Joe Devall, Hackberry angler with a 7-pound Big Lake trout. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 10:11 AM
“The wade fishing turned on over the weekend on Big Lake,” said wade-fishing addict Capt. Bruce Baugh.
The conditions before the approaching weekend front triggered an enormous trout bite with a barometric pressure drop and a major trout feed spree. Baugh said, “The trout were crushing our Broke Back Corkies.”
Last Saturday his party of three guests were all lined up on a wind-protected shoreline and for an hour had action on almost every cast with all catching near limits. All four anglers caught and released trout longer than 25 inches. On Sunday Baugh said it was a tad slower, but the trout averaged near 25 inches and all were released with many photos taken.
As far as color on the BB Corkies, the color did not seem to matter, although Baugh confessed that he never took his pink BBC off for two days. Baugh landed one 29-inch trout, and guest Eddie Hix landed a 28-incher.
Baugh sent me a text Monday morning saying the topwater bite kicked in early this week with good numbers of quality sized trout. However, by midmorning (10 a.m.) the wind started howling out of the south with huge whitecaps so they had to pull the plug on the trip.
Baugh said on Monday that Joe Devall and Rick Hagel of Hackberry had a phenomenal day with three trout weighing more than 6 pounds and another 7-pounder. Most of the trout came on MirrOlure topwaters with a few on B-Back Corkies.
Calcasieu Point’s Elaine Huck said her first weekend open went well with a lot of nice trout caught. She said the tide was very low last Friday so the fish didn’t turn on till the tide started coming in during the afternoon with Saturday starting off really good until winds kicked in midmorning.
However, Sunday was nice all day long. There were a lot of people fishing along the banks of the LNG and that area has been good all winter. Turner’s Bay, according to Huck, was the most talked about fishing spot of the week with West Cove seeming to be where the big specks were caught.
Even with the recent heavy rains, the water is still pretty clear and the water is still good and salty.
“The Calcasieu River is still very muddy and there is no sign of it clearing,” says tournament angler Doug Guins.
However, water temperatures are climbing again after a midweek dip last week back into the upper 50s with recent temperatures in the upper 60s.
Bass are still trying to spawn, but it has been a slow process with river conditions. With the muddy water, Guins said he likes a half-ounce Stanley jig in Black plus a Texas-rigged Bass Kandi T-Craws or Speed Bugs in darker colors. Work these baits close to cover using a very slow presentation.
Guins said numbers of fish being caught are down but the quality of the fish is definitely up. Look for a cut or drain running clearer water and work a Stanley 3/8-ounce compact spinnerbait in white and chartreuse or a small crankbait. Also, the next two months will be the best time to catch big bluegill and chinquapin as they will begin to move shallow and congregate to spawn.
The water has been clearing some and also warming with slightly stained to clear conditions and water temps in the upper 60s.
There have been reports of good numbers of smaller fish being caught with a few good quality fish showing up. Guins said the fish are still concentrated in the backwater areas, but some fish have been showing up on the main river as well.
He likes Stanley compact spinnerbaits and crankbaits for catching good numbers of bass with the better quality fish being caught on jigs and craw worms. Bass Kandi minnow and topwater baits are also accounting for some fish.
Tournament organizer Ron Castille said last Wednesday’s practice event was canceled due to the water clarity and weather conditions.
He added, “If it had been a qualifying tournament then it would have been held, but because it was a tune-up it was canceled.”
The first qualifying tournament of the 24th season is scheduled for this afternoon. Two teams will be qualified for the championship on weeks 1, 5, 10, 15, 19 and 20. The tournament limit will remain at five fish with the minimum length remaining at 11 inches.
Local anglers and TV hosts Cajun Phil and Capt. Kevin Broussard begin another season of “Outdoors and Fishing” at 6 a.m. Sunday on FSN. It is the 45th season of the show.
First-place winners were Ron Castille and Ray Bustillo with five solid bass weighing 20.28 pounds using Chatter Baits fishing the Pine Island area. Second was Ray Price with five fish (10.75) followed by Craig Bean and Mike Johnson (9.38).
In fourth was Roy Pesson and Kenny Bailey (9.13) while rounding out the top five was the team of Bryan Fontenot and Troy Thibodeaux (8.73).