May 2009 - Volume 29, Number 5


Soak a dead shrimp or live crawfish on the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain, and you’ll be surprised what you pull up.

Our party of 12 required two large restaurant tables to accommodate. As the waiter led us through the crowded restaurant to our tables, Eddie — as luck would have it — was the first in line, walking right behind “Sebastian, our waiter for the evening,” who had already introduced himself in a highly officious and animated manner.

Fishing the bridges of Lake Pontchartrain can get monotonous, but there’s nothing boring about watching redfish slam topwaters just a little farther to the east.

When Capt. Eric Dumas sped past the three bridges that span the eastern section of Lake Pontchartrain, I thought we might be going to fish the L&N train bridge farther to the east in the Rigolets. As he sped under it, I knew something was up.

Fish Delacroix’s deep holes this time of year, and you’ll swear Santa Claus must be coming to town.

Our teeth should have been chattering.

We should have been bundled to our necks with long-johns, fleece pullovers, fluffy coveralls and heavy coats stuffed with the latest creation from DuPont chemists.

Put these methods to work at the resurgent Lake Cataouatche, and you’ll be shocked at how active bass can be in May.

I climbed into Capt. Frank Lawson’s Champion bay boat fully expecting to catch redfish. The fact that he was tying on three bass lures only made me think that he would be showing me how to use bass tactics to catch redfish.

Intercept trout as they make their way to the big bays on the east side of the river.

For speckled trout and redfish anglers, May is Christmas and New Year’s Day rolled into one. The months of bad weather, blustery winds, dirty water and overall miserable conditions are finally behind us, and May begins all things new.

Bass pros started the swimbait craze, but it didn’t take long for saltwater anglers to realize these chunky baits are irresistible to speckled trout.

It wasn’t that long ago, a year maybe, that Capt. Charlie Thomason started to notice a growing trend every time he saw a bass tournament on TV. The guys throwing swimbaits were blowing away the field by catching monster bass.

Hunting seasons are over, right? Actually, hunting never ends for this group of night owls.

Somewhere deep in the Mississippi River bottomlands between Devil’s Swamp and Port Hudson, I stood in complete darkness, mesmerized by the echoes of the basso profundo bugling of Rock and the contralto bawling of Memphis, two first-class walker coon hounds.

Follow these tips to put big bass in your boat on three of Louisiana’s major river systems.

During the early 1990s, it didn’t take much effort to stroke my ego by pitching a black/blue ringer worm to the many laydowns in the Ouachita River. Bass after bass with an occasional big fish or two thrown in put me very close to river-rat status.

Conditions are less than ideal, but if you’re not too picky, you can have a blast in the morning and a feast in the evening.

There’s something to be said about slumming, and when it comes to springtime fishing in the narrow bayous that run into Atchafalaya Bay, you just might discover that one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

In a decade and a half, this event has grown to epic summer status in the Bayou State.

This Memorial Day weekend, like last year’s and the year before that, casual visitors to Louisiana’s coast will wonder, “Who let the dogs out?”

Conditions don’t have to be perfect to catch fish at Calcasieu.

With the wind blowing at 20 knots, Lake Calcasieu looked like a chocolate milkshake. Most fair-weather fishermen had cancelled their trips, but Kirk and Guy Stansel, who fish there 250 days a year, would brave rain, sleet, snow or bright, hot sun to get you in a boat and try to find you fish.

From Venice to Shreveport, bass, trout and more are just dying to jump into your boat this month.