Nearly two weeks after Tropical Storm Cristobal forced high waters to move into our state’s coastal areas from lower Terrebonne areas east to Plaquemines, St. Bernard and eastern Orleans parishes, it appears fishing has returned to near normal catches. Then, last weekend’s strong east winds didn’t help.
The bugaboo now is the storm broke up the shrimp pods and made it more difficult for shrimpers to scratch out a living, and it also meant that fishermen aren’t finding the big schools of trout feeding on those shrimp.
That usually happens later in the summer (OK, so summer became official Saturday) after brown shrimp that haven’t been caught move to the coast and begin a westward migration towards Texas.
So, instead of sitting in one spot and hooking enough trout for a big family weekend feast, the best way to continue a morning’s fishing is to consider charting a plan to move from place to place to fill out a limit, whatever that means to an individual angler these days.
When the big piles of shrimp up, trout tend to break up, too. It means you’re not likely to find a motherlode of trout in any spot along a beach, or a cut, or a point or a platform, just because some of the trout that set up home in those places moved to follow the shrimp.
Yes, you can still find live shrimp at the baithouses, and you can find enough speckled trout to make a trip worth your while, but you’ll just have to work and stay out a little longer to do it.
With the black cloud of COVID-19 lingering, it was sad to learn this year’s Fourth of July Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo was canceled. Well, organizers said it was postponed until 2021. It joined the annual Swollfest Rodeo on the pandemic’s hit list.
Two other rodeos, Catholic High’s and Jesuit’s, took different approaches.
Jesuit’s annual rodeo begins Friday with weigh-in festivities set to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday (scales close at 4 p.m.) at the school’s John Ryan Stadium in Metairie.
Rodeo chairman Mike McMahon said the rodeo would be held “… in compliance with and subject to any CDC, state, and parish guidelines.”
JHS has five age-group and species-specific divisions, including a Father-Daughter Division, and categories for bass, flounder, black drum and redfish (both with a 16-to-27 inches restriction), speckled trout, redfish, sheepshead and red snapper categories.
For more info, call McMahon (504) 650-1700, or to register call Jeremy Reuther (504) 483-3813/email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catholic High took the summer-long, virtual route to continue its run. After canceling its “live” rodeo in late May, the Alumni Fishing Rodeo crew decided on a “catch-measure-photo” summer-long event through Sept. 7 for its registered anglers.
There are Inshore and Offshore divisions with Youth and Adult “brackets” and largemouth bass has been added to the list including trout, redfish, flounder, blackfin and yellowfin tunas, cobia, wahoo, mangrove snapper, red snapper, grouper and bull dolphin.
Google “Catholic High Alumni Fishing Rodeo” for all rules and registration info.
After rolling up record-setting catches for the first two weekends of the private recreational red snapper season, it appears Tropical Storm Cristobal kept most anglers tied to docks.
After taking near 22% (169,270 pounds) of our state’s 784,332-pound allotment for 2020, the third weekend’s total dropped to 5,523 pounds for a three-week total of 174,793 pounds.
And in Florida
The recreational red snapper season opened in the Sunshine State last week and is scheduled to run through July 25. Florida gets the most of the annual recreational red snapper allotment, a fact that continues to baffle folks fishing in the western Gulf of Mexico.
There’s little debate about the weighty number of red snapper in the western gulf compared to eastern gulf waters, but the “booming” Florida charterboat business is one of the reasons the private recreational anglers had to take a cut from its 49% annual allowable catch (commercial operations get 51%) and turn it over to the federally permitted for-hire/charterboat industry.
That’s why, for western gulf anglers who have to fight off red snapper to catch other species, it’s laughable when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, “I’m pleased to announce that our state’s good conservation practices are allowing us to have a 45-day Gulf red snapper season this year. Gulf red snapper season is always an exciting time for anglers and is just another reason why Florida remains the Fishing Capital of the World.”
In the same announcement, you can believe all that “capital of the world” pronouncement, when you understand Florida is battling red tides and Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had to extend catch-and-release regulations on speckled trout, snook and redfish through May 31, 2021.
A sad goodbye
If you’ve been around south Louisiana bass fishing for the past 50 years, then you know who Gerald Rome was. He still is for most of us, although the Great Fisherman took our friend earlier this month. His heart just gave out.
Gerald’s finest moment on the water came near two decades ago when he caught a monster largemouth — about 12 pounds — from his beloved Atchafalaya Spilway. His stories could fill this entire sports page, and he will be missed mightily.