The gist of the Robbie Johnson’s report went something like this, “Not yet … maybe soon.”

The topic was Causeway Bridge and the subject was speckled trout.

“We spent all morning there and we caught eight trout, eight good fish, but just no numbers,” Johnson said late Wednesday, just hours after getting off the water. “And all the action came in just one hour (ending around 8:30 a.m.) and when the wind stopped, the bite stopped, too.”

Johnson said the early action came on the blue moon/chartreuse Deadly Dudley worked, as usual, on the bottom around the piers supporting the 24-mile structure spanning the middle of Lake Pontchartrain. After that he said he caught a “couple more trout on the pink Hybrid,” a soft-plastic minnow imitation.

“We caught a couple of flounder, lost two other flounder and had a couple of too-small drum (less than 16 inches long), but didn’t catch any small trout,” Johnson said. “All the fish (trout) we caught were 16 inches or better. I think we’ll know more next week about trout moving into the lake. I think we caught the ‘scouts’ Wednesday morning.”

Fishing ‘pink’

Kristen Wray knows both sides of the annual Grand Isle Ladies Fishing Rodeo, the competition and the beneficiary parts.

Wray has come through a two-year therapy regimen battling cancer all the while trying to convince her husband, charter skipper Danny Wray, to stay on the water and infect others with the same fishing bug she’s had for more years than her fight with a disease that came close to taking her life.

“That’s why I’d like to thank everyone for turning out for the Ladies Rodeo,” Kristen Wray said. “We gave a check for $10,000 to the American Canter Society, and all that money will stay local to aid cancer patients with prescriptions, gas and wigs.”

The Rodeo’s Adult Division had seven highly competitive categories: Brenda Arceneaux’s 31.06-pound bull redfish was the heaviest weighed between Friday and Saturday, days when strong east winds limited the action to inshore and marsh fishing trips.

From the results posted, the prize catch was Penny Crosby’s 10.46-pound “rat” (under 27 inches long) redfish, a trophy fish for that category, though second- and third-place fish, the 8.80 from Karen Collins and the 8.12 by Evelyn Stokes, would stand tall for any redfish tournament angler. The most competitive category was flounder where Tonya Johnston edged Crosby by two one-hundredths of a pound, 4.04 to 4.02.

A week earlier, Janet Rhodus said 180 anglers turned out for the resurrected two-day Leeville Rodeo. The event was last staged in 2001.

To the Nationals

Come November, there will be only one spot remaining to be filled for February’s Bassmaster Classic set for the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City. That will be the berth for the winner of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series.

Last weekend, nine Louisiana anglers qualified for the Weekend Series Nationals after finishing in the top 50 in the Southern Regional Championships run by the American Bass Anglers.

Gonzales’ Chuck Dufour finished second to Alabama’s Justin Hamner in the Boater Division. Dufour’s second-day 11.57-pound stringer was the heaviest in the field for the two-day tournament. He ended with a 21.02 total to Hamner’s 21.38 pounds on the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta out of Athens, Ala. Dufour won $2,500. Veteran Denham Springs angler Bill England was ninth at 14.79 pounds.

Greg Hebert of Marrero was the top Louisiana finisher in the Co-Angler Division. He was fourth at 8.17 pounds, while Charles Foster of Walker was 10th at 7.69 pounds. Boater Division anglers could weigh five bass each day, and co-anglers were limited to three per day.

The tally

The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank announced that 11,174 pounds of frozen game and fish were collected in the recent Hunters for the Hungry Clean Out Your Freezer Day from the 20 collections sites throughout the Capital City area.

“In just four hours, you made a difference in the lives of people who are hungry by providing much-needed protein through your donation of time and many of your own donations of food,” Food Bank spokeswoman Amy Sellers said. “Our agencies and clients are thankful for this gift of meat and fish.”


Have a question about state hunting dates and bag limits?

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has set up a 24-hour, toll-free information hotline — (800) 256-2749 — to provide season dates and other information for deer, squirrel, rabbit, quail, migratory game birds, recreational fishing and commercial fishing, including shrimp.

After calling the hotline, callers will be prompted through to the section needed.

“In efforts to increase voluntary compliance, we want to ensure the public is aware of what seasons are currently open and the legal take and limits,” state Enforcement Division Lt. Col Jeff Mayne said, adding the hotline also will offer boating safety, wildlife management area and hunter safety information.

And for the folks who like to check out the fall leaves, the U.S. Forest Service has launched a Fall Colors Hotline — (800) 354-4595 — to help leaf watchers plan trips to coincide with the brightest colors of the season. The hotline updates the best places, dates and routes for peak fall-colors viewing in national forests.

The Fall Colors 2011 website is another way to get maps and up-to-date photos of the changing colors of fall.