Outdoor corner: the great lake

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Lake Pontchartrain is world famous for its "World Series" trouts.

This year it was paralyzing to the water in the Mississippi River. The water rose to record levels that remained for what most people thought was too long. I fell into that camp with my greatest concern, which was the effect it would have on the human element.

The Bonnet Carre Spillway remained open for an amazing 123 days in 2019. The opening in 2019 set two records. It was the first time the pins were removed in consecutive years (2018 and 2019). It was also the first time that the structure brought flood waters to Lake Pontchartrain twice in the same year (from February 27 to April 11 and from May 10 to July 27).

The landfill has opened only thirteen times since 1937, but with increasing frequency in recent years. Five of the thirteen openings have occurred since 2008, including three in the last four years.

Each time the spillway is opened, two sides form on the result of all that fresh and muddy water that empties into brackish / sometimes salty water. That concern has some credibility as there are harmful problems with too much fresh water in a saltwater estuary.

Certainly there are short-term effects. Most saltwater species cannot tolerate too much fresh water, which causes them to leave until salinity levels return to normal. Too much fresh water for a prolonged period can decimate oyster banks.

In addition, algal blooms are formed by eliminating much needed oxygen levels and occasionally kill fish. In my opinion, the long-term effects are not the prophecies of pessimism that some speak of. In reality, they are quite beneficial for the overall quality of the water and the ecosystem.

There are always many complaints about how the mottled trout population will never be the same. Although that happens in the short term when they evacuate fresh water, they usually return with vengeance.

Lake Pontchartrain is world famous for its "World Series" trouts. Usually, when the series develops, the lake will have a population of giant trout that can be caught. In 1999, Captain Kenny Kreeger caught an 11.99 whopper that ranks second at Louisiana State Fish Records and Jason Troullier got one that reached the scales at 11.24 in the lake.

The big trouts are a little late this year, but they are here. One of the best things about fresh water this year is the abundance of healthy grass that has grown. The herb produces bait, which in turn produces fish and is an easy way to locate them.

Spotted trout have really appeared on the coast between Bayou Bonfouca and Bayou Lacombe and are still breaking the hook. And fishermen are taking advantage of it. When the water was high but falling, recent reports show the specks that mix inside the mullet schools, which focus on eel grass patches.

When the water is high, the conditions for fishing on the grass are almost as good as possible. Fishermen can fish with a crispy cork and adjust the depth of the lure to the height of the water on the grass. A swimming bait or hard bait, such as a rattlesnake, can be very effective as you adjust the speed of recovery to keep the bait above the grass.

Another great technique that is one of my favorites for this time of year is the surface lures. It only takes a few inches of water on the grass to work your lure. The anticipation of the explosion as a specification of yellow mouth or a red fish breaks the bait always keeps the adrenaline flowing.

When the tide falls and falls, all that bait leaves the grass and the fish can be easily caught using the three techniques by adjusting the depth of their presentation. All this is great, but my favorite place to catch really big trout is the bridges.

The Causeway Bridge crosses the lake for 24 miles, runs from north to south and houses some of the largest trout in the state. Here it is a little deeper, up to 14 & # 39 ;, so bottom fishing is also a high production technique. Heavier template heads should be used for depth and current. 3/8 ounces is a good place to start, but 1/2 ounce or more may be necessary.

At the east end of the lake, my favorite place is where the railroad bridge crosses the lake along with the Hwy 11 bridge and the I-10 twin stretches. The depths of these bridges are a little shallow, 8 to 10 feet, but the techniques that produce fish are practically the same as in other places.

I like fishing these bridges because it is very similar to sea bass fishing. A good troll engine is essential due to the current and the need to move from one battery to another. Anchoring is almost impossible and, generally, after a fish or two, you should move on to the next set of salt water piles or stumps, as I like to call them.

The technique is very similar to the fishing of a plastic worm. Pour as close as possible to the battery and let your bait fall to the bottom. The blow can occur in the fall and is usually detected as a very light tap. Then wind the slack and adjust the hook tightly to ensure proper connection.

The trestle bridge has been holding a good amount of speckled trout, but the size has not been so large so far. The big trouts or the "World Series" have finally made the scene.

A very unique thing about the trout of Lake Pontchartrain is how fat they are. A 12 "trout weighs between 20% and 30% more than the trout in other places. The amount of food available there is the key factor, and they don't have to chase it so much. They spend less energy while playing. Tides around piles Less effort and more calories mean more meat in the bones.

You have to be a little more careful because that great lake can be very hard sometimes. So until next time, remember to keep the slack and adjust the hook tightly. Be safe outdoors and may God really bless you!

Lyle Johnson is a freelance writer, co-host of Ascension Outdoors TV and curator of Louisiana State Fish Records. He can be reached at [email protected]

Outdoor calendar

Monthly EASL meeting: 3rd Monday of each month, East Ascension Sports League meeting held at the Gonzales Fire Department on Orice Roth Rd. Starting at 7:00 p.m. A meal served and a special speaker will be present.

Season of squirrels and rabbits: from October 5 to February 5. 29, open throughout the state only on private land. Daily luggage limit 8 and possession limit 24.

NBAA South La Bass Mafia tournament: Jack Miller & # 39; s Landing, Belleview Drive, Plaquemine. Teams of two fishermen. Entry fee $ 100. Annual membership $ 40. Last in the series of 8 tournaments. Email: Darren Anders: [email protected]

Fall Catch – & – Eat fly fishing trip: November 8-10: Red Stick Fly Fishers swamp fishing trip along La. 1. Registration is required. Saturday night meeting and fish / shrimp / vegetables – Golden Meadow You must be a member of RSFF or another fly fishing club to participate. Call Randy Leonpacher at 225-769-1895. Website: rsff.org.

Do you need an advertised event? Contact Lyle at [email protected]


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