Catfish, bream, bass, catfish and crabs school Cataouatche waters
If a fisherman could make one wish during a fishing trip, it would be to make the wind go calm. Last Thursday I made a crabbing trip – two years in the making – to Lake Pontchartrain with Don Rodrigue and his two grandchildren, Mikey and McKinsey Sonier of St. James.
We launched off the East Levee Road in the Bonnet Carre Spillway around 3:30 p.m. and headed to the LaBranche Wetlands by way of a canal.
The weather channel had northeast winds at 20 miles per hour with gust up to 35.
Normally, everyone would think I’m crazy to be out on Lake Pontchartrain with high winds, but we dropped the Bass Tracker and stayed in protected waters.
With the water moving out into the lake, this indicated we had a falling tide.
After baiting 10 of my drop nets with chicken leg quarters, we set out the nets in 7 to 9 feet of water. Each net was dropped 40 to 50 yards apart.
After all nets were cast, we went back to net No. 1 and began pulling each one up. The nets immediately caught crabs.
On our second run, the water stop moving. The tide was switching from low to high, which is a sign that the crabs were not going to bite for a while.
We anchored in the middle of the canal and took a break. Mikey and McKinsey took two nets and each dropped one off the side of the boat – a task they enjoyed.
Within 30 minutes the water started moving in again, and the crabs began to gnaw on the chicken.
After an hour we caught half of a 50-quart ice chest. The wind and waves were too much in the lake but the protected water allowed us to enjoy an afternoon with Don’s grandchildren.
That same evening, I had a chance to run to Pier 90 before sunset to what was biting.
Jamey Barris was loading up his bassboat when I arrived. He and a friend caught their limit of 20 bass and one redfish on the southern side of the Timken Island.
The winds were out of the northeast and they fished the length side of the island. All of their fish were caught on a white spinner bait with a gold willow leaf blade.
Now armed with a information, I set out on Friday afternoon for a little fishing.
In 25-mile-per-hour winds and 4-foot waves, I braved the waters of Lake Cataouatche by myself, dodging cresting waves near the front of my boat.
By the time I reached the mouth of
Bayou Couba, the water was like chocolate milk. So after three casts, I decided to head to the Louisiana Cypress Canal.
The Davis Pond Diversion was running around 5000-cubic feet per second. And at my favorite, I threw out my catfish line and placed it in a rod holder. I then began throwing a green Baby Brush Hog and quickly reeled in four bass – all of which I threw back.
Hearing the drag stripping off the Okuma Nemesis, the 7-foot worm rod was bent over. I put the brush hog down and quickly started reeling. Within minutes a 10-pound blue channel catfish was in the boat.
Which goes to show you, that when the water is running good in the diversion, the catfish conditions are very pleasant.
So on that note, I quickly put another earthworm on the hook and threw it out.
With the catfish line out, I picked-up my bream rod. I had a red, white and chartreuse mini jig under a cork. The mini jig caught a bream on every cast.
By sundown, eight catfish and a dozen bream were in the live well. All the bass were thrown back.
With the passage of a Pacific cold front on Saturday night, my wife, Gretchen, wanted to make a fishing trip. The winds were now blowing out of the west at 15 to 20 miles per hour. The Louisiana Cypress Canal was going to be protected and a super place to fish.
We located the spot I caught fish at on Friday and dropped the anchor.
The water was clear running out of the canal from the diversion, so Gretchen set up with a red, white and chartreuse mini-jig under a cork and she began to catch bream after bream.
I set the catfish line and quickly caught six. A boat ahead of us was catching nice-sized bass using the green Baby Brush Hog.
After they caught their limit they left and we waded into their spot.
Gretchen continued to catch bream by throwing the mini jig under a cork. And on my second cast with the Baby Brush Hog I felt the tap-tap and set the hook.
A few minutes later, Gretchen helped me net a 26- inch bass.
Four boats filled with anglers were yelling out, “that fish must weigh 7 pounds.
Gretchen took a few pictures and I released the big bass un-harmed.