Ernie Eusea, known as the Paradis Patriot, has grown up in St. Charles Parish hunting and fishing his entire life. After high school, Ernie spent time in the U.S. Marine Corps, returned to St. Charles Parish and retired from the chemical industry. His love for the outdoors was instilled at an early age by hunting and fishing with his family, relatives and friends.
We set up a trip together and headed out to Lake Cataouatche. The water in the lake is very cool at this time of the year and we were looking for sac-a-lait and bass. We tried fishing in the La. Cypress Canal and found clear water in the West Canal. Both Ernie and I were throwing the Baby Brush Hog in watermelon/red, white spinner baits and 4-inch swim baits without any success. Turning to the black/chartreuse, blue/chartreuse and red/white/chartreuse mini jigs under a cork we did not catch a sac-a-lait.
"I havenít seen water this pretty in years and we are not catching anything," Ernie said.
We tried every cut with clear water in the La. Cypress Canal and West Canal without catching a fish.
"What can we do to catch a few fish?" Ernie asked.
I told him that we would head to the cuts along the north shoreline of Cataouatche and try for some blue channel catfish. I know I sound like a broken record, but these fish are still in the moving water from the Davis Pond Diversion.
The cut before the La. Cypress Canal had good moving water coming over the rocks. We dropped the anchors off the bow and stern to hold the boat steady. The rods were set out down current baited with earthworms on Carolina rigs.
Within minutes, one of the rods bent over and Ernie began fighting a good 10-pound blue channel catfish. After we put the fish in the boat, we re-baited the hook and set it out again. Another rod bent over and Ernie grabbed it to reel in another big blue catfish.
"There is no rocket science behind catching these catfish. Set the rods out, wait a while and begin catching blue channel catfish," he said. "I canít wait to bring my grandkids fishing."
We managed to catch six catfish during the morning trip. Three were in the 10-pound range and the other three were about 2 pounds apiece.
"It was a great fishing trip. We got to see bald eagles, red tail hawks and a few ducks in the surrounding area," Ernie said. "The Davis Pond Diversion is having a positive impact on Lake Cataouatche."
|Ernie Eusea, of Paradis, with a 10-pound blue channel catfish caught on earthworms in Lake Cataouatche.|