Duck hunters will love it; fishermen not so much.
With the second split of the duck season — goose season, too — the cold fronts in here this week can only help their causes.
Tuesday rains will help hunters, in the ag fields, but likely will hurt those taking to the coastal marshes. The rain-filled and tornado-spawning front brought strong north winds which will move lots of water from the marshes. There’s more rain coming this weekend and more northerly winds and that’ll likely leave some shallow-water blinds high, but maybe not dry.
Nevertheless, the north winds coming after dumping snow and freezing conditions into the Midwest can only help a duck hunter at least into the days leading up to Christmas.
The fishing side
The bad news is the rain and north winds usually produce a mix of dirty water in the marshes.
The good news is this weekend’s rain — ain’t it miserable to fish in a cold rain — will settle out into what’s predicted to be a mild Christmas week.
The must-do for marsh fishermen will be to find clear-enough water to find feeding fish.
Remember, too, freshwater is lighter than saltwater and the dirty water layer you see isn’t what trout and redfish are living in under that cloudy water layer.
The northerly winds coming in Saturday will start a push of water from ponds and finding run-outs with moving water will be easy to find late Sunday and Monday before east and southeast winds return Tuesday into Thursday.
Todd Masson’s companion story about Charlie Thomason using live bait should provide a hint about using either live shrimp or live cocahoe minnows.
There’s also a trick about using market shrimp. If you freeze them in saltwater the shells toughen and seem to attract more strikes from redfish, drum and sheepshead — and the occasional trout — than taking a pile of dead shrimp and adding them to a cooler for a day’s trip. Tipping soft plastics or putting them on a Kahle hook under a cork can provide enough action for a winter trip.
One more thing: the barometric pressure is predicted to top out above the 30.35 inches mark Friday then start on a steady decline into next week, even getting down to near 30 inches by next Thursday. It means lower pressure, sunshine and warmer days should get trout and redfish, along with bass and sac-a-lait, into feeding modes.
Those other trout
Baton Rouge Recreation and Parks has teamed with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for the annual rainbow trout stocking in ponds at five parks, Central Sports and Zachary, Howell, Forest and Perkins community parks.
Instead of the usual first-weekend fishing rodeos, BREC managers decided to tag four fish in each pond. Anyone catching one of these specially tagged fish can get their prize after the fishermen takes a photo with themselves and the fish and emails the photo to email@example.com.
BREC will invite the angler to claim their prize as its main office, 6201 Florida Blvd. in Baton Rouge.
A note to all fishermen: if you are of age requiring a state fishing license, bring it to the pond. BREC managers said state Wildlife and Fisheries agents will be checking for fishing licenses. For rules and regulations, go to BREC’s website: brec.org/rainbowtrout.
Did you hear?
Shoaling between Dennis Pass and the Cadro Pass Campground, forced state Wildlife and Fisheries refuge managers to temporarily close Cadro Pass on the Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area.
LDWF has a contract to dredge the area and plan to have the work completed by Saturday. The area is accessible only by boat and hunters and fishermen should be aware that equipment still might be in the area of Cardo Pass.
And, effective last Monday, the fall inshore shrimp season is closed across the state except for an area outlined in the Pontchartain Basin by LDWF biologists.
The remaining open waters include: Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a section of the Intracoastal Waterway (Orleans Parish) from the East Closure Sector Gate west to the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur sounds. State outside waters remain open, too.
LDWF biologists close the fall season when the average white shrimp size becomes smaller than the minimum possession count (100 to the pound) allowed by law.