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Jerald Horst (rear) and his grandson Jake Gros spend a lot of time fishing, and they catch a lot of bream. Horst's goal for each trip is 200 fish.

6 tips to catch more bream

Louisiana Sportsman contributor Jerald Horst has a reputation as a serious bream killer. I’ve repeatedly heard stories of him returning to the landing with hundreds of bluegill and goggle-eye.

“My goal is 200,” Horst confirmed when he called and invited me to join him and his grandson on a trip yesterday to the sprawling Atchafalaya Basin. “If I don’t catch 200 it’s not a good trip.”

July 27 at 2:49pm
Capt. Britt Ordes fishes deep with live shrimp for big speckled trout this time of year.

Fish Hopedale trout where they cool off

Go to Blue Bayou Water Park on a scorching hot Saturday and you’ll likely be waiting more than an hour to ride the water slide.

July 22 at 11:43am

2016 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo scheduled for July 28-30

The International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo — billed as the oldest fishing tournament in the United States — will get underway next Thursday, July 28, at sunrise.

July 21 at 3:16pm
A cold-worm tipped tube jig will catch crappie and bream such as bluegills, chinquapin (redears), and goggle-eyes equally well.

Langlois’ best Atchafalaya Basin fishing equipment

“I don’t have any fancy jig poles or expensive ultralights,” John Langlois growled. 

July 15 at 7:00am
Casey McLaurin likes never having to measure speckled trout caught offshore.

Go south, young man, for better trout fishing

The Vermilion Bay speckled trout fishery is known for two things. First, it produces a lot of big specks. Second, it’s a highly seasonal fishery.

July 15 at 7:00am

Tippets

July often brings diversity to coastal inshore fishing, as rivers fall and higher salinities prevail. Among the species that will get close to shore — or even inshore — are Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, cobia, bluefish and tripletail.

July 15 at 7:00am
Bluegills are suckers for worm-tipped tube jigs.

Atchafalaya fruit salad — The Basin offers multi-species fishing opportunities this month

When the winter-spring floodwaters fall out of the Atchafalaya Basin, everything that swims bites.

Unless a fisherman is a single-species snob, a day’s catch can include, largemouth and spotted bass, white bass, yellow bass, two species of crappie, three or four species of bream, blue catfish, channel catfish and the odd flathead catfish.

July 01 at 7:00am
Capt. Rory Rorison likes to start the morning fishing shallower water around shorelines, over reefs or around islands. He said the fish tend to start out in shallower water in the mornings, but they move quickly to deeper water as the sun gets up.

Black Bay fishing bonanza

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving Day, is probably the best-known shopping day of the year. Stores everywhere advertise their merchandise at sharp discounts and anxious shoppers sometimes camp out overnight in front of their favorite store to be sure they don’t miss the bargains.

July 01 at 7:00am
These Point-aux-Chene crabbers had a good day on the wildlife management area. The state of Louisiana is flush with public crabbing opportunities.

Blue crab special — Public crabbing opportunities abound

The first time I ate crabs was way back in the summer of 1984. I’m not talking about those Alaskan king crab legs that are rapidly processed, quick-frozen and shipped to a chain restaurant or grocery near you.

It certainly wasn’t good old Louisiana blue crabs.

July 01 at 7:00am
Fried Snapper Throats with Pam’s Remoulade Sauce.

He talks Mississippi but cooks Louisiana

Ricky Ruffin carries the twang of rural Mississippi, but make no mistake: He cooks as well as any born-and-bred Louisianan.

In fact, he ought to be an honorary Cajun. Besides doing all his fishing in South Louisiana, he cooks like the best of the bayou chefs.

June 29 at 9:00am
Kevin Diez (front) and Gene Hoover have been friends for many years and love to fish in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The making of two Atchafalaya Basin bass-fishing experts

Kevin Diez is an old friend.

I first met him fishing. We were both belly deep in the water at Elmer’s Island, clobbering speckled trout and white trout.

We were the only two on the island and the fishing was easy, so we started talking.

June 15 at 7:00am
Capt. Brian Sherman with Kayak Venice said June is a great month to target speckled trout and redfish via kayak out of Joshua’s Marina in Buras because fish are typically not far from the launch.

Great kayak angling options in Buras

In a typical kayak, there just isn’t a whole lot of extra room for a vast array of pre-rigged rods, or multiple tackle boxes crammed with an insane variety of hooks, topwater lures, soft plastics and other items you never use but couldn’t pass up during your last visit down the fishing aisle.

For the most part, it’s a minimalist sport — which makes Buras an ideal June location for speckled trout and redfish because of both close paddling proximity, and the ease of using artificial lures this month.

June 07 at 8:29am
Giving crappie a bigger range of choices in terms of jig and grub colors on double rigs can increase your catch rates.

How to double up on crappie

With the exception of largemouth bass and catfish, guide Maynard Edwards of Lexington, N.C., has given up on using just one bait or lure at a time.

“I double-rig everything now,” Maynard said. 

June 06 at 10:00pm
Morgan City can be seen in the background while Charlie Bergeron fishes for catfish with Bill McCarty in the lower Atchafalaya River.

Enjoy Morgan City catfish haul

As fickle as the Atchafalaya River stage has been most springs and summers in the 2000s — well, and much of the time before that — it’s a challenge for an avid Morgan City outdoorsman to predict what the best fishing might be in June.

June 06 at 9:48am
Josh Chauvin shows off a big alligator snapping turtle he caught using a noodle constructed with a non-stainless hook, untarred line and a ½-inch hex nut for the weight.

Apex Predator: How to make noodles to catch alligator snapping turtles

Catching turtles is something I’ve done since childhood. In fact, I used to catch and sell them with a reptile collector’s license as a kid. 

May 24 at 2:30pm
They aren’t as glamorous as a big bass or a slab crappie, but channel catfish provide a great fight for fishermen and excellent table fare.

Lake to table - Lake D’Arbonne’s catfish are hard to beat

The appeal of catching an 8- to 10-pound bass or a cooler full of slab crappie brings most visitors to the 16,000-acre Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville.

May 19 at 11:08am