In spite of a blistering wind that has blown from every direction on the compass on all but one day in the last ten, the local fishing has remained incredibly good. A lot of folks have been on the water lately and the majority of them are catching fish.

The flounder bite has slowed down just a little, but that is partially due to the fact that fewer people are fishing for them this month with the reduced two fish limit in November. The size is certainly there as we caught several more in the four pound class last week while fishing for trout and redfish. Nathan Blount caught a 6-pound 7-ounce monster on a fire tiger crankbait at the mouth of Burton’s ditch Sunday evening!

The live bait fishermen have just been hammering the redfish in the ICW, but I can’t seem to put two good days together in the lake. When we are able to work the birds, however, we have limited on slot fish most every time out. Fishing a five-inch tail like an Assassin Shad or TTF trout Killer on a heavier 3/8ths ounce head gives you a little better shot at getting your lure beneath the trout chasing shrimp on the surface.

I know how addicting it is to catch small trout after small trout under the gulls working the river and East Pass, but if you plan on eating fish that is not the ticket. We have easily limited on 2 to 3-pound trout almost every day just fishing those same areas deeper and slower.
Four inch Flats Minnows and Sea Shads rigged on quarter ounce heads, Corkies, and Maniac Mullets bounced off the bottom in eight to 14 feet of water is a very dependable pattern right now. An outgoing tide has been the most productive and the stronger the better.More often than not we are sitting deep and throwing shallow and simply allowing the tide to move the bait.

We had three trout over seven pounds early last week that were caught in even deeper water, but the numbers weren’t there. We caught two of those fish vertically jigging a Hoginar and the other one bouncing an Assassin Die Dapper off the bottom. When the wind has allowed, we have also caught some very nice trout on the 2 to 4 foot flats on topwaters and Catch V’s.
I had just finished cleaning a very good catch for clients Friday evening when Vic Blum and Reggie Broussard eased up to the dock. It would be grossly under stated to describe the bottom of their aluminum boat as overcrowded. The floor of the boat was, in fact, covered up with fourteen flopping catfish that weighed just over 150 pounds!

They had four or five 2 to 5 pound fish, several in the 10 to 12 pound class and two more that weighed 25-pound and 40-pounds respectively. “I figured that biggest cat was more than we bargained for when I saw the tail,” Reggie said still laughing, “but I knew for sure it was big when Vic looked over there and could only say, uh oh!”

While this was obviously a better than usual haul for the two trot liners, they have enjoyed a banner year in spite of the drought. It has not been at all unusual to return to the dock only to see Vic skinning out another big cat. No telling what they could do if they didn’t have to find time to squeeze in duck hunts every morning!

Aside from the fishing being out the roof, it sounds like a war every morning on the east side of the ICW and that is a good thing as well. Keith Daley and Eric Ronning were guests of Aaron Hommel last week and Keith said that was the best trip he had made in a long time. I think the bulk of their limits consisted of grey ducks, but I have seen a lot of pin tail and widgeon on the cleaning table as well.

The icing on the cake was a call from Trey Smith Monday morning with a bass catching report off the river. A couple of weeks back he was struggling, but he said they did very well this past weekend fishing plastics. He added that they also caught several slot reds while checking out the bayous.

Outdoor enthusiasts living in this area indeed have a great deal for which to be thankful. I fish a lot of folks each year that travel great distances just for an opportunity to fish right here in our own backyard.

I fished Dr. Fred Bessel, his son, Keith, and grandson, Liam on Monday and as much as I fish I never had an opportunity to do that with my Dad and son. Days like that are far too special to be taken for granted. I hope that this Thursday finds you and your family together and in good health.

Happy Thanksgiving!