Jason Elkender with a 10.5-pound, 30-plus inch trout. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:53 AM
The passing cold front greatly impacted Big Lake by dropping water temperatures from 61 to 57 degrees by yesterday. However, they will quickly rebound to upper 60s by the weekend.
Capt. Bruce Baugh, local tournament angler and Big Lake guide, said, “All indications point to an early and outstanding spring season.”
Baugh said shrimp have arrived a bit early this year and birds have been working off and on for some time now. In addition, the annual migration of speckled trout is also starting with the large females, usually the first to arrive.
Baugh said he always watches for the large black drum to start showing up at or near the Jetties as the drum run always coincides with the big trout migration. “When you see the big uglies at the rocks, it’s time,” Baugh said.
He also reported the trout bite was outstanding last week after catching numerous solid trout up to 6 pounds on Broken-Back Corkies and Mirrordines have been the lures of choice.
Other exciting fishing news was the trout caught by local angler Jason Elkender. The massive Big Lake speck weighed in at 10.5 pounds and measured nearly 30.5 inches.
Baugh said the fish is a Boone and Crockett class trout and will be in the top 10 in the state. Elkender is in the process of getting the trophy certified. The fish was caught on topwater. A huge congratulation to Elkender for catching this once-in-a-lifetime trout.
What an awesome fishery we have here in our back yard.
Another strong report comes from Hackberry Rod and Gun’s Capt. Buddy Oakes, who said their parties are adjusting to the strong winds by delaying trips, canceling others, but between the fronts are catching a bunch of fish.
Oakes reported catches last week were excellent on redfish with scattered catches of quality speckled trout and also flounder on moving tides. Oakes said beginning today weather will moderate and fish-feeding tempo will get back in high gear.
Lake Charles father-son team of Phil and Kevin Broussard once again was in the winner’s circle. They won the first event of the HT Redfish Series in Chalmette by weighing a three-day total of 44.78 pounds with a limit of two big reds each of the three days.
The first-place winnings totaled an impressive $40,000.
Phil reported several equipment issues from trolling motor, prop damage and anchor system damage. However, they were able to work through those with assistance from friends and sponsor support. The last day of the tournament was so foggy that they reached their fishing areas by using GPS as they traveled 70 minutes one way each day to find clear, grass-filled, shallow ponds loaded with live bait and big reds.
Their top bait was a 3/4-ounce gold spoon.
“Lacassine water level is up and there’s a lot of water in the ponds,” said local tournament angler Johnny Watkins.
His love for Lacassine is a no-brainer and is hopeful that the future is good for this local fishery. The increased water level has allowed boats to spread out and has made it possible for the bass to spread out as well. Watkins said he is covering a lot of ground with a Stanley Ribbit frog Stanley’s Top Toad in watermelon-and-pearl or black until locating areas that are holding fish. He then slows down and refishes those areas with Flukes and Senkos in watermelon red.
The canals are also holding bass and Flukes and wacky worms have done the job in the canals. If the wind is blowing hard and high boating pressure, Watkins suggested putting a small nail in nose of the wacky worm or a rattle or both.
Anglers are encouraged to release the big females so they can complete the spawn.
The recent cold front really hurt fishing the rivers, said Doug Guins. The Calcasieu River has water temperature falling from mid-60s to upper 50s and the water is muddy to heavily stained.
The fish have been finicky and Guins is catching most of his fish on Stanley jigs with Bass Kandi T-Craws as trailers. We are also having some success on Stanley spinnerbaits, Texas-rigged T-craws and speed bugs plus weightless Kandi Sticks wacky rigged. The fish are shallow and in the backwaters and bays holding tight to cover.
On the Sabine, the water is slightly stained with water temps near 60. The fish have been very shallow and in the back water areas preparing to spawn or spawning. Guins suggested a Stanley jig and T-Craw combination as well as the spinnerbait. A small square-bill crankbait is also producing.
Guins offered a hint to keep an eye open while fishing in the back-water areas for signs of fish movement. Spawning fish will be aggressively running bream away from their beds and will give themselves away by repeated movements in the same location.
Local Lake Charles Coastal Conservation Association is hosting a seminar at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 at Prien Lake Park. Guest speakers will be Sabine Connection’s Capt. Dickie Coburn, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Beau Robertson and Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Problem Coordinator Tony Berrigan.
A delicious gourmet dinner is provided by the Lake Charles Cooking team. The event is free to the public and many local and area anglers will greatly benefit from this well planned seminar.