If rain helps duck hunters, then the weekend is shaping up to be a grand one, especially with the recent influx of ducks into south Louisiana.
Oh, but if you’re a fisherman, woe is you.
After days of cloudy weather, and only three days of partly cloudy, but warm afternoons, there’s Friday-through-Sunday rain, and it’s not so much the rain, but the lack of sunlight that’s going to make it a tough go.
Reports came in Sunday and Monday about water temperatures dipping into the low 50s, a threshold that begins most all target species into the depths seeking more wamer temps.
And, not to heap misery on our fishermen through the holidays, but the tidal ranges are dropping to their lowest since last winter — by the way, it is winter.
Last week, when the sun shone bright throughout a handful of days, marsh trout, redfish and bass responded to a warming sun — surface temps hit the low 60s — and the barometric pressure was low enough to produce handsome catches of trout in and around the MRGO, the Intracoastal Waterway in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, and the mid to upper marshes in lower Terrebonne Parish.
Grand Isle reported poor catches, but the inside areas at The Fourchon and good reports in only a couple of spots (Catfish Lake was one) in the Golden Meadow area.
Don’t forget the action around Buras — redfish on the west side of the river and speckled trout on the east side. Working live bait under a cork seemed to be the ticket here.
The Verret Basin is a mess: lots of dirty water and virtually no action on sac-a-lait.
The Atchafalaya Spillway has produced average sac-a-lait catches, but only in areas with clearer, moving water.
Bass are showing up on the points and appear to be ready to move into canals, if they haven’t done so. On the days after a front moves through, punching grass and thick mats of hyacinth with crawfish imitations and creature baits (black/red glitter and black/blue are best) work on bass, and there were a couple pushing 5 pounds reported last week.
Snapper’s last days
With a reported 98 percent of Louisiana’s 816,439-pound quota on red snapper counted by the LDWF’s LA Creel data system, private recreational fishermen have through New Year’s Eve to take the remainder, some 16,103 pounds.
The latest report is through Dec. 8, and comes after LDWF fisheries managers opened to an everyday season to take the last remaining pounds in the state’s longest red snapper season in a generation.
If the last two weeks gets the state too near the quota, the department will order closure.
“We thank our anglers for their continued participation in our LA Creel surveys,” LDWF secretary Jack Montoucet said, adding the cooperation from anglers and the department’s work in LA Creel is a “a prime example of fishery managers and anglers working together to manage our resources better.”