Being an advocate for North Shore fishing, I don’t get the chance to venture outside of this area for many fishing trips. Whether it’s making video’s, writing articles, or putting together an informative application on the website, my content comes from fishing the local waters here in St. Tammany Parish.
I recently had the opportunity to make a trip that almost seemed foreign as it brought me miles away from my stomping ground. Captain John Coulon of Delta Blue Charters invited my daughter and I to join him aboard the legendary Cougar, a solid blue, 47-ft. steel vessel that played host to generations of past big-fish stories.
The sun was barely over the horizon when the Cougar turned into the Venice Marina harbor and we jumped aboard. We made our way into the Mississippi River and then into the gulf.
Along the way I had a chance to pick John’s brain on the ongoing saga of the red snapper regulations that the state has been trying to gain control of from the federal government. John mentioned the tightened regulations enforced by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council for the past two years and how it has changed how his fishing trips are conducted. “After the season closes, it’s hard to go out into federal waters and catch anything but snapper. I’ll bring people out here that want to catch other species of fish but can’t because of the time wasted on reeling in snapper and releasing them,” John says. After we baited our lines and lowered them into the water I understood what he meant. With the current limit being 2 fish per person, we reached our daily limit within no time and were forced to try and catch other types of fish. This proved unsuccessful and after a half hour of catching and releasing red snapper, John decided to make a stop at a rig on the way back to the Venice Marina. We switched over from cut pogies to shrimp and began to catch redfish in the shallow, muddier water. But even being within eyesight of the mouth of the Mississippi, we couldn’t escape the snapper bite as the familiar fish found its way into the boat. “We never see snapper this close inshore. I don’t know how far they will push if these regulations aren’t loosened,” he said. John’s not the only one pushing for a more liberal snapper season as the public outcry has been heard by local government. The “Modern Fish Act” led by Rep. Garrett Graves is being debated in the legislature and looks to have the momentum needed to pass and hand over authority to the state.
With the summer heat we’re seeing in August, fishing deeper means fishing in cooler water. William Schilling made a trip with his wife to the drawbridge at Pass Manchac and ended up with a box full of catfish by fishing the bottom. “My wife and I had a fun trip fishing at drawbridge for cats. We ended up with 37 good eating size fish. Shrimp and night crawlers were the preferred bait for us,” Schilling says.
First Speckled Trout
Chase and Maegan Holmes made a trip with their daughter to the Biloxi Marsh for some speckled trout fishing. After a relatively smooth ride across Lake Bornge the family was on the fish quick using Matrix Shad. “The water was the cleanest I’ve seen in a while and we had 50 speckled trout in about an hour with a few 3 pounders mixed in,” he says. Not only did we catch a box full of speckled trout, it was the first speckled trout their daughter Atleigh had ever caught. “What a great day on the water!” Chase added.
Bayou Lacombe Crabbing
Bayou Lacombe is known for its fantastic crabbing opportunities from land but the bite is even better if you can access the bayou with a boat. Kevin Morris of New Orleans made the trip to Bayou Lacombe and says it’s as simple as a bait on a string. “I was using a turkey neck and a line out of the back of my canoe,” he says. Kevin started at the nearest cut before exiting Bayou Lacombe into the lake and says, “I had to move around quite a bit and had to throw back quite a few smaller ones to get them, but I managed about 50 crabs in the cooler.
Bass Assassins held its tournament at Lock #1 in Pearl River and it was Eric Ciko who brought in a 5-fish limit that weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. With the win Eric moves into the #4 spot in the NBS Power Rankings. Shane Hamilton finished second with a 4-fish bag that weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz. In third was Sam Jenkins with 5 fish that weighed 4 lbs. 15 oz. Dillon Ayman won the big fish award with a bass that weighed 3 lb. 8 oz.
Bass Assassins is holding its next tournament at the East Pearl River on August 20th. For more information please contact Chris Basey at 985-707-7857.
A tournament to benefit Adalyn Mince will be held on September 16th at the North-pass boat ramp in Manchac. The 2-year-old is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. For more information please contact Patrick Engerran at (985) 474-6112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Keith Lusher Jr. writes a weekly column. For more info, visit NorthshoreFishingReport.com.Contact Keith at email@example.com.)