Most outdoorsmen focus their attention on fishing now because hunting season is coming to a close, but conditions on area lakes are making the water an unproductive fishery.
In December, we had record amounts of rainfall. Throughout January and February, temperatures stayed in the high 30’s and low 40’s.
Fish start spawning when water temperatures reach the mid 60-degree range. As of Monday, water temperatures were in the very low 50’s. Last year, water temperature was in the 60’s and we starting to catch sac-a-laits at the end of February.
Most fishermen are wondering if the spawn will start. Keep watching the water temperatures. Fish are regulated by temperature.
On Monday, I went out to Lake Cataouatche for a scouting trip for sac-a-laits. I was told by the Pier 90 harbor master that good catfish were being caught at the cut on the northern side of the lake.
He said to find a good flow of water and fish in the middle of the current with earth worms on the bottom.
With his advice on my mind, I headed towards the cuts on the northern side of the lake. At the third cut on the right, I noticed a bunch of white jugs, so I went up to the rocks and dropped an anchor.
Throwing down current, I had rigged two carolina lines with #6 catfish hooks and baited them with earthworms.
Within 10 minutes I had the first of 14 catfish in the live well. It only took two hours for my fishing trip.
I then went into the LA Cypress Canal and tried to catch sac-a-laits. The Corps of Engineers has opened up the numerous cuts and lined the cuts with rocks on the north and south side of the canal. They also took out all structures – such as logs and fallen trees – that hold sac-a-laits in the canal.
I managed to catch one very small sac-a-lait and threw him back.
I then moved into the Tank Ponds and fished toward the back cut. Throwing a ¼ ounce red bloodline rattle trap, I managed to catch four bass.
Tracy Alexander and Vernon Silver, fishing nearby, managed to catch a few bass using the watermelon worm and humpback swimming minnow.
“If Lake Cataouatche continues to have warm up, the next two weeks will be productive,” Silver commented.
Sac-a-laits like the red/white/chartreuse, blue/white, black/chartreuse, and black/white mini jig under a cork between 12 to 18 inches deep. Bass like the watermelon with red metal flakes, baby brush hog, white spinner baits, and the baby minus one in pearl.
Bream have not begun to school up, but catch plenty of catfish on the bottom with earthworms.