Tips for pulling reds, flounder from Calcasieu Lake weirs

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The Calcasieu Lake weirs are heavily pressured because they are such obvious targets in a lake that is filled with hidden underwater reefs and secret spots that anglers hold close to their vests.

However, just because they are so obvious doesn’t mean they are simple. Sure, anybody can pull up and catch some redfish and flounder by fishing a shrimp on the bottom, but knowing the nuances of the weirs can turn a so-so day into a weir-fishing bonanza.

“You catch redfish on the weirs on an outgoing tide,” said Capt. Jeff Poe. “You do catch them on an incoming tide every now and then, but outgoing is best at any of the weirs.

“An outgoing tide pulls water out the marsh and into the lake. Flounder bite better on an incoming tide.”
Redfish and flounder, the two main weir fish, feed differently, according to Poe. Redfish pull out of the marsh when the tide falls and stack up on the lake side looking back at the weir to feed on bait washing through.

Redfish swim around and look for something to eat. Therefore, on an incoming tide, redfish move to the marsh side of the weir. On the other hand, flounder hide behind points and wait on something to swim by. That’s why they’re more consistent on the lake side during an incoming tide.

Poe pointed out that the middle of the deep water right out in front of the weirs isn’t the only place to fish. In fact, the entire cove around the weir can be really good, too, so there are more things do to if you pull up and the boats are stacked up right in front of the structure.

“When the tide is ripping, rig your plastic or shrimp on a 3/8-ounce lead head,” Poe said. “If the tide is slower, go down to a 1/4-ounce head.

“Either way, make long casts and be patient enough to let your bait fall all the way to the bottom.”

Editor’s note: This article is part of the Crimson Calcasieu feature in the October issue of Louisiana Sportsman. Digital editions can be downloaded right to your computer or smartphone.

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About Chris Ginn 778 Articles
Chris Ginn has been covering hunting and fishing in Louisiana since 1998. He lives with his wife Jennifer and children Matthew and Rebecca along the Bogue Chitto River in rural Washington Parish. His blog can be found at chrisginn.com.