The past weekend (April 17-20), me and a few friends decided it would be a good idea to go down to Grand Isle and see how the bulls are biting. Man, we got more than we were dreaming about! We stayed at The Tropical Motel in Grand isle for the weekend ($330 for three nights in a six bed / one bath room) and had a great experience. I highly recommend it, if you are looking for a place to stay down there. Anyways, I brought my 16 foot bass tracker down for us to fish out of, so we stayed close to the shore and rock jettys. We pulled in our limit of bull reds and black drum every day we were down there, and even had to throw many large ones back after our limit was reached. The trip was led by my friend, Captain Corey Holmes. He put us on the fish all weekend long, without fail. We were on the hunt for bulls this weekend, so we didn't do much slot red fishing. The majority of our fish were caught along the long rock jetty in Fourchon (that leads out to the ocean from the ship docks). We fished on bottom with cut bait, and caught the monsters anywhere from 5 to 30 foot of water; they didn't seem to have a depth preference. I did manage to catch a 28 inch red on a 'new penny' colored swim minnow lead head with a lucky throw under a dock. I had a great time out on the water this weekend, and had one of the best fishing trips I have ever had. If y'all are looking for a day full of bending rods and screaming drags, Grand Isle is the place to be. Good luck to all, and I'll be sure to post my next trip!
Hello all! I was wanting to go to Lake Verret this weekend for the catfishing (with rods and reels and possibly some jugs). I'm still a little new to the lake, and don't know how to tell if its going to be good fishing conditions or not. I know the full moon is coming up, and that the water temp is looking decent, but I still want someone else's opinion. Anyone been there recently? Or has anyone heard if catfishing is turning on yet? Thanks for any help!
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Hello all. I'm a 19 year old student at LSU and needed some stress relief fishing for this weekend. I was wanting to go fishing at Bayou Du Large this weekend for the Reds, but after checking the tide guides (and finding out that its gonna be dead all weekend) I'm searching for a backup plan. I LOVE to catfish, so I'm looking for a good place to go that's not too far from home in Livingston Parish (I live in Walker, LA). I have a 16 foot Bass Tracker that I want to take out for the first trip of the year. In the past, I have tried Lake Marpaus' old bridge, Ticfaw river, and various spots around the Mississippi, but never had very much luck. I love going to Lake Verrett, but I don't know how to tell if its going to be a good weekend to fish there or not. If anyone can help me out on seeing if this is going to be a good weekend for Verrett or Maurpaus, PLEASE help. Or if you have any other places I should check out for some good cats, let me know. Thanks, and good luck to you all!
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I have been posting a string of reports on my trips to The Rigolets (south of Slidell, between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne). For all of you following my reports, I said I was going to hit it again last Saturday (September 14). My next door neighbor/best friend/fishing buddy was tagging along for this trip also. The day was good, but we had some major aggravations throughout the day. Last time I went, I managed to catch a crab out of the water for bait. I caught a redfish and sail cat off of it, so I made a mental note to bring the big crab trap I have next trip. We launched the boat at 7 am and headed straight for a honey hole in East Pass, only to find hard heads and croaker. We cut the trash fish up and used them for bait in the trap. I dropped the trap right over the edge of the boat to try to catch some crabs while we fished. After not catching anything worthwhile, we pulled up the trap (it surprisingly had 4 crabs in it) and went to the bridge. We dropped the trap off along the way. We fished the bridge on bottom with dead and alive shrimp and cracked crab. We were using the rig that I have attached a diagram of, but I will explain why I use it at the bottom of the report. I had one rod set up with shrimp, and a different rod with only crab on it. I caught the big redfish in the picture off of the crab, along with a sail cat. Basically, trash fish were the only things biting shrimp that day. We caught the rest of the sail cats on cut croaker and crab. We left our spot at the bridge to go check the crab trap, only to find that some thieving coonass bastards stole it. Well, we started heading back to the bridge when my boat motor started acting up. Once pushed above 3000 RPMs, it sounded like it would shift into neutral and rev WAY up, and would not get any power to the prop. This would only happen when it was pushed past 3000 though (any suggestions on what could be wrong?) We finally made it back to the bridge but went to a different spot. My neighbor hooked on a huge fish, but it broke his line before we could tell what it was. The same thing happened to me about 10 minutes after that. Aggravated and pissed off, I pulled out my Big Game rod. (it is spooled with fresh 85 pound braid, along with the rig in the picture) I managed to hook on a fish that almost ripped the rod out of my hands. It started swimming hard, and never let up, even though I set my drag to almost max. Just before the fish was about to pull me out of the boat, it snapped my line. After cursing my rod, my boat, the bait, the water, and everything in it, I decided to pack up and call it a day, thus putting an early end to our trip. (It was also a good idea to head in due to the motor issue).
On a side note, this might be helpful to anyone that hates dealing with catfish because of the barbs and fins; after being stuck deep in the hand by a tiny hard head, I threw the fish down in the boat, told it what thought of it, and hit it (excessively) hard with my marsh anchor on the head. Seeing the fish immediately go limp, I had an idea. I had a hammer in the tool box on my boat, and thought it would serve a better purpose as an aid in hook removal. So anytime a catfish was brought into the boat, we would use the hammer to 'calm the fish down', thus giving the name 'The Attitude Adjuster' to the hammer. Simply apply it to the top center of the catfish's head, and presto! No more pricks from a squirmy catfish. After the hook is removed, throw it back overboard. As an added bonus, if more people started doing this, the hard head population could start to decline... :)
Anyways, the rig shown is useful to fishing the Rigolets. I use a 4 ounce drop weight when I'm at the bridge, to hold the line down in the fast current. I use a 3 everywhere else. The leader material is 80-100 lb test mono line. I use crimps instead of tying knots. It is easier and just seems to work better. Using the heavier test mono line prevents the hooks from wrapping around the main line. The reason that I put 18 inches between the first hook and sinker is because trash fish are usually the only thing I catch if I have the bait sitting on bottom. But raising the bait up puts in range of target fish. However, all of this is just my preference; I use this rig because it works for me.
Good luck out on the water! Stay safe and bring home the big one. Feel free to ask me any questions. (I apologize again for the long report, I sometimes get on a rant when I talk about fishing!)
I posted a report about a week or two ago saying I fished the Rigolets and did pretty good, and that I would post another report the next time I went. Well I went Saturday, August 31, for a full day fish, and we had wonderful results. We fished the north side of the bridge at the east end, between Old Pearl River and Little Lake. A majority of the fish we caught were taken from east pass. We caught 20+ Redfish from this spot, however only 2 were over 16 inches. My buddy hooked on a bull red, but it broke away at the first sight of the boat. We pulled up many nice black drum, one spec trout, 5 huge sail cats, and about 132 hard heads from east pass. We wasted a large amount of our day fishing the small fingers of Old Pearl, but we did not catch anything worth while. We headed out to the rail road bridge and tied off. I managed to catch a crab out of the water and split it in half for bait. I fished it on bottom and caught a 22' red off of it. I also pulled in the big drum off of live shrimp. All in all, it was a very good fishing trip. We caught the sail cats on bottom using live and dead shrimp, along with cut croaker. The reds and drum were caught on a popping cork with live and dead shrimp, fished about 2 foot deep. We are going back once again this Saturday (September 14), and I will post another report on that experience. Good luck, and feel free to contact me with any questions!
I have heard from a lot of people within the past two weeks that if I wanted to do some good local salt water fishing, that the Rigolets (just south of Slidell, between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne) is the place to be. I live in Walker, so the drive for me takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the landing I use. I have never done much saltwater fishing, but I thought I would give it a try. I went two days in a row (August 23-24), and it was terrible due to no tide and poor conditions. I was using live and shrimp on bottom, a DOA shrimp Carolina Rig, and an artificial cocahoe minnow. Total fish in the boat for those two days: four nice sail cats, one 4 foot gar, one nice flounder, three spec trout, and two black drum. In an attempt to redeem myself, I went yesterday (August 29) after work on an afternoon trip. I launched at around 4:30 PM and immediately headed east towards the rail road tracks. Conditions were very good. I stopped at a spot someone told me about in the marshes on the south side of the river near the tracks. Caught three sail cats all over 5 pounds each and one drum all off of bottom fishing with shrimp. I wanted to try my luck at some reds or trout, so I rigged up a popping cork with a live shrimp on a 4/0 treble hook. I threw to the point I was anchored near and within ten seconds I had hooked on a nice redfish (the one in the picture). Measured 24 inches. I caught two barely-legal spec trout the same way, and decided to move to the railroad bridge near Lake Borgne. I tied off to one of the pillars and came across a HUGE school of Lady Fish. Put three in the boat and fished on bottom for the remainder of the day, but only succeed in catching sting rays and hard-head catfish. All-in-all, it was a good 3 hours of fishing. I am going back tomorrow (August 31) early to do an all day trip. I will post another report of how the trip goes. Sorry for writing this novel for whoever is reading, but I had two hours to kill before my next class, so I wanted to share my experience.
Things to remember if you are going to try out The Rigolets: get out there early in the morning on a day that there will be a good falling tide (VERY IMPORTANT!). Look for current flowing around a point, and fish all around it. Live shrimp are doing the trick out here, and I personally like using a 4/0 treble hook, but if you think that is too big, a 6/0 would do nicely too. Good luck, and be safe!