Crawfishing, crabbing and fishing trips strike out

Bruce McDonald
April 01, 2010 at 12:11 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Thomas Sailor raises a dropnet in the Parish Canal. The crabs have not moved into the canal because of the cold temperatures and low water conditions this spring.
Thomas Sailor raises a dropnet in the Parish Canal. The crabs have not moved into the canal because of the cold temperatures and low water conditions this spring.
This has been to most unforgivable spring in the past 30 years.

Old Man Winter has finally released his grip on south Louisiana, but the weather has been cold and windy this spring. Because of that, temperatures in the area lakes remain below spawning temperatures at 65 to 70 degrees.

Still, my son-in-law Thomas Sailor and I went out to Lake Cataouatche and the Salvador Management Area to try our luck.†

We crossed Lake Cataouatche in rough 15 to 20 mile per hour west winds. My 18-foot Kenner VX bounced across the entire trip.† We managed to get into the Gulf Canal and began fishing at the "L" Canal.†

The water was a chocolate color and after a short time decided to move to the North Canal. We found clear water but the strong west winds pushed a lot of water out of the canal. The grass beds were exposed and made it difficult to fish.†

Tom was throwing a 1/32 ounce blue beetle with a gold willow leaf spinner.† He started picking up small bream and the occasional bass. I was fishing a 1/32 mini-jig red/white/chartreuse under a cork, 14-18 inches.†

We managed to pick-up six sac-a-laits during the morning, so we decided to find a canal with some protection from the wind.†† After a rough two to three foot choppy wave ride across Lake Cataouatche, we ended up in the La. Cypress Canal.† At the cuts near the West Canal we tried to catfish on the bottom fish with earthworms.† Only to catch a few yellow catfish and very small blue catfish.†

Crabbing in Lake Pontchartrain

On Saturday, Thomas and I went out to the Parish Canal.† Launching at the Treasure Chest boat launch at the end of Williams Boulevard, Tom and I made the two mile boat ride into the Parish Canal.†

We quickly baited the 36 drop nets with fish heads and chicken leg quarters and set them out.†

The water was up because the wind was blowing out of the south, but the water was still cold.† After setting out the nets, we returned to the beginning to start running the nets. We were excited to catch crabs because last year at this time we had already made three successful trips.

Today was a completely different story. We did not catch a crab after two runs.† Disappointed, we picked up our nets and called it a day.

Crawfishing in the Bone Carre Spillway

On Monday afternoon, Jared Vial, Mikey Ford, Hunter McDonald and myself decided to try our hand at catching crawfish in the Bonnet Carre Spillway.†

We stopped at the headquarters and picked up a map of the spillway. I asked the attendant if she knew of any places in the spillway people where people were catching crawfish.†

She showed me a couple of places she had seen people trying to crawfish. I thanked her and we went on our way.†

We located a bar pit alongside the ATV trails and decided to give it a try.†

Mikey, Jared, and Hunter quickly baited the crawfish nets with catfish heads and set them out.†

A fisheries agent stopped by and told me he had seen people crawfishing on a road between the Goat Road and North Main Road past Airline Highway.

We loaded up our nets and off we went.† When we arrived to the location given to us,† Melvin Colburn and a friend were leaving.†

I went over to talk to them and Melvin said; "set the nets out in waist deep water along the cutgrass.† The crawfish are in the cutgrass."†

Melvin had caught about 10 pounds.† We decided to ride down Goat Road and look for cutgrass along side the road.†

We didn't want to walk in waist deep water. We drove about a mile without finding cutgrass but located a good grassy ditch.

Jared, Mikey, and Hunter set the nets out. They waited 10 minutes and ran the nets. They did not catch a crawfish. So, we decided to go home and buy a sack.†
Hopefully, the weather will warm-up!

View other articles written Bruce McDonald

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