Anglers familiar with the Cypremort Point area know about the big influence the Atchafalaya River level has on the fishing there, and this summer has been no exception.
The river is still uncharacteristically high — currently more than 16 feet at Butte La Rose — and that means a steady supply of freshwater pouring in from the east and southeast winds common this time of year.
That translates into fresh, dirty water for Cypremort Point — which means specks have been pretty tough to come by so far, according to a local angler.
“This is the longest I’ve seen the river up this high for this period of time,” said Keith Delahoussaye of New Iberia, who retired in February after 31 years as an enforcement agent with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “Other than offshore for speckled trout, the fishing has been kind of slow because the clarity of the water is not there right now. The river is high, so speckled trout fishing is off, but redfishing is on fire.”
Anywhere around Marsh Island and reefs in Southwest Pass have been steady producers for reds, he said.
“The Pass has been really good. I fished there Friday and we had limits with three people on board by 9 o’clock,” Delahoussaye said. “And fishing inside the island in deep holes in The Worm has been excellent.”
He was fishing with dead shrimp about 18 inches under a cork over reefs and along the shoreline in the Pass, and Carolina-rigging cracked crab in 20 to 25 feet of water in The Worm and The Key down Bayou Blanc. Bull reds are also being caught on the Boxcar Reef northwest of the Pass on Carolina rigs with cut mullet and cracked crab, he said.
Speckled trout reports from the reefs south of Marsh Island have been very hit or miss, but Delahoussaye is hoping conditions improve when the Atchafalaya gets right.
“As soon as that river starts dropping and the water gets a little salt in it, the speckled trout will turn on,” he said. “They’re catching a few when you get a couple of days of calm water, but then the wind picks up again and stirs up the water and they back off.
“It seems like the want to come in as soon as the water clears up. I think the fish are there, but the water just isn’t clear enough.”
The river needs to drop about 6 more feet, and that’s when Delahoussaye is hoping the speckled trout bite really kicks in.
“We’re supposed to start getting a little drop next week, but as soon as it gets down to around 10 feet, I think the water will start getting really good on this end,” he said. “It all depends on how much they let the water out. They control it.
“It’s better for the freshwater fishing if they let it come down slow, because you won’t get that much stagnant water out of the woods into the bayous. If the water drops fast, you get a lot of black water out of the woods, and that kind of messes up the freshwater fishing. But it helps us on this end with the saltwater.”