafalaya basins these days. From top and clockwise are two square-billed crankbaits in shad colors cast around brush, stumps and logs off the banks. The lure at the bottom of the mage is a handmade spinnerbait with a silver willowleaf blade, along with a Strike King spinnerbait with a single gold willowleaf blade, both with white skirts and two sizes of curly tailed trailers. In the middle is a modified Havoc Pit Boss and a Chatterbait rigged with an H&H queen-sized pearl/chartreuse cocahoe minnow.

Happy Father’s Day.

It’s on this day — and especially for us outdoorsmen — we should remember the time, the patience, the lessons, the experiences, the effort and the dedication it took to get us to where we are today when we head to the water, the swamps, the marshes, fields and forests.

Most of us couldn’t have done what we have done, and will do, without the help of a dad or another significant male influence in our lives.

True, our moms, or another significant female influence in our lives, helped a lot, too, and we would do them a great disservice to ignore their contributions.

But, today, let’s think about our dads and how to keep them around a little longer.

It’s no big secret to know what summer does to us Louisianans. The oppressive heat and humidity is hard even on the most hardy among us, and can turn lives around, and can be deadly.

Today, make it a point to let the men you hold near and dear to stay hydrated this summer.

There’s a wish here that this point would have been made to several older friends after a long, hot, summer bass-tournament day, because several older friends have suffered heart problems after spending a day on the water — a day that was supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable, but turned into months of visits to a cardiologist.

Here’s what happened: Sweating removed water from their blood, their blood thickened, and their hearts had trouble pumping thicker blood.

A cold beer sure tastes good after a day like this, but it hardly replaces the volume of water bodies need to survive our summers.

There are so many ways to stay hydrated these days. Water is a must. While the recommended intake is 64 ounces of water daily, it’s more like 96 ounces in extreme conditions.

Our younger children face the same problem, and need to stay on a hydration schedule.

For adults, drinking four ounces of chilled water every 20 minutes means you’ll replace 96 ounces of fluid in eight hours. Another suggestion is to start hydrating the day before heading out in our summer’s extreme conditions.

Our first storm

Looks like Grand Isle and the southeastern parishes took the brunt of our first tropical system.

State Wildlife and Fisheries closed Elmer’s Island, and put Enforcement Division agents on search-and-rescue alert.

LDWF biologists also warn about reacting to wildlife displaced by heavy rains and rising tides.

Their advice? If wild animals like black bears, alligators, snakes, deer and feral hogs don’t pose a problem, then leave them alone and don’t feed them.

New licenses

If you don’t have a lifetime license, then here’s a reminder your fishing and hunting licenses expire June 30, and you’ll need new licenses to fish for the Fourth of July holiday.

Remember, too, when you get those new licenses, you’ll have the opportunity to donate to our state’s top benevolent sportsman’s group Hunters for the Hungry.

Checking “yes” allows you to donate to H4H and provide the means to support the needy throughout Louisiana. H4H boss, Julie Grunewald, said you can renew and donate on this website: h4hla.org/buy-license, or ask the license vendor.

Red snapper

The first two recreational red snapper weekend seasons produced a catch totaling 101,586 pounds, according to the LA Creel data produced by LDWF marine biologists.

That’s 12% our state’s assigned 832,493-pound 2021 quota.

A reminder: We have Friday-through-Sunday seasons with a limit of two-per-angler per day. The red snapper must measure 16 inches in length.

Apparently several folks, in two separate cases, didn’t pay attention to those limits.

  • LDWF Enforcement Division agents cited Christopher Hinton and Thomas Hinds Jr. for having 12 red snapper, including one undersized snapper, in the Grand Isle area. 

They failed to produce the required no-fee Recreational Offshore Landing permits, required to take and possess reef fish. Hinton also claimed possession of an undersized red snapper during the inspection.

In addition to fines and jail time, the two men face civil restitution fees of $229.52.

  • The next case was made in Terrebonne Parish where agents cited Henry Haydel II, Kelsey Robichaux, Leah Fontenot, Michael Bergeron, Philip Hebert and a juvenile for having 29 red snapper and found  Robichaux in possession of a gray triggerfish during a closed season.

Their catch included 17 snapper over the daily limit, and civil restitution could total $487.

Agents seized the fish and donated them to a local charities.

Big catches

The Benton High School team of Peyton Grantham and Tanner Underwood along with Jacob Andrews and Connor Nimrod from Louisiana-Monroe were big winners in bass tournaments held on Lake of the Pines near Jefferson, Texas, last week.

Grantham and Underwood boated five bass weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces in the High School Regional and earned them a spot in this year’s U.S. Army High School nationals.

Elizabeth High’s Ty Haymon and Bryce Tichy finished fourth with 15-10. Other Louisiana schools’ anglers in the top 10 included Winnsboro High’s Gage Ivey and Pake South (7th, 15-4), North Desoto High’s Will Henderson and Justin Lafitte (8th, 15-1) and teammates Evan Howe and Drake Wadsworth (9th, 13-14).

Andrews and Nimrod earned $2,000 for their five-bass limit weighing a healthy 26 pounds, 5 ounces. They also punched their ticket for the 2022 College Fishing National Championship.

The LSU-Shreveport team of Tyler Tamburo and Blakely Young finished fourth (24-0), and the UL team of Hayden Pinho and Dylan Friloux took firth place (23-5). Harrison Bieber and Ben South, representing Louisiana College, held 10th place (21-4).