May 2007 - Volume 27, Number 5


Big-money bass will be yanked this month from the Ouachita River backwaters. Here’s how to make sure they find their way into your boat.

I’ve always loved fishing river systems, but I have to admit that I never venture too far off the main river itself. All those river lakes, oxbows and creeks only serve to frustrate me to the point that I avoid them all together.

If you want to catch a boatload of bream without fighting the crowds, make the run down the Atchafalaya River to Deer Island.

The water wasn’t what I’d call clean, especially for bream fishing. A strong southerly breeze had been blowing for several days, and the water was backed up and heavily stained to muddy.

Every year at this time, specks and reds get the itch to slam jerkbaits.

Professional bass fisherman Shaw Grigsby of Gainesville, Fla., has won $1.3 million just on the BASS circuit with a combined total of about $2 million in wins. However, when he’s not fishing for bass, Grigsby enjoys fishing inshore for specks and reds.

Things can get downright crazy this month for anglers casting baits along the bridges in eastern Lake Pontchartrain.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second installment of a two-part series on Lake Pontchartrain’s bridges. Part I appeared in the April issue.

Webster defines Mayhem as “riot and disorder.” It’s a word used by the press to describe rioting and unrest in the streets — crowds running amok, burning cars, crashing storefronts, looting, fighting and creating havoc and destruction.

Want to load the boat and save gas? Then head this month to Bayou Bienvenue’s washouts, where a genuine box-a-mixed awaits.

The keg was emptying at an alarming rate, and the Stones were slashing out “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” from Doc’s high-tech stereo system at ear-shattering volume.

Offshore fishing is so good out of Venice, it drew two Oregon anglers for weeks.

“Puffin - trip this year VENICE La.

“Taking the boat for a month of fish catching fun. Keta and me so far. Looking for a wing man or men more the merrier. March looks like the month. Cost usually runs $60-75 a day. weaklings need not apply. Tuna Amberjack Wahoo and so on.

Putting tasty fillets on the grill this month is as easy as making this circuit through the Hopedale marsh.

The water was off-colored, but Capt. Ben Leto wasn’t worried.

“I caught them in here yesterday as fast as we could get bait on the bottom,” he said.

Franklinton resident Trey Riley fits into his surroundings even better than the game that frequently finds itself in his sights.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fifth installment of a 12-part series introducing readers to young Louisianians who have accomplished great things in the outdoors.

If I didn’t know any better, I would swear that Trey Riley was from Route 4, Liberty, Miss., rather than Franklinton, La. I could imagine him having cousins named Marcel, Odell, Claude, Eugene and Clovis. And it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe he had a coon-hunting monkey tied up behind his house.

This month, hunters will get an extra three weeks to target the bushytails they overlooked in the fall.

Chances are that practically every hunter in Louisiana over the age of 40 got started in the hunting game by learning to sneak up on bushytails in the fall. Skills learned during these days helped hunters move on to pursue deer and other more wary game.

There’s a handful of rigs south of Cocodrie that are underfished and loaded with tackle-busting yellowfins.

Every school has its legends.

In the hallowed halls of Metairie’s Ridgewood Prep, deep in the dusty corners of painted hallways, amidst the clanging of slammed locker doors, the faint echo of one name still resonates.

It’s hard to beat the east side of the Mississippi River for the biggest of May’s lunker trout.

I don’t see how any angler who fishes Venice could ever gripe about somebody else being spoiled.

There’s a reason the sign above the steps at Venice Marina reads “Fishing Capital of the World.”

Want to see what hangs out under your favorite rig? Then maybe it’s time to get scuba-certified.

Have you ever been fishing offshore on a boat, looked down and wondered what it would be like to see what lurks beneath the legs of a towering oil rig whose barnacle-encrusted legs extend hundreds or thousands of feet below the surface?

The backwaters hold the key to the Ouachita River's best bass action.