This weekend comes with a hint of sadness. Will miss the now not so annual Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo, out this year as Fourchon Marina continues to rebuild after Hurricane Ida. I’ve covered this 4th of July event since 1978, and the only time people had to report was 2020, the first pandemic year, and this year in its 80+ year run in Lafourche Parish.
Officials promise a return next year.
Check the river
The mighty Mississippi was at 16.5 feet on the Baton Rouge gauge on Friday, which means the river will soon stop flowing into Old River — the benchmark is 15 feet in Baton Rouge.
I learned a long time ago from people like J.-B. Salter (God rest his milk bag catching soul) that you don’t have to wait for that 15ft reading.
Warmouth and Bluegill retreat to the first failure of the Old River dead arm low flow failure when the Mississippi is at the current level.
This means finding what the folks there call “buck brush”, a line of heavily limbed bushes where these two species hold until the water becomes too shallow to hold baitfish, mostly squid. shad.
So, for the next few days, follow Salter’s tips. Use a blue/clear glitter tube jig on a 1/16 ounce jig head fitted with a weed hook. You’ll need a weed guard so you don’t get caught in tangles of branches.
Slowly work the stencil into the brush and wait – rather, hold on! – because on the several trips made to match this condition, the milk bag averaged more than a pound, more like a pound and a half.
And, if you can stand the heat, the sac-a-laits were active in the Atchafalaya and Verret basins.
Thursday morning’s Wildlife and Fish Commission meeting (9:30 a.m., Baton Rouge State Headquarters, Quail Drive) will address the thorny issues of further action in state control areas where the A chronic wasting illness was discovered earlier this year, and will consider a notice to change the milkbag bylaw on Lake D’Arbonne near Farmerville.
Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl will present their proposals to obtain shares of the agency’s earmarked funds dedicated to waterfowl breeding grounds, and the last item on the agenda calls for an executive session to hear a “potential dispute” on the definition of the limits and the ownership of the lands of the agency in the parish of LaSalle.
If you are unable to attend, the meeting will be broadcast via a Zoom audio/video live stream: wlf-la.zoom.us/webinar.
Do you have this license?
Last year’s fishing and hunting licenses — and all other licenses — expired on Thursday. To repeat, the new licensing structure makes new licenses valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.
You can obtain new licenses from local vendors or through the LDWF website: louisianaoutdoors.com/
While you’re at it, don’t forget to donate a few dollars to help Louisiana Hunger Hungers. What is donated helps H4H cover the costs of processing increased deer donations from hunters during the hunting season.
If you have a lifetime license, or wish to make a donation, go to the group’s website: h4hla.org/donate.
The latest recreational catch of red snapper, through June 19, shows private offshore anglers caught about 225,720 or 28 percent of our state’s 809,315-pound annual allocation.
This July 4 holiday gives anglers an extra day – Monday – compared to the Friday-Sunday seasons this year. The next four-day season is set for the Labor Day holiday, if the annual allowance has not been reached.
A reminder is that you need the correct licenses and a free Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to offload all snappers, tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks (amberjack season is closed), groupers, doe, cobia , wahoo and bull dolphin.