June 2016 - Volume 36, Number 6


With the federal red snapper season lasting a mere nine days, you have to know how to maximize your time. This captain tells you how — and gives you tips for landing mangroves, as well.

The cluster of bananas sat forlornly on top of the dock piling.

Fifteen minutes earlier, the five deep-sea charter fishermen were handing their personal items to the two deck hands — Billy Joe Palmisano and Joseph Cantrelle — for stowing.

Palmisano’s eyes popped wide open when he spied the telltale yellow of bananas through a plastic shopping bag.

June means it’s time to head to Grand Isle for all the trout and redfish action you can handle. Find out how this veteran guide stays on fish all summer long.

The wait is over and the action is full throttle right now in Grand Isle. Forget the trout scarcity of last year and get going now to satiate that pent-up craving for bent rods and screaming drags.

I invited myself aboard Capt. Keith ‘Herk’ Bergeron’s 24-foot Blue Wave to get in on the action he’d been telling me about.

If the west winds blow the water out of your favorite fishing hole, just wait for darkness to settle on the swamps near Manchac and paddle out for some hectic frogging. Here’s how to make the most of the opportunity.

“Wind from the WEST!” Artie yelled, waving his arms crazily and looking around. “Fish bite BEST! Who on earth came up with DAT?”

He pointed at the flapping Saints flag on the porch of Doc’s camp as he yelled.

“Whoever it was sure didn’t live in Southeast Louisiana!” Eddie answered, pointing at the exposed mud stretching about 2 feet from the edge of the spartina grass to the muddy canal right below us. “Gonna be a skimpy Father’s Day fish fry!”

Forget hard-fighting reds. There’s only one fish this team of Venice anglers crave only one species — big, burly speckled trout. Here’s how they go target the bruisers, with hopes of winning the STAR.

He’s got it. He’s got it bad!

Tony Bruce has spotted fever — a burning desire to put big spotted seatrout in the boat.

The sine qua non of his fishing existence is to win the 100-day long Coastal Conservation Association STAR.

Falling water levels in the Atchafalaya Basin signal to anglers in the know that bass are ganged up and ready to feed — if you know where to look. Learn the keys to success from these Basin specialists.

“The drop is what everybody waits for,” the big dude said. “The fish have been swimming around in trees for months, and the falling water pulls them out into the canals and bayous.”

The big dude was Gene Hoover, a dedicated bass tournament competitor. With him was Kevin “Chef KD” Diez, a friend of 30 years who had introduced us.

We were in the Atchafalaya Basin, arguably the greatest and at the same time the most-frustrating (and massive) fishing hole in Louisiana.

As summer deepens, big specks retreat to the open waters outside the Hopedale marsh. So gas up the boat, pass up the school trout and get ready to haul in yellowmouths.

You’re on your lunch break from work sitting in the A/C, but in the back of your mind you know it would be more enjoyable out in the heat catching speckled trout, like all of the guides are doing.

The once-glamorous Carolina rig has fallen on hard times, but anglers in the know understand that bass still can’t seem to keep from eating when a C-rig is dragged past them. Here are some tips to using the old-school setup to put more fish in the boat.

If any publicity is good publicity the Carolina rig is falling way behind. What used to be a mainstay in many tackle boxes seems to have been relegated to also-ran status.

I blame professional fishing tournaments.

Well, maybe not so much the tournaments themselves as the timing of those tournaments.

If you’re looking for this die-hard North Louisiana angler, it’s a safe bet he’s on the water chasing crappie. Here’s a look at how he learned to catch more perch.

Picture this, if you will: About 50 crappie fishermen of all sizes and shapes are all gathered in the same area of the lake in different boats, wearing different-colored clothes and using different baits, all fishing with jig poles.

Don't give up on Toldeo Bend just because the spawn is over. You just have to know the best tactics. And the big trout are lurking around structures out of Venice, and these guys proved the best tactics.