Outdoor Report

Tropical-force winds make fishing a daunting task

Staff Report
May 13, 2009 at 3:14 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

For three weeks the winds have blown at tropical-force levels over our fishing waters.

The persistent south and southwest gusts blew up to 20 miles per hour, creating 4-foot waves over area lakes and giving fisherman who like to catch specks and redfish a difficult task.

The south wind even clogged the boat launch with lilies and made it difficult to drop my boat.

However, I managed to launch the boat last Thursday and make my way out to the Louisiana Cypress Canal across Lake Cataouatche.

Five boats were fishing in the Sellers Canal and I knew why. Three-foot waves greeted me when I entered the lake, so I had to take the waves sideways while scooting across the water.

The water in the Louisiana Cypress was moving fast, but with a clear glimmer.

Catfish like to gang-up around all the cuts. When I reached the mouth of the Cypress Canal, I dropped the anchor and I immediately threw out the catfish line.

A rod rigged with a ¾-ounce weight at the end of the line, and a No. 6 hook baited with an earthworm six inches above the weight, is the best rigging for catfish.

On the front of the boat I threw a watermelon Baby Brush Hog and began reeling in 12-inch bass.

The lengthy bass were also hitting the white spinner bait and the Baby Minus-1, in addition to the bloodline rattletrap. Bream were hitting the earthworm, and red, white and chartreuse mini-jig under a cork, about 14 to 18 inches deep.

Crabbing in the Parish Canal

With the wind once again gusting at 20 miles per hour out of the South, we attempted to go crabbing in Lake Pontchartrain.

The south shoreline was very calm when we launched at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner.

Norma and Casey Lucia, and a friend Amie, took the short trip westward to the Parish Canal.

With a full moon coming up around 7 p.m., the tide change was later in the evening.

The water was up with a pretty light green color. I figured we were going to catch well.

We made quick work of cutting the chicken leg quarters and baiting the drop nets. Around 5 p.m. Casey dropped the first net over the side of the boat. This was her second time crabbing with me and impressed us with her efficiency of baiting and running the nets.

We went through our routine of dropping the nets on the left side of the canal in 5 to 7 feet of water.

After all the nets were out, we returned to the beginning and began raising the nets.

To our surprise, four very large crabs were in the drop net. When running the drop nets always pull-up the nets leaning towards the boat on approach.

Once you start pulling up the nets continue quickly until in the boat. After two runs, we had five dozen large crabs. We picked up 12 nets and moved them closer to the interstate side of the lake.

On our third and fourth run we caught 14 dozen crabs and had enough.

By 7:30 p.m. we were boiling our first batch. Casey followed my instructions.

I always start with 1/4 of a 16-ounce bottle of cayenne pepper and one box of salt.

Then I load the crabs in the boiling pot and bring them to a rolling boil.

Boil for nine minutes and shut the fire off. Cool the side of the boiling pot with the spray of the hose and let set for 25 minutes.

When removing the crabs, turn each crab on its top. This keeps the seasoned water in the shell until ready to eat.

In the second boil, Casey handled the entire boil with potatoes, corn and chicken breast. She repeated the process and looked like a professional crab boiler.

Wind creates fish problems in D.A.

Hunter McDonald and Jared Vial went out to Des Allemands in the 16-foot Bass Tracker. They were trying to find protection from the wind in the numerous canals around Des Allemands, and fished Penrod, Humble on the Bayou, and the Providence Canal.

Using the chartreuse-tube jigs they caught a few bream around tree tops and cypress trees.

Most of the water was stained and not very clear - a result of the south wind forcing the bayou water into the canals. After four hours, they called it a day.

Shrimp season opens this month

The opening dates of the 2009 Louisiana spring shrimp season were announced at the May 7 meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

The Louisiana inshore shrimp season in Shrimp Management Zone 1 will open at 7:30 a.m. on May 18 - except the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur

Sounds as described by the double-rig line are now open. Zone 2, as well as that portion of the State's Outside Waters south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line, are also now open. Zone 3 will open at 7:30 a.m. on May 25.

Send your outdoor photos to Sports Editor Heather R. Breaux at heatherb@heraldguide.com and we may publish them in the St. Charles Herald-Guide.

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