Herald-Guide Outdoor Report with Bruce McDonald 7-31-2008

Lake Cataouatche makes for great August fishing

The key to being a successful angler is simple – if you want to catch a big fish, you have to have your line in the water – and the past few weeks has made for great fishing. Late last week I had a chance to fish Lake Cataouatche with Haley Champion, my son Hunter McDonald and John Brady, and the amount of fish we caught was astonishing.

With the temperature in the 90s and zero wind, the physical conditions make fishing unbearable, but the Davis Pond Diversion has helped to keep the water temperature down and the currents clear.

The diversion, which usually runs around 140 cubic feet per second for this time of year, is currently running at 3000 cubic feet per second.

What’s biting?

Bass are still hitting the watermelon Baby Brush Hog and plastic worm, while bream want crickets and earthworms.

The catfish are piled up in the currents at all the cuts. Anglers are catching Sac-au-lait in the Lake Salvador management area 3 to 4 feet deep around the grass beds.

Best baits have been the black and chartreuse, blue and white, and red, white and chartreuse tube jigs.

The Chinquapin

A common catch in the lakes has been the chinquapin, which is also known as shellcracker, stumpknocker, and redear.

They are members of the sunfish or bream family. , and when you find one, you’ve found them all – you’ve located the school, so drop anchor and start catching.

Tarpon Rodeo

Last Friday, I made my way to the annual Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.

My collective strategy with family and friends for one of southeast Louisiana’s largest fishing rodeos was to fish, rest, and enjoy the atmosphere.

After unloading our bags at the camp, we drove down to the Rodeo Pavilion for a little fun.

While we were there, my son received a call from a friend who said that the specks had turned on under the lights close to Bridgeside Marina.

So, we took the drive, which took us an hour because of all the anglers on the island, to the marina and finally reached it by midnight.

But when we reached the dock, fish were popping up everywhere under the lights.

Midnight catches

The smoke, chartreuse, and avocado colored beetles caught the best and night fishing is wonderful for so many reasons.

For one, there’s no sun, so it’s cooler, you’re on a dock and not a rocking boat, and your walking distance from the nearest camp.

At 2 a.m. two Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents approached us and checked our licenses and fish.

Everything was in order, but remember, specks have to be a minimum of 12 inches long and there’s a limit of 25 per person. However, there’s no size or limit requirements for white trout.

Caminada Pass

The next morning, we launched the boat around 11 a.m. and went out to the rocks in Caminada Pass.

The tide had changed at 7 a.m. and was consistently falling all morning with a margin over 1.3.

Jared Vial, Seth Jenson, my son, and myself limited out on specks and white trout.

Our best baits were the 2-inch chartreuse sparkle beetle, the glow, purple, white, and avocado with red flakes, the Blue Moon Terror Tail, the salt and pepper Terror Tail, and the white and yellow-shad rig.

By mid afternoon, we headed back to the camp to clean fish and cook supper.

Rodeo nights

While barbecuing hamburgers, the traffic passing the camp had the atmosphere of Mardi Gras.

Around 10 p.m. we visited our friend with the lighted dock.

By then a severe thunderstorm had hit the area and a small shower was falling when I walked out to the lights.

Specks and white trout were once again popping.

I caught 25 specks that ranged from 14 to 16 in length within 30 minutes.

The baits I used were the chartreuse and avocado sparkle beetles.

Reel ‘em in

Sunday morning, we headed back out to the rocks in Caminada Pass and tied up to the pilings.

With a strong falling tide, my wife and the boys caught our limit within a couple of hours. We used all plastic baits from the day before. and set out a bull red rig using crack crab.

With in 10 minutes the rod was bent over. We landed a 25-pound black drum and by mid-afternoon we were back at the camp cleaning fish.

What a great weekend it was, fishing, resting and enjoying the annual Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.


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