High Water Bassin’
High water along the Northern shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain has it’s pros and cons. Ever since the closure of the MRGO it seems that salinity levels in Lake Pontchartrain have struggled to reach a meager 3 PPT. Hurricane Nate has done exactly what was expected in that it pushed saltier water into the Lake. While the saltier water helps the saltwater variety in the lake, the high water often means changes for bass fishing in the rivers and bayous that empty into the lake. Jake McCutcheon of Covington is a bass fisherman and made a trip to the Rice Fields Canal just off the Tchefuncte River and experienced the effects of Nate. “To say the water was high is an understatement. I’ve fished this canal for 5 years and I’ve never been forced to fish as far into the grass as I did today,” Jake says. He launched at the Madisonville Bridge and made his way down the Tchefuncte and into the canal. He started throwing crank baits and immediately caught 3 bass. “I picked up 3 fish quick, and thought, ‘ok, it’s a shad bite’ and kept throwing but I didn’t get any more,” McCutcheon says. He continued to throw his crank bait without results and then decided to switch over to a different bait. “I started throwing a Texas-rigged trick worm in the PB&J color and that is what lit them up! I caught about 12 to 15 on that then switched over to a frog and caught a few more right on the bank in the flooded grass,” he says. Jake says the fish measures 12” to 16” and were all fat.
One More Spot
It’s a common phrase uttered by anglers who have a hard time calling it quits while on the water. Jeff Webb and his dad made an afternoon fishing trip to Bayou Bonfouca and were finding it a challenge to put bass into the boat. “We threw everything in the tackle box and didn’t even get a bite,” Webb says. As the sun started to set, the team decided to head back to the launch. “Dejected, and without a fish, we headed back to the launch to beat the sunset,” Jeff says. Then one more spot presented itself to them. “Just when the fat lady began to sing, they made the mistake of showing themselves! Lots of fish crashing shad at the opening of a small drain,” the excited angler says. The father and son motored closer and then started throwing white Flukes. On his first cast Jeff caught a 3 lb. bass.
Jeff describes what happened next. “On my second cast I twitched the Fluke twice and smack! Another 3 lb. bass! Four or five casts later – whack! A solid two pounder! On the next cast I didn’t even get to twitch it when a 4 lb. bass blasted it. It came out of the water and the fight was on! The big fella made a lot a noise and the fish made some too!” Jeff jokes. The team made quite a ruckus that may have brought the bite to an end. “After all that racket we were only able to pick up one more before the bugs and darkness made me call it a day,” Webb adds.
The team ended the day with 5 fish that totaled 12.5 lbs. “I don’t know if it was the sun setting or the water moving out, but these guys were in a feeding frenzy! That’s what I love about fishing, even when things look bleak, you never know what will happen on the next cast,” Webb says.
Bass Assassins held its tournament at Lock #1 in Pearl River and it was Trenton Pittman who took first place by weighing in a 5-fish tournament limit of 12 lbs. 5 oz. Pittman won the big fish division with a 4 lb. 14 oz. largemouth bass. With the win the 17 year-old bass angler from Covington solidifies his #1 ranking in the NBS Power Rankings. In second place was Joe Picone with a 5-fish bag that weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz. Cameron Wagner won third place with 5 fish that weighed a total of 6 lbs. 4 oz.
FPBA will be holding its next tournament on Saturday, October 14 at Crawford’s Landing. For more information about becoming a member please visit fpbassanglers.com.
Bogalusa Bass Club will hold its next tournament on October 14th and 15th at Lake Bruin. For more information please contact Jason Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Keith Lusher Jr. writes a weekly column. For more info, visit NorthshoreFishingReport.com.Contact Keith at email@example.com.)