Fishing Report: Hearts and prayers go out to Menard family

By By Joe Joslin / American Press

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of fellow angler, Cleve Menard.

Menard, 41, was struck by lightning last Friday while fishing in Laccassine and passed away about noon Sunday. His funeral

service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Johnson Funeral Home.

Lightning claims the lives of numerous sportsmen each year and records show more lives are lost to lightning in the USA than

hurricanes and tornadoes combined.

Big Lake

At Hackberry Rod and Gun, Capt. Buddy Oakes said anglers last week continue to bring in good catches of trout and redfish.

Both live and soft plastics are being used with high winds and fresh water from the rains the main two challenges.

Huge tackle-busting redfish are being caught on live bait when winds allow anglers to get to the Jetties and along the shore

line points.

I heard from Capt. Kevin Broussard who

said they are catching trout from Moss Lake to Turner’s Bay with live

shrimp his top

choice. He also mentioned that there have been schools of reds in

the main lake under birds and will hit just about anything.

At Calcasieu Point, Elaine Huck said they had more than 5 inches of rain over the weekend but the fish still bit. She reported

very few big trout but a lot of small ones. She said redfish are still plentiful and have been quality in size with a lot

of small drum and still a few flounder.

She had several good reports from the

Prien Lake area even with water so fresh lily pads are all along the

banks. Birds are

working in Turner’s even though the water is very muddy and the

Salt Ditch and Black Lake have good salt content. The salinity

around Joe’s Cove went from 5 to 10 Tuesday, so that is a huge


Huck reported progress is being made on the construction at Calcasieu Point as they have opened up the pier and gradually

opening up more of the banks for fishing.

Calcasieu River

“The fishing on the Calcasieu River had gotten really good midweek (last week), but heavy rains at the end of the week ended

that,” said tournament angler Doug Guins.

Fishing got really tough by the weekend with high and muddy conditions with a strong current as heavy rains caused near flood

conditions on the river. In addition, water temps dipped back to the mid-60s.

As of Monday, fishing continued to be

very tough with few fish being caught. Guins reported that conditions

should improve

later this week as the water levels recede and current slows. For

the weekend, barring no additional rains, Guins recommended

Stanley Compact model spinnerbaits plus buzz baits around cypress

trees and Texas-rigged soft plastics. If the water clears

a topwater pattern will also be a factor.

On a very positive note, recent heavy

rains and current pushed out a majority of the giant salvinia which had

congested the

Westfork. It should end up in the salty waters below the Saltwater

Barrier, where it should die. This will make it much easier

for local authorities to deal with scattered pockets of salvinia

as they have sprayed the invasive plant several times already

this year.

Sabine River

As expected, the Sabine is also high with tremendous current and is at flood stage of 24 feet at Deweyville, Texas, at Tuesday

noon. The river is suppose to fall below flood stage later this week.

Guins reported that fishing has slowed

as the water level has risen and muddied but should improve by the

weekend. He recommended

spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, crankbaits and Texas-rigged soft

plastics. Topwater patterns had started to really kick in before

the last front should resume in a few days.

Guins reminds river anglers that there

is a 14-inch minimum size limit on the Sabine River in certain areas and

anglers cannot

have undersized fish in possession in these areas even if you

caught them in legal areas. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife

and Fisheries says it is the angler’s responsibility to know

regulations on each waterway, so check’em out.


Shane Cormier and Greg Byrley were the winners of last week’s Wednesday Dogfight on the Calcasieu River with an impressive

five-fish stringer of 11.14 pounds. The stringer was anchored by a 3.7-pounder that hit a spinnerbait on the north end of

the River.

They reported to the weigh-in spectators that they caught 25 fish in the 3 1/2-hour tournament while fishing the main Calcasieu

River channel in stained water conditions. In addition to spinnerbaits they also used Bass Kandi Speed Bugs.

In a close second was the team of Derek

and Mike Tate with five fish and 10.24 pounds. They had the largest

bass of the tournament

a big 5.5-pounder that hit a buzzbait. They reported that they

caught 15 fish on buzzbaits and Speed Craws in the main river.

They qualified for the championship.

In third place was the consistent team of Willard and Kevin Booty with a five-fish stringer at 5.44. They said they fished

in the West Fork and caught most of their fish on buzzbaits and topwater lures.

College expansion

One of the most exciting happenings in

bass fishing today is the rapid growth of bass fishing among college age

anglers. Both

FLW and B.A.S.S., two of the largest bass tournament

organizations, have well-organized events all over the country with


of colleges and universities having teams.

While the Southern half of the country

has the highest saturation of competing schools, the rest of the country

is coming

on strong and fielding teams. Almost all of the major

institutions, public and private, in both Louisiana and Texas have


One of the neat things about this is that smaller schools can be

very competitive in this arena.

From a personal view, one whose life

has been made much richer from being a lifetime angler, it is very

exciting and encouraging

to see the tremendous amount of interest and support for these

young anglers. Many are fantastic anglers and it is not just

a male sport as female students are also competing and are doing


The fishing industry has also climbed on board with names with many companies offering sponsorships. It’s a win-win for all


The young anglers get access to

products at a reduced price and are improving their skills as they share

knowledge with each

other while also learning by competing in these tournaments. The

sponsors get to share their brands and products with numerous

new potential customers and also have a larger pool of potential

future employees.

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