Louisiana Sportsman

Big Lake flounder are lining ship channel

Chris Berzas - November 14, 2012
Fishing guide Capt. Paul Davidson Jr. is catching limits of Calcasieu Lake flounder by slow-rolling Strike King spinnerbaits along the ship channel.
Chris Berzas
Fishing guide Capt. Paul Davidson Jr. is catching limits of Calcasieu Lake flounder by slow-rolling Strike King spinnerbaits along the ship channel.

Capt. Paul Davidson Jr. knew exactly where to go last week on Big Lake. Slowing down the boat, he neared a break in the nearby ship channel during an outgoing tide.

Having set anchor in about 4 feet of water downcurrent of his chosen location,the fishing guide cast out a spinnerbait and began slowly rolling it along the bottom.

“The bait got thumped hard, and I set the hook,” Davidson said.

After fighting the fish briefly, the angler hoisted aboard a 3-pound flounder. Photos were taken, and the flatty was tossed into the cooler.
“I’ve been throwing spinnerbaits for about 15 years on this lake for flounders,” Davidson explained. “Back then, I was initially throwing spinnerbaits for redfish when I noticed that I was catching flounder, too.

“Since then I’ve used these baits whenever the flounder are running on the lake.”

Davidson’s spinnerbait of choice is the saltwater Strike King Redfish Magic. It is made tough for brute redfish, sporting a heavy-gauge, gold-plated stainless steel wire with a gold No. 4 Colorado blade.

He matches the spinnerbait with a Marsh Works’ chicken on a chain Bayou Thumper.

“I highly recommend using spinnerbaits made for saltwater action, as these are pretty durable for redfish, flounder and trout,” Davidson said.

As for spinnerbait action, Davidson slowly rolls the spinnerbait right above the bottoms of where he is fishing.  

“I’ll cast it, slow rolling it on the bottom and move it in the direction the tide is moving,” Davidson explained. “Sometimes flounders will thump it hard, and other times they’ll hit it with quick taps like a bream. When they tap it repeatedly, I’ll give them a little time to stay on it and eat it, and then I’ll set the hook.

“I’ll also slow it down when they are hitting it like bream.”

Davidson also uses tackle typical of that employed for redfish and trout — fast-tipped, medium-action, 7-foot Temple Fork Outfitters rods. Due chiefly to the teeth of these fish, DFavidson will tie on a 25-pound-test mono leader to avoid cutting of his FINS braid.

Besides the 13 he and a fishing buddy kept last Monday (Nov. 5), he and his clients caught 40 on Tuesday.

“With the sows now consistently showing up now, we are catching flounder in the 5- and 6- pounds range,” Davidson said. “This flounder run will continue into December here.”

Within the vast Calcasieu estuary, the Cameron Ship Channel will hold groups of flounder along its banks and points. One sign of flounder activity is to find local anglers fishing and wading right off the banks along the channel. Points and other troughs where water is moving due to tides and wind are also choice places that hold these fish.

“Some points are better on incoming tides, whereas others deliver fish on outgoing tides,” Davidson said.

Editor’s note: Davidson can be reached at 318-254-3710 or at his Web site.

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