The sheer numbers of crawfish in the Atchafalaya Basin is amazing, if only for the reason that Louisiana has the lowest number (39) of species of crawfish of all the southeastern states in the U.S. […]
They are everywhere. If you fish offshore at oil and gas platforms, clouds of the convict-striped fish are often visible underwater. Atlantic spadefish are a dominant species in the fish communities that develop around platforms. […]
Louisiana’s bream fishermen have a pile of fish to choose from. Tops on the list are bluegills and redear sunfish (also called lake runners or chinquapin). And fat-bellied goggle-eyes are always in the mix somewhere. In a lot of places, you can throw in some green sunfish (slick perch) or red-spotted sunfish (stumpknockers).
For all their glitz and glamour, tarpon are very close to just being giant pogies (menhaden) that eat fish. They are really primitive beasts. On the evolutionary scale, they and their close cousins ladyfish and bonefish are just one step ahead of garfish and bowfin (choupique), but more primitive than eels, shad, sardines and pogies.
Listen to this:
“When an angler sets a hook in a tarpon, there is an explosion. There’s no delayed action fuse in this fish. The water erupts and a platinum-silver streak shears the surface with the force of a depth charge exploding. The fish emerges with head thrashing and its gleaming body sparkling in the sunlight, lashing right and left in a wild attempt to free itself. If it doesn’t throw the hook on that first jump, time and again this sky-walking fish will burst from the surface in high, broad, twisting, tail-walking jumps making a bid for freedom.”
If there is a fish that saltwater anglers dislike hooking more than a hardhead catfish, it’s got to be a stingray. The presence of the truly venomous sting on their tail means there really is no good way to unhook them.
As common as gaspergou are in Louisiana and the United States, few people realize how unique this freshwater species really is. Virtually any waters that connect with the Mississippi, Pearl and Mobile river systems and all the Great Lakes except Lake Superior are home to the species — 27 states. The species has also been introduced by man into states as far-flung as California and Massachusetts.