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Fishing Report: Action good, not great, on Big Lake

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 9:35 PM

By Joe Joslin / American Press

Water temperatures on Lake Calcasieu are running from mid-to-upper 70s, but these could fall a few degrees with the cold front coming in today and Thursday.

However, by the weekend winds return from the south with a warm-up so the change should be minimal.

On the fishing scene, Capt. Kirk Stansel of Hackberry Ron and Gun said fishing has been good with some days even excellent, but not as good overall as what October fishing can be on Big Lake.

Stansel, who is a straight shooter when it comes to fishing information, said they are having to work hard for the fish and most of the trout have not been as large as normal with many running 12-15 inches.

According to Stansel, Hackberry Hustlers (soft plastic) in glow and chartreuse have been best bait under the birds and live shrimp best under popping cork over the reefs. He said he is targeting trout from Commissary Point north to Lake Charles.

Redfish have been on fire and are biting from the Gulf jetty north throughout the lake. Stansel said to throw your favorite redfish bait and you should be in business.

Many choose Berkley’s Saltwater Gulp! for reds. He also reported the flounder are starting their run and there are a lot of small males showing up along the ship channel.

“The larger females should be showing up after we get a couple more strong fronts,” said Stansel, adding that he is “living a dream” in Hackberry.

Another popular guide on Big Lake is Capt. Bruce Baugh, who said fishing on Lake Calcasieu is turning on and the recent passing front making a huge difference with fishing conditions and activity. Baugh said birds (gulls) are working over most of the lake from north to south.

An addicted wade fisherman who would rather fish out of the boat than in it, said the big trout are beginning to make their way to the shallow flats. Baugh too said the flounder run is beginning and “If it’s half as good as last year it will be great.”

Last year was a year to remember as most locals said the flounder run of fall 2011 was one of the best runs ever. Weather predictions suggest this weekend could be great for fishing.

Sam Rayburn

Water temps are running in low-to-mid 70s this week with the lake level at 161.3 feet with one unit running at the dam 10 hours per day releasing about 4,000 cubic feet per second. On Rayburn, 164.4 is considered to be official full pool so the lake is about 3 feet below full pool but basically about normal for October.

Actually, I like the level in the fall to be 3-4 feet below full pool. We have spent several days on the lake the past few weeks and have caught a lot of fish with customers.

There are two basic patterns productive with those being a shallow pattern in 2-12 feet plus a deeper pattern that is running about 15-22 feet. We’ve been catching some of the larger bass in the deeper ridges, but more numbers in the shallows. That is not to say we have been catching only small bass in the shallows because we have been catching good numbers of bass from 2-4 pounds in the mid-to-shallow areas.

Some of our best numbers of decent bass have been coming on buzzbaits (Norman Triple Tail) as well as Stanley’s Vibra-Wedge double willow spinnerbaits (3/8 ounce) which we have been using over submerged grass both along the shoreline as well as on ridges.

We also are having great success working a Texas rig with Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper and Trick Worm with 17-pound Berkley Trilene 100 percent fluorocarbon and 2/0 and 3/0 Daiichi and XPoint offset worm hooks.

Best color for Bottom Hopper has been shady watermelon candy and green pumpkin. We are working Texas rigs in 6-14 feet extremely slow.

Also, in 10-14 feet we have had good success on Berkley Flicker Shad and DLNs by Norman.

In water 15-22 feet we are working 10-inch Power Worms, Carolina-rigged Havoc Rocket Craw plus a 3/4-ounce Stanley bug eye football jig with small chigger craw trailer.

Also caught nice fish long lining a DD22 with 10- and 12-pound test Berkley Trilene 100 percent fluorocarbon on main points and flats near drops. A drop-shot with a Bottom Hopper Jr (4.75 inch) is also catching a bunch of bass in 16-24 feet.


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