Fishing Report: Water temperatures drop on Big Lake

By By Joe Joslin / American Press

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


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.

Broussards win again

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.

Calcasieu, Sabine

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.

CCA fishing seminar

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


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.

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