What! We’ve been six days without rain!
That’s supposed to change this week, but it was good to see water levels fall in the rivers and bayous.
Now that the Atchafalaya Basin is falling, freshwater fishermen should be in for an incredible run on bass, sac-a-lait, bream of all kinds and catfish.
To make the thrill of catching fish even better, the report from the Belle River-Verret area is that bass are exploding on buzzbaits.
Two reports from the Northshore told of rivers and bayous finally clearing after all the weeks of spring rains, but there’s enough water in most basins to warn against leaving large, destructive wakes. Remember, you’re responsible for damage caused by a wake from your boat.
On the coast, the most consistent trout catches are coming from waters east and west of Grand Isle. Water along the Fourchon barges remains murky after last weekend’s rough conditions.
Going offshore? Yellowfin and blackfin tuna, school dolphin, red and mangrove snapper and some early-season cobia are making trips worth the effort. As reported last week, red snapper are loaded up on artificial and natural reefs, wrecks and platforms in depths starting at 45 feet. Naturally, larger snapper are coming from deeper water locations.
The largest red snapper in last week’s Catholic High Alumni Fishing Rodeo was Hunter Andrus’ near 28-pounder, but there were least 25 weighing 15-17 pounds hitting the scales at Moran’s Marina.
And, Ed Sexton and Tony Bruce showed the Venice area can produce hefty speckled trout with a 6-pounder topping a five-trout stringer weighing 25 pounds.
We’re a week away from Father’s Day, and if you’re looking to hit a home run next Sunday, then check out these ideas for your outdoorsman.
No doubt he’s got ice chests, but what about a first-rate cooler with wheels. These chests make is a whole lot easier on the back, especially when they’re loaded with fish and ice. The Coleman Heavy Duty Cooler has wheels and is affordable.
Table-top propane grills are great at the camp or on a camping trip, and most models are compact enough for easy storage and transporting.
If he’s a bass fisherman, think about a paid entry into a local tournament.
If he’s a shotgunner, go on a search for shotshells, which have been hard to find in recent months. You’ll have to know his shotgun’s gauge and the size of the shot he needs for the skeet or sporting clays range or for the game he hunts.
Of course, there’s rods, reels, fishing line, lures, tackle boxes and all manners of fishing things. Here’s one item often overlooked — quality scissors. Look for scissors that cut hard-to-cut braided line. Regular scissors don’t work, so this is a welcomed gift for freshwater and saltwater anglers.
If he likes to fish with live bait, a bait trap is good, or try a flow-through, live bait bucket.
Here’s one you’re not likely to think about: quality sunscreen and insect repellent can keep your favorite guy around.
And if he’s been in the sun for years, suggest a trip to a dermatologist to check for problem skin spots. Can’t count the number of friends who’ve made this trip then found out they have problems caused from sun exposure. This is one time when a checkup can keep your favorite guy from a serious problem.
Don’t do this
State Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division folks reported several violations during the past week and those news releases all the more point out there are eyes and ears everywhere.
Tony Spell of Central takes the Bad Move of the Week Award after his social media post about him taking an alligator behind the Life Tabernacle Church in Central. According to the report, “agents showed up responding to the scene immediately where they found Spell in possession of a 6-foot alligator.”
Spell was cited for taking an alligator during a closed season and not having a license and tag. Spell faces fines up to $1,450 fine, jail time up to 210 days and a civil restitution fine of $375.80 for the replacement value of the illegally taken alligator.
Brandon Delozier, 33, was nabbed for hunting deer during a closed season and hunting from a public road after a tip came in about Delozier taking a doe June 1 in Terrebonne Parish. The LDWF report indicated Dolozier admitted he shot the deer from a public road, and a seizure order was ordered for his firearm and the vehicle he used.
He faces fines up to $1,450 and up to 210 days in jail with a civil restitution fine of $1,624.61.
Shaun Bertrand of Humble, Texas, Randall Godso of Prairieville, Jonas Ray of Opelousas and Timothy Reed of Creekside, Pennsylvania, were on the water in Plaquemines Parish when agents on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol cited the men for taking red snapper during a closed season, having over the limit of red snapper and failing to keep fish intact while on the water.
The report stated, “Agents boarded the vessel and found the subjects in possession of seven red snapper and 14 red snapper filets. This put the subjects at 14 total red snapper and six over their allowed limit of two per fisherman. The subjects also admitted to catching the red snapper on Thursday, June 3.”
Oops! The recreational red snapper season is a Friday-through-Sunday season.
Their individual fines could total $850 each, possible 150 days in jail and a total of $200.83 in civil restitution. The fish were donated to a local charity.
Hunter Moss, 24, of Mooringsport, and 30-year-old Phillip Purcell of Oil City likely will never be welcomed into another bass tournament after agents cited them with alleged contest fraud in a tournament held on Caddo Lake in late May.
The Enforcement Division acted on a complaint that Moss and Purcell weighed in three bass they caught during the week leading up to the tournament and kept the bass alive in a basket near a dock on the lake.
The report stated Moss and Purcell “admitted to retrieving the three bass from the dock when the tournament started” and that the three bass were then included in the five bass they weighed in for the tournament.
Contest fraud brings up to a $3,000 fine and one year in jail.
A S.T.A.R. pickup
Kenneth Nash started the 27th CCA Louisiana Statewide Tournament and Angler’s Rodeo — the S.T.A.R. — off with fireworks on the summer-long event’s first weekend when he caught a specially tagged redfish to win a 2021 Chevy Silverado pickup.
It was one of 100 tagged redfish along the state’s coast. Nash was fishing with charter skipper Jon Carter from Venice Marina.
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.
Graves said it's 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.