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Choupique Hunters!

If anyone wants some choupique, please go fish Big Alabama anywhere around Johnson Bayou. Fish a Texas rigged Junebug colored baby brush hog. I promise you can catch choupique all day. I don't care what you do with them, just kill them!

I don't know if these guys scare bass and sacalait out the area, but I know when they are around it seems a lot harder to catch bass/sacs.
Why would you want to kill a choupique? They have a place in the ecosystem just as well as any other fish. Now if they were invasive species that would be a totally different deal.

choupique, the best eating fish they got!!! ya kill them but fry them r u crazy???
I don't want them entirely out of the ecosystem. I'm just saying I'd like to try to get as many as we can out in order to make more room for bass and other more sought after gamefish.

Its weird though, I remember when I was much younger we could go and have a fun day catching a couple choupique here and there. Then for a period of time about 4-6 years ago, it seemed like choupique died off. Then all of sudden about 3-4 years ago, they rebounded and they are EVERYWHERE! You could seriously catch 50-60 of these fish a day in there and most average 4-6lbs.

If anyone wants some choupique, I'll gladly keep them to give away!
The choupique probably did not die off and then make a come back . It's the oxygen level in the bayou or canal you are fishing in . Choupique thrive in low oxygenated waters and bass and sacalait prefer water with higher oxygen levels .

If you are fishing in an area and your catching nothing but choupique and your trying to catch bass and sacalait , I suggest moving to another area with higher oxygen levels . If you were to catch or kill every choupique out of Johnson bayou , you still wouldn't catch many sacalait . I have caught choupique in the same water as sacalait but when the choupique are thick like that , the best thing to do is fish somewhere else .
choupic man
I agree with that and I usually do move to another area. I have to think though, with that many choupique and as aggressive as they are, they have to be diminishing the gamefishes' populations, dont you think? They are literally every where in there. You see them coming to the top, catch one nearly every throw, and they aren't only in the black stagnant looking water. They are throughout the bayou and the water is gorgeous in there, very clear and greenish in places.

So choupique hunters, go catch them!!! Use braided line though, suckers will cut right through anything else if you aren't careful.
Most times when water comes out the swamp it is beautiful clear black or clear green but it's just as dead as it is pretty . Try to find some cloudy water or somewhere where it's mixing , where the oxygen is right for sacalait . Muddy water is high in oxygen and can be too muddy , but just right for catfish .

To be honest I never fish pretty water when fishing sacalait . I normally try to fish where it's not too muddy and not too clear .
I've been fishing this place for years, and no matter the water color, there are plenty of choupique to be caught. The area that they are focussed in the most right now is stained and cloudy, which would tell me the oxygen level should be fine as we have discussed. You have great points as far as finding the correct species of fish, but the case here is the choupique population is extremely high throughout the bayou. I just wanted to put a report out there in order to attract people to the choupique bite that they have going on down there, its crazy! I am no expert, but I would imagine this could have some negative effect towards the future population of game fish. I know for a fact, that the amount of sacalait that we have been pulling out of there has been minimal since this 'population boom' of choupique thats been in progress for the past couple of years. I just would like see what would happen if a good group of fisherman get out there and start taking choupique out of there. Would you be interested in making a trip? I'd really like to see what you'd have to say after seeing this.
They are Predator Fish like gar will eat any game fish if you catchin them on that lure you can catch ummm on anything, I know certain time the year they catch ummm for egg for Caviar, Use to be $7-9 a lbs
Is that legal? If so I can make a killing! And I'm pretty sure they spawn between Jan-Mar, I know its real early compared to bass and sacs
You'd have to check w/ local Market but i know they use to sell it. My Uncle use to catch umm in gill net. then WLF Change law where you couldn't just catch take eggs then throw ummm away, You now i think have to find use for whole fish give away , donate sell what ever
Oh I see
Oh ok , well maybe you will have some takers . As for me it's a lil to for away I guess ? I've never heard of Johnson bayou , I'm in southeast la .

There are areas by my house to go catch plenty , and we do on occasion .

Most all gill netting in La. Is outlawed I think ? I tryed looking it up to go catch mullet for the gar rodeo they have over here , and everything I came across in La. was against the law so I didn't look any more into it . It may be legal ? I don't really know ?
gill nets
webbing is illgal south of hwy90 for sure you can still fish gillnets in the spillway for sure but not on Belle River i think. not sure about your area but there are some places in assumption parish that buy the eggs and hole fish alive females eggs don't get right untill mid december if i rember correctly. should be able to fish them with troutlines anywhere i think. p.s. they make great patties with the right rescipe.
Willow , are the eggs black when they get right ? I've caught them in late summer and the roe was solid black and 2/3 the length of the fish . I don't know how to prepair caviar but did fry some , my son tasted them and spit it out ! Lol that was enough for me not to taste it ... But yep on the patties , love em .

Most of the area where I know to catch the mullet is on WMA and there's so many laws and restrictions that I just stick with the cast net . I did see on YouTube some guys killin the mullet with commercial gill nets . They probably only get about 20 cents a pound but the week before the gar rodeo some guys get $1.00 apiece for them , so if anyone is liscenced to catch and sell mullet bring them to blind river in August , you will sell out no matter how much you bring .
We caught ummmm in Ramah area spillway and i know they were @least $5-$7 lbs and this was few years back
I like the hole a 22 bullet makes in their skull or the cracking sound of my equalizer club on their skull. Either way is so much fun. If you would like some of these fish, dead or alive, leave your name and number.
good eating
they are best cleaned while still alive and fillet off the bone then fried fresh or the meat is mushy

i call em fresh water redfish because i catch them with a cork, hook, and shrimp plus they fight just as hard as redfish and even have a spot on the tail
Grilled Choupic
I have heard they are great cooked on a grill like you would Redfish. Maybe one day i'll give it a try.
not sure about the grill
not sure about the grill because the meat is a lot like white trout, it gets mushy very fast and must be cleaned while alive or it quickly turns into a mash potato like mush.

they are also slimey so i wouldnt try cooking them on the scales like they do for redfish but i dont grill my redfish with the scales on, i find it tastes better off the scales so i just lay it on aluminum foil or tray so if your going to try grilling pic then i would suggest trying that method
no fry them fresh and u will be hooked!! best fish they got!!!
Way Over Peeps Head
I can never understand how some people dislike the taste of choupique. Even in South Louisiana i still meet people who do not like it. That number increases as you move north. Maybe the first time they had it, it was harvested the wrong way. Then it would be understandable as to why you do not like to eat it. That can be some nasty stuff if its not cleaned and battered right away. In my opinion, that is some of the best meat in freshwater besides a good ole gator. Like everyone else said, Fresh is the 'key' to that fine meal.

As far as legality goes, yearssss ago i used to catch and sell to a gal who then sold the fish to 13's A Dozen (For those of you who are from Thibodaux). The law never came a running. Forgot what i would get for them, maybe $4 a pound ring s a bell??????
Here is the commercial regs on choupique
Fishermen are prohibited, while on the water, from possessing
bowfin eggs (roe) that are not naturally connected
to a whole fish.
The taking of bowfin with nets or bowfin body parts, including
eggs (roe), is prohibited during the months of December,
January, and February, EXCEPT in Assumption,
Avoyelles, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa,
and West Baton Rouge parishes, and in the areas know
as Bayou Courtableau, Bayou Teche, Lake Dauterive, Lake
Fausse Point, Vermilion River, Carencro Bayou, Queue de
Tortue Bayou, Bayou Nez Pique, Mermentau River, Bayou
Lacassine, Sabine River, and the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway
that is bounded by the east and west levees of the
Atchafalaya Basin and is south of U.S. Highway 190.
thats interesting, i never knew it was illegal to use chopped up bowfin for cut bait to catch more.

i wonder if the same applies to recreationals? they really dont have any restrictions there as far as i know
My wife has a recipe to make patties. They are great that way. I made about 200 patties one night to a local bar and they were all gone in a few minutes. People could not believe it was choupic.
I'm in big Alabama NOW
I need some help I am actually fishing big Alabama as I type this. I came here after reading about your 'problem' on here. I'd love to catch a bunch just to have something to catch. Where do I need to go? I have crawfish, chicken liver, shrimp, and cut up brim. What do I use I really want to catch a choupique or gar.
Sorry man
Hey man I'm sorry. I was fishing today too. Launch in the back of big Alabama. Once you launch head north about 2 miles I guess and the bayou will bend hard to the right, but right before the turn there is a cut on the left. Fish that entire area. You won't have a problem catching them
No problem I'll be back
This was the first time I've ever attempted freshwater fishing, and I couldn't have do any worse. I had two bites all day that was it. I put my bateau in on the north side of big Alabama about 7:30 and fished till 2:00 (had to leave to get my friend to work). We could see gar everywhere we went we just couldn't catch them, we'd throw a double rigged cork out with shrimp, and cut brim. Then we tried crawfish and chicken livers. No matter what we tried they weren't interested. Do you have any advise on how to catch these on my next trip?

My mom and grandmaw used to lived in opelousas most of their lives and talk nonstop about gar balls I'd like to give them some gar to see what the talk is all about.
Lure and location
Fish your favorite freshwater lure (the ones they don't make anymore) on 8# line. Guaranteed they will take it away from you. The best way to catch them is not wanting to catch them. Works that way most of the time for me. If you put in at the north ramp, go past the log jam. In the curve to the right, there is a slough on the left. You should strike gold there.
'The Enigma of Dedicated Enjoyment'
...darn JP 'ya sound exhilarated...take a aspirin pull up a chair and relax those fish have been around for 1000's of years and will go well on past our times !!!...cheers to'ya
gar giggin
A while back my brother and I were froggin in the machac area not doin any good. In the light cast on the water we would see 2-2.5' gar swimmin on top the water. Next time we went out we brought a heavy duty frog gig. Got 12 that night. Just had to hit em hard, bring em in the boat very quickly, and keep the gig sharp. Its perfectly legal as long as you purchase a $25 commercial gar giggin licence.
gar giggin liscense???
man the government can find all kind of ways to make you spend money!! giggin or catchin whats the difference??
The difference
Success and fun are the major differences. Dont get me wrong I like goin out with my pole in the water and enjoyin the change of scenery. And not carin if I get a nibble or not. But when I get a hankerin for some gar nothin beats landin 12 in the matter of a couple of hours.
so you can wipe out the choupique as long as u pay the government $25 makes sense?? so if u dont pay the government $25 they care about the lives of the poor choupique??? sounds like its all about money to me???
abeast.........It always is!!!!!
at least me and u understand government!!!
Jeremy Percle?
Re: Choupique Hunters!
I know this thread is old but can someone please tell me where I can catch Choupique in Baton rouge, louisiana. Im originally from Natchitoches, Louisiana I used to catch them all the time but since I moved to Baton Rouge I have no idea where to catch them. Can someone help me out?