St. Charles Herald-Guide

Rebuilt Spillway boat launch is perfect spot to start crabbing trip

By Bruce McDonald - June 8, 2012

This past weekend Tyler Hebert, Jake Noel and I decided to do some crabbing in Lake Pontchartrain.

Usually we head out to the Parish Canal, but we were left looking for another spot due to the closure of the Kenner boat launch because of the "Back to the Beach" festival on June 2–3.

So we planned a trip to the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway to try out the area’s newest boat launch. The launch is located next to Wetland Watchers Park and is 3.2 miles from Airline Highway between Interstate 10 near Lake Pontchartrain.

When we arrived, visitors were using the launch to crab and fish while others were using it to launch kayaks, canoes and boats.

We were there to catch crabs.

Tyler and Jake began baiting the drop nets with catfish and speckled trout carcasses caught from earlier fishing trips. Starting near the boat launch, we dropped a dozen nets for our test run.

To our amazement, the 12-foot cork lines almost went underwater.

A nearby boater told us that in some places the water is 15 feet deep, so we stayed close to the interstate to avoid losing our nets.

On the first run we only caught two crabs. Picking up the drop nets, we went into a shallow canal, which connects the Upper and Lower Borrow Canals.

About midway through the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway, a boater can go under the railroad bridge through the cement support. Tyler and Jake baited all of the drop nets and began setting them out every 40-50 yards.

Finishing the task, we went back to the beginning and started checking each net. After our first run we had 34 crabs and were pleased with our take.

"This is the first time I have ever fished in the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway and this is pretty good." Jake said.

Our goal was to catch four dozen crabs but we managed to make it home with six dozen.

"It’s not the Parish Canal but we are going to have a nice crab boil," Tyler said.

Taking our time getting back to the boat launch, we were appreciative of the double back-down ramp. It only took us a few minutes to pick-up and tie the boat.

Rebuilt Spillway boat launch is perfect spot to start crabbing trip