Routines are nothing to talk about these days, but how many among us are taking to this “new-normal” thing to take the first steps into making something routine?
Now, we just don’t know!
For years, you could take the first week of August and tell parents to get their youngsters ready for the final fishing trip before school begins. (In our long-ago day, it was the first week of September.)
Today, it’s not good to send you to the coast. The latest is there’s lots of dirty water showing up in the Grand Isle-Timbalier area, and while you could expect to catch a dozen or more trout, it’s likely not worth the effort to pack up, fight the heat and battle the elements — and the “new normal.”
Terrebonne Parish waters are producing the most trout. Just like last year, this area is holding its own, but it’s the middle of the summer, so don’t expect limits.
East of the Mississippi River, it’s redfish and bass: The MRGO is loaded with largemouth bass. They’re taking spinnerbaits, Vudu Shrimp under a cork, jerkbaits, shallow-running crankbaits and swimbaits. Redfish are holding along Lake St. Catherine, Lake Borgne and the lower end of Lake Pontchartrain.
The Atchafalaya Basin is the place to head for bass, sac-a-lait and bream action. Last week’s rain didn’t help, but that water is gone and finding “fishable” water is the top priority. It’s hot, so punching into mats of grass and hyacinth are producing bass (use creature baits on a one-ounce jig). Small shiners along with black/chartreuse and blue/clear sparkle tubes are taking sac-a-lait off the outer edges of brushtops and laydowns. Take crickets and nightcrawlers for the bream, and don’t be surprised if you come back with enough catfish for a family meal.
It’s an early bite in the Verret Basin for bass, sac-a-lait, bluegill and catfish. These fish are trying to find comfort in 85-plus degree water, so fishing moving water is better than working most spots in the big lakes. There’s still some action in the big lakes, but it’s over two-to-three hours after sunrise.
The first-week-in-August routine for the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission is to set the fall inshore shrimp season, and that tops the agenda for Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. meeting.
While the seven members and Wildlife and Fisheries staff gather at the state headquarters on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge, the “new normal” is only 25 members of the public are allowed to be in the first-floor Joe Herring Room at any time during the meeting. Masks are required to enter the building.
If you attend the meeting, the commission is asking the public to leave after their issue has been heard. If you don’t want to attend, email comments to: Comments@wlf.la.gov. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. No comments will be accepted via the webinar chat feature.
The meeting will be carried via Zoom. You need to register on the LDWF’s website: wlf-la.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UZhIndXuTsqEzXFh3Ipg1w.
There are two sportsman’s issues: first, consideration of the state’s waterfowl zones and dates frameworks for the 2021-2025 seasons; and, second, a summary of the public input from surveys and meetings on any options for any new speckled trout management regulations.
Only 25% of the state’s 784,332-pound private recreational red snapper allocation will be available for the rest of the year after LA Creel showed anglers had taken 589,721 pounds over nine Friday-through-Sunday seasons through July 19. A reminder to know the amberjack season is open in state and federal waters.
For a breakdown of the weekly catches, go to the LDWF website: wlf.louisiana.gov/page/red-snapper.
Don’t shoot cranes
Two years of legwork and another year spent investigating by Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service agents came to a head last week when U.S. Attorney David Joseph announced that Kaenon Constantin, 28, was sentenced “for killing and transporting a federally protected and endangered whooping crane.”
Constantin was handed five years of probation, 360 hours of community service related to wildlife conservation and a suspension of hunting privileges. He ordered Constantin to pay a $10,000 Lacey Act violation fine and $75,000 in civil restitution to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The sentencing stems from a May 20, 2016, incident when prosecutors proved Constantin and a juvenile used .22 caliber rifles to shoot two whooping cranes in Acadia Parish.
According to the testimony, “one crane fell dead ... Constantin and his accomplice retrieved its carcass. The other crane flew too far north into another field and couldn’t be retrieved, but investigators later recovered its carcass. Constantin and the juvenile found a transponder on the crane’s leg used by LDWF in tracking the crane. Constantin and the juvenile then cut the transponder off of the crane and transported the crane, knife, severed legs and transponders to a nearby road where they discarded the evidence.”
Constantin denied the incident before the LDWF cited him April 2, 2018.