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Itís springtime again

Dear Capt. Paul:

I have heard of a place called the Midnight Lump out of Venice that is supposed to be a great spot for line-breaking tuna and other big sport fishing, but I can’t find the location on any on my charts or maps.

Are the lumps protruding above the water surface or are they just underwater features? If they are only under water, how do you anchor around them?

Will 200 feet of anchor line be enough?

Thanks, John

May 07 at 4:15 pm

2015 spring inshore shrimp season to open May 18 at 6 a.m.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced today the 2015 spring inshore shrimp season will open statewide on Monday, May 18 at 6 a.m.

May 07 at 3:13 pm

Strong southeast winds, dirty water don't dampen speckled trout bite at the Trestles

Gusty southeast winds blowing steady 15 to 20, water the color of a cafť au lait, steady rollers and a ripping incoming tide — ideal conditions to hammer speckled trout with plastics at the Trestles, right?

Actually, no.

In fact, definitely not.

May 07 at 9:51 am

May speckled trout techniques: The sliding cork

Capt. Eric Dumas probably wouldn’t go so far as to compare fishing corks with golf clubs – you know, a specialized cork for many different situations – but he does understand that using the right cork at the right time helps him catch more speckled trout.

For Dumas, the right cork is a sliding cork when he finds himself fishing anywhere from 10 to 20 feet with some kind of shelf between those two depths.

May 07 at 2:37 am

May speckled trout techniques: The popping cork

The one thing that has surprised me over my years of writing about Louisiana saltwater fishing is how complicated something as simple as a popping cork can be.

I mean, it’s a popping cork. What more can be said other than tie one on and go fishing?

But I’ve been with charter captains out of Venice who were catching five fish to my one.

May 06 at 4:10 pm

11 tips for mopping up on post-spawn crappie

Earlier this year, Tim Bye was working a turnaround while the Internet was abuzz about big catches of spawning crappie.

Hearing that so many of his favorite species were being caught made him want to go fishing, but he wasn’t too brokenhearted.

You see, Bye doesn’t even like fishing the spawn.

Yeah, that’s right: This South Louisiana angler would rather wait until after crappie finish their spawning rituals and move out.

May 06 at 3:09 pm

Potential No. 3-ranked cobia landed in West Cameron blocks Friday

Grant Derouen was hoping to make a mangrove snapper haul out of Cameron last Friday morning, but rough conditions put an end to that plan.

So his group decided to target cobia when they noticed several swimming near the surface around a platform in the West Cameron blocks about 30 miles from the Cameron jetties.

Turns out it was a good move for Derouen, who ended up hooking a massive ling that, if certified by the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association, would become the new No. 3-ranked cobia in the state record books.

May 06 at 11:54 am

May speckled trout techniques: The drop-shot rig

The drop-shot rig is often seen as a finesse bass fishing technique used to scratch out a limit when all else fails.

But Capt. John Falterman, whose name has become synonymous with his own saltwater version of the drop-shot, sees the rig as a power-fishing technique that puts more trout in his boat than anything else he’s ever tried.

In fact, just within the last week, Falterman, who operates Therapy Charters at Lake Pontchartrain, has put his customers – all using drop-shot rigs – on a grand total of 949 speckled trout.

May 05 at 11:17 am

Duo smash speckled trout surf-fishing on Elmer's Island

Jared Pennison had the opportunity to target speckled trout Sunday on a boat trip with a group of buddies along the jetties at Grand Isle, but surf fishing had been weighing heavily on his mind.

“We were talking about it Saturday night, and I was telling everybody how I was craving to go back surf fishing,” said Pennison, 25, who lives on the island and is the son-in-law of Buggie Vegas, who operates Bridge Side Marina.† “I do it a good bit, but I hadn’t done it yet this year.

“The trout had turned on, and I had caught a whole bunch in the last few weeks on live shrimp under a popping cork. I told my buddy, ‘I got enough fillets in the freezer. I don’t want to catch any more little ones — I want to go catch some hogs.’”

So he opted to test out the surf Sunday morning on the day of May’s full moon — and ended up making the right call.

He and his buddy Bradley Matte, of Morgan City, caught an impressive stringer of 41 solid 3- to 5-pound specks working clean water up and down the Gulf side of Elmer’s Island. The biggest speck weighed 5.2 pounds on his handheld scale, and five redfish plus a 38-inch lemon fish rounded out the day’s catch.†

May 04 at 6:02 pm

Tennessee angler catches 10.36-pound largemouth at Toledo Bend

Duane Thompson of Millington, Tenn., went down to Toledo Bend last month to visit and get in some good fishing time.†

May 04 at 11:47 am

May speckled trout techniques: The double rig

Ask a bass angler how to catch a bass, and you’ll get a doctoral dissertation including a host of variables ranging from the pH of the water to the phase of the spawn.

Ask a speckled trout angler how to catch a trout, and you’ll get a much simpler response including only two variables - tide and bait.

While there may be something to the notion that you’ve got to throw a certain color crankbait that dives to 2 1/2 feet rather than 6 feet to get a bass to bite, trying to convince a die-hard trout angler that he or she has to throw a certain color or style of bait to catch fish is futile.

May 04 at 9:20 am

Hambones are a treat

Biologists need to be humbled sometimes.

When I was working at LSU in the 1980s, I spent a lot of time on commercial snapper boats documenting catches of reef fish and looking for new species that could be of interest to seafood consumers.

May 04 at 9:00 am

Red snapper five-state management plan voted down by U.S. House committee on Thursday

Thursday wasn’t exactly a banner day for private red snapper anglers along the Gulf Coast - or for the five Gulf states fisheries managers hoping to wrest control of the snapper fishery away from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

May 01 at 2:31 pm

Body of missing Prairieville boater recovered in Bayou Manchac

Officials recovered the body of 23-year-old Allen Fitzgerald about 8 this morning after almost a four-day search, according to a press release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

May 01 at 1:19 pm

Officials react to 10-day federal red snapper season for private anglers

The news Thursday afternoon that recreational private anglers in the Gulf of Mexico will get a 10-day red snapper season in early June — while federal for-hire charter captains will have a 44-day season stretching into July — generated lots of responses in the wake of the announcement.

May 01 at 11:17 am

Offshore options

Offshore fishing to the west of Venice is a different game altogether. Variety is the name of the game in Southeast Louisiana ports such as Grand Isle, Port Fourchon and Cocodrie, where runs to the storied yellowfin tuna grounds are seen as untenably long.

May 01 at 7:00 am

The grab bag ó Offshore fly fishing tips

On the ride to Golden Meadow, I scratched my head and rubbed my chin. I didn’t know what I had let myself in for.†

May 01 at 7:00 am


Trout fishing is kicking off all along the coast, but we give you 10 locations you just have to fish. But there still are bass to be caught, if you understand how to target them when they come off their beds.

May 01 at 7:00 am