Hunters get ready: Deer, waterfowl seasons fast approaching
2 months ago The Advocate 0
Don’t you just hate when LSU plays football in the daylight?
OK, so it’s cooled off, but playing the next two Saturday afternoons gives outdoorsmen little time to spend doing the things we must do to get ready for the fast-approaching deer and waterfowl seasons, and be able to watch the No. 2-ranked Tigers.
It’s just a reminder to deer hunters to spread that final dose of fertilizer on food plots — now that October’s rains will help grow the things in the plot — and there’s no time like the present to spruce up that duck blind you set up last season. It’s Oct. 17 and the seasons are just 2-3 weeks down the road.
The first reports of speckled trout moving into the marshes hit in the past 10 days.
While the 25-fish limits are rare, Delacroix and lower Terrebonne waters have been producing up to 15 trout per with a limit of “keeper” reds adding to the catch.
The bonus in some places has been the action on bass. One report from the bayous and canals off Lake DeCade told of limits of bass and redfish with a sprinkling of trout topping off a morning’s action.
Best of all, the Terrebonne action has come on topwater lures, mostly medium- and larger sizes of Spooks, Pop-Rs, Top Dogs and She Dogs.
In Delacroix, it’s soft plastics on a jighead. Sometimes under a cork.
Finding moving water shouldn’t be much of a problem.
You’ve read it her before, and it bears repeating, that the extra-strong tides for the remainder of the month should provide enough action to get coastal fishermen excited.
For the most part, the strong high tides are coming in the morning, which means water has to fall to low for most of the day, and that’s when working run-outs, points and grassbeds along the bayous and canals leading into rivers, bayous and bays will pay off.
There is a run of four-tide days next week — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — which means water will be moving most all day, and the action should be fairly steady.
This also should have an impact on the freshwater side, too. Tidal movement in the Atchafalaya, Verret, Des Allemands and Pontchartrain basins affect rivers and bayous. Bass, sac-a-lait, bluegill and catfish also react to the same tides, albeit much later and in much less strength than the predicted tides along the coast.
And those fronts
We’re coming to the time of year when we must pay attention to the effects of north winds in our marshes.
Tuesday’s cold front that brought us to a low 50s morning came with a steady north wind, and next week’s front will do the same.
Except for late Sunday there are no south winds to push water into the marshes west of the Mississippi River, but there will be east winds to fill the marshes east of the river.
Look for rainy conditions Saturday through Tuesday, with the heaviest forecast coming Monday and cooler jacket-wearing mornings ahead Tuesday.
There’s a drawdown under way on False River and a fish kill.
Yes, the reports have been coming in since Sunday about the numbers of shad, small bluegill, catfish and bass on the surface and along the newly dewatered shorelines. The major kill sites were on the river’s shallower north and south ends. The drawdown is to help solidify and harden the lake’s bottom.
While fish kills are an annual event in most oxbow lakes, the kills usually happen in mid-to-late September and involve shad and smaller sunfish — it’s called “turnover,” a time when the lake’s low-in-oxygen water somehow finds it way to the surface and traps smaller fish unable to move quickly enough to get to more oxygenated water.
In general, it takes the lake, and the fish living therein, about 4-6 weeks to settle down, for the surface water to re-oxygenate and fish to get back to feeding and getting ready for the winter.
Was on Old River years ago and watched a “turnover.” It wasn’t pretty. It came in a six-inch wave across False River’s neighboring oxbow to the north, and dead fish, mostly shad, lay dead in the wake of oily, brownish water. It was that sudden.
The fish kill — termed “minor” by some observers — comes about a month after Storm Randal sent in a report from the weekly spring- and summer-long Friday Night Cookie Jar bass tournaments. He compared the 2018 (24 Fridays) and 23 Fridays in the 2019 seasons.
Except for the “bass over 5 pounds” category — nine from 2018, five this year — catches were up from last year.
The 580 total entries caught 1,242 fish to 2018’s 577 fishermen and 1,133 pounds, and this year’s average bass weighed 2.13 pounds.
Randal plans to continue the legacy of Guy Perkins (may God rest his bass-fishing soul) next year. Look for the Cookie Jar to begin sometime following the move to Daylight Savings Time.