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Formerly Known as Delacroix

No one can deny it’s Larry Frey’s name on the deed.
But he doesn’t own this land.
November 24, 2005 at 2:30 pm

Back to Normal

Like most everybody else in Southeast Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, my family and I spent our days assessing damage, clearing downed trees and just generally looking after other folks. Normal seemed such a long way away. It still does.Read More...
November 24, 2005 at 2:04 pm

Oodles of Options

Big Lake has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding speckled trout and redfish angling in its wide-open 52,000 surface acres.

But October provides an outstanding opportunity for fishermen to stretch their wings to other regions north of Calcasieu Lake.Read More...
October 19, 2005 at 11:31 am

Passed Over

Charlie Thomason isn’t a big believer in the anecdotal notions of how the changing of seasons affects fishing.

The veteran angler’s B.S. in Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries compels him to stick with the scientific field’s hard facts. Read More...
September 05, 2005 at 12:20 pm

Calcasieu’s 4

August is an iffy month for fishing most any body of water in South Louisiana.

Searing heat, time-consuming end of the summer activities and the beginning of the real tropical season tend to throw many fishermen off their rhythm in planning trips. Not to mention the fact that the fishing, especially for speckled trout, tends to be on the downslide this time of year.

Calcasieu Lake anglers have the same issues — except for the fishing part, that is. Late summer, in recent years, with high amounts of rain in the spring, has been some of the best fishing of the year at a time when significantly fewer anglers crowd the lake and its surrounding estuarial zones.

August is also a time when anglers have many choices as to where to fish in the system.
August 04, 2005 at 3:49 pm

Beach Boy

I grew up in the 1960s, when groups like the Beach Boys became rich and famous singing about surfing in the summertime.

Songs like Surfer Girl, Surfin’ Safari and Surfin’ USA topped the charts, and had folks all over the world singing about California beaches — famous for big ocean waves and their strange attraction to surfers, a unique breed of people who paddle out on surfboards and ride the waves back to the beach.

Down here in South Louisiana, we don’t surf the waves, we fish them. In the heat of the summertime, we prowl our beaches, either from a boat or on foot, looking for birds or baitfish or any other signs that fish lie beneath the surf, in the crashing breakers, right in the midst of the froth and foam.

Summertime is still surfin’ time, when the waves crash up on the sandbars from Grand Isle to Four Bayous, and in those breakers roam numerous species of very desirable fish.
August 04, 2005 at 3:26 pm

New Age Tuna Baits

The giant flare was as impressive audibly as it was in a visual sense, giving off a dull roar.

We had picked it up hours ago as the sun sank en route to one of the many structures in Green Canyon, and now we were upon it, feeling pretty insignificant even though our vessel was a 94-foot luxury sportfisher.

Dozens of fat yellowfin tuna found the structure and its light impressive as well, giving chase to terrified flying fish also drawn to the light.
July 01, 2005 at 4:49 pm

Easy East

It flashed like a silver dish flipping underwater. The lane snapper shot one way and then another.

Then it did nothing, and that made it even worse. The butt of my 7-foot Berkley was digging into my stomach as I tried to haul up the dead weight.

Earlier I had shed most of my extraneous clothing, so only my simple white undershirt, soaked through with sweat, was affording me protection from the friction. The snapper made one more run, then turned belly up, and I finally dragged it the last 10 feet to the net.
July 01, 2005 at 4:33 pm

Breton Blast

Ernie Pyle called it the “thousand-yard stare.” Pyle was a WWII war correspondent who shared foxholes with the boys who won it. He wrote for the folks back home about the grunts and dogfaces and the holy hell they went through while blasting their way to victory — but from a front-line seat. Ernie was a “real-time” Stephen Ambrose.Read More...
July 01, 2005 at 2:47 pm

The days of 25-fish trout limits are numbered

When was the last time you caught a limit of speckled trout? Think about it. When was the last time you and your buddies pulled slime-coated, contorted trout, one by one, from the ice chest, counted them and then picked up your rods to catch the number remaining?

Guides, many of whom are on the water 200 or more days a year, probably caught too many limits over the last year to count, but few weekend anglers, I’m certain, came anywhere close to equaling that level of success.Read More...
July 01, 2005 at 2:45 pm

Big Brother’s Shadow

Lake Borgne has for a long time taken a back seat to its bigger brother, Pontchartrain, who likes to hog the spotlight and grab all the attention for the large trout it produces.

The three bridges on the east end of Pontchartrain have earned a well-deserved reputation for their productivity, but the Causeway, the power lines, the artificial reefs, Seabrook, the shorelines and rigs are also prime habitat for those much sought-after speckled trout.

Lake Borgne has long been the neglected little brother.
July 01, 2005 at 2:39 pm

Deepwater Doozie

It’s easy to outrun those huge tankers when they’re chugging upriver. They’re like us after a huge champagne brunch. You can almost hear them groaning as they churn slowly upriver, fully-laden, low in the water, every yard gained an agonizing effort.Read More...
July 01, 2005 at 2:38 pm

Jurisprudence, Cote Blanche-Style

What is it about the flash of gold in green tinted water that makes so many of us go bonkers to the point of embellishment?

From Point Chevreuil to Point Maroon, the shell beaches and grassy banks of Cote Blanche Bay produce a lot of those flashes. What is more, flashes with distinct black spotted markings — I might add.
July 01, 2005 at 2:15 pm

Red State

The first day of the 2004 Redfish Tour Open Championship was fishing about how most everybody had scouted it.

The tremendous amount of water pushed into the Hopedale/Delacroix marsh had brought in plenty of fish, but had seemingly emptied it of the 8- to 10-pound fish needed to finish highly.

A run to Venice was no sure thing either, with most of the delta still a muddy mess from the glancing blow from Ivan.

Chad Dufrene and I scratched through a very long first day to weigh two very average fish, enough to be in striking distance of one of five invites to the Pro Championship awarded to the top finishing teams, but our numbers of fish seen, much less caught, dictated a different plan.
July 01, 2005 at 2:14 pm

Reef Raider

Only a slight ripple tousled the water as Erik Rue streaked across the wide-open reaches of Calcasieu Lake.

Wind had whipped the water body into a froth for a week, but had died to a whisper the evening before, providing plenty of time for the water to clean up.

Rue was excited after his long hiatus from the lake, but he was forced to hold back on the gas. It was the maiden voyage of his newest boat, and he had to break in the motor.

Still, as the sun’s first tentacles of light embraced the lake, the veteran guide had a rod in his hand, working a Norton Sand Eel over Long Point reef.

I took up a position and cast out, fully expecting to feel the familiar crust of the shells along the bottom.

But my jig met no resistance as I bumped it along. In fact, it was difficult to feel any bottom.

July 01, 2005 at 2:12 pm

Redfish on Bull Minners

A pre-sunrise sheen flowed across the water like a micron-thin coating of mercury, mirroring scattered clouds cruising above the calm waters of Bayou Long.

The water was so still that even the tiniest baitfish created enough surface disturbance to attract instant attention from keen eyes peering out from under an angler’s long-billed cap. Polarized sunglasses shielded the angler’s vision, cutting through the steely glare and scanning for signs of redfish from high atop a poling platform the way an osprey watches for the makings of a mullet breakfast.

“Look, there’s a tail showing on the edge of that flat,” said Marty Authement. “Let’s sneak in close enough and try to make a cast.”
July 01, 2005 at 1:49 pm