Herald-Guide Outdoor Report with Bruce McDonald

Fishing the tide change in Grand Isle

Special to the Herald-Guide

August 06, 2008 at 12:07 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Anglers Jerome Laque and Ryan Brown in Caminada Pass.
Anglers Jerome Laque and Ryan Brown in Caminada Pass.
It was 9 a.m. on July 30 when I bumped into Jerome Laque at the supermarket. We exchanged our hellos and He asked me why I wasn’t fishing.

I explained to him how I had two boats in the yard at home, which were not running and one in the shop being checked out.

I told him how I felt stranded without a means to go fishing. And being the good guy that he is, Laque offered to take me if I showed him where he could catch speckled trout. So, we both agreed on a trip to Grand Isle.

Grand Isle bound

After getting home from the store, I checked the tide range at Grand Isle in the Louisiana Sportsman.

The tide range was 2.2 feet at 11 a.m. in Caminada Pass for the following day.

Later that afternoon, Laque and I decided to set our Grand Isle departure time for 6 a.m. Thursday morning. We would be joined by Ryan Brown.

The arrival

We arrived at Bridgeside Marina in Grand Isle around 7:30 that morning.

We launched the boat and made our way to the rocks, the weather looked ominous and as we rounded the pass we had to negotiate 3- to 4-foot swells out of the southwest.

We dropped the anchor in 9 feet of water on the leeward side of the rocks and immediately started catching fish.

We were all using plastic baits. Laque was throwing the RedBone’s Glow Speculizer under a cork and Brown was throwing a Topwater Mirror Lure in green and silver - which looks like a small mullet.

I stuck with my double rig of the 20-inch chartreuse beetle on top and the 2-inch avocado beetle on the bottom.

And after a while, Laque and Brown began to follow my lead - after all, I was catching and they weren't.

It's an uneasy feeling when you are in a boat and only one person is catching all the fish, so I stopped for a minute to help them get rigged out.

And It wasn’t long before the three of us had 14- to 16-inch fish on our lines.

Scattered showers

Then came thunderstorm No. 1. We had to pull up anchor and quickly boat back to Bridgeside Marina.

While at the marina, I reminded the guys that high tide was at 11 a.m., so by 9:30 a.m. we headed back on the water.

When we reached the end of the rocks, we noticed the water was muddy and too rough to fish, so we moved to the western side of the Caminada Pass where it was a lot calmer.

Using the depth finder, we located a drop off between 9- to 12-feet of water, and with a clear-water line and rain minnows around us, we began catching again.

Laque caught a big gafftop catfish using plastic bait. Now remember that these fish follow speckle trout, so don’t be discouraged when fishing specks and you catch a gafftop. The specks are somewhere around you. Just keep trying.

It wasn't long before thunderstorm No. 2 came rumbling through.

We picked up the anchor and headed back to the marina.

I kept reminding Laque and Brown about the tide change, so after a sandwich, snacks and a drink, we went back to the western side of the Caminada Pass.

We relocated the drop off and a clear-water line.

And the first cast produced double what we caught before. We were on the fish. We had found the jackpot.

By 11 a.m., the tide was changing and fish were popping in the water.

Then thunderstorm No. 3 made an approach.

We had shrimp jumping around and the specks were chasing them, but with high winds, lightening and rain we had to pull up anchor and head back to the marina for a third time.

It was so hard to leave a a jewel of a fishing spot where the shrimp are jumping and specks are stacked-up, but safety must come first.

After the storm passes, we made one final attempt to find where the fish were biting.

This time it was easy. The birds were hitting the water so we followed their lead.

And before I could drop the anchor, Brown was hooked-up with a double.

The time was 1 p.m. and the tide was dropping. We fished until 3 p.m. and called it a day.

We caught plenty. But we only kept what were legal, 12 inches and better. And all was caught on plastic and the two best colors were chartreuse and avocado.

We did bring a big rod for bull reds and tried a couple of times without any luck, but when the specks are biting the bull reds get saved for another trip.

Saltwater fishing

To make a successful saltwater trip, consider these factors:

1. Will the tide range be greater than 1 foot?

2. What time will the tide change from high to low?

3. What is the water clarity?

4. Keep an eye on the sky - beware of the thunderstorms.

5. Give someone the same color bait you are using. Sometime this will hold fish in an area.

6. If the birds hitting the water, fish under them. Get up wind and kill your motor and drift through the birds.

Try not to use your trolling motor. Dragging an anchor helps slow the boat's drift. If the school moves, wait a while to crank up and get up wind again.

Lake Cataouatche

George Garcia from Pier 90 reported Lake Cataouatche is still producing bream, bass, sac-au-lait and catfish.

Bream are being caught on worms, crickets and popping bugs.

Bass are hitting white spinner baits, the watermelon Baby Brush Hog and plastic worms.

Sac-au-lait are in the middle of the canals around the grass beds.

Black and chartreuse, blue and white, red,white and chartreuse have produced good catches.

Catfish will be found in the currents at all the cuts with earthworms on the bottom. The grass is quickly taking over the lake like last year.

Plenty of crabs are being caught in Mud Lake, Bayou Des Allemands , and the Parish Canal.

Good catches of red fish are being caught in Little Lake on the 1/4 ounce gold spoon, black and chartreuse, and the Blue Moon Terror Tail, and market shrimp on a jig head.

These baits can be rigged with a gold spinner or fish under a popping cork.

Check next week’s article for information on the Seabrook Bridge and the marinas around Slidell.

No boat required, just add water

Without a boat to go fishing, I started thinking of places where I could cast my pole. My boat was in the shop, so I decide to make a scouting trip to the Slidell area one rainy Friday.

I have watched many Kevin Ford shows on the Louisiana Sportsman program and TV reports. They fish the Seabrook Bridge, the Twin Spans, and the Rigolets to catch big trout. This was my opportunity to find these places. Driving distance would be within a 30 to 40 mile radius. This is what I found:

Rigolets Bait & Seafood

Directions: From New Orleans on I-10 to Slidell exit 263 to Highway 433 for seven miles. Turn right onto Highway 90 and look for the marina on the left. The address is 52250 Highway East, Slidell. Phone number: 985-641-8088. They are open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is a back down launch for a fee of $7 dollars.

Fort Pike

Directions: located over the bridge from the Rigolets Bait and Seafood. Only launching and parking is offered, at no charge. But you have access to all the waterways.

The Dock

Directions: Heading to Slidell on I-10, cross the Highway 11 bridge. Turn right on Lakeview. At the end of the road turn left onto Rat's Nest Road. Go to the end of the road and launch will be on the left. The back down or hoist is $5. They have a small tackle shop without live bait. The Gator Bait Bar and Grill offer reasonable prices.

Tites Place

Directions: Is located on the left side of Highway11, as soon as you cross the Hwy. 11 bridge. No charge for the double back down launch. Parking is limited. The lake is within 100 yards from the launch.




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