Last week was a weird week in Southeast Louisiana weather.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky most days, but yet, there was hardly no sun. That was because of Saharan Dust, which clogged up the atmosphere and shaded us from the sun’s UV rays.
The dust wasn’t good for allergy sufferers, but it didn’t slow down local fishing. In fact, anglers said they enjoyed the luxury of being able to get a little extra shade while out on the water.
Anglers reported great catches this week, saying that warm temperatures have done wonders for offshore fishing, while inland fishing has also continued to be hot, especially for trout and redfish.
That pattern should bode well for this week with the Fourth of July on Thursday and the Golden Meadow-Fourchon Tarpon Rodeo throughout the weekend over at Moran’s Marina in Fourchon.
Forecasts call for the usual summer pattern with mostly clear conditions and the occasional afternoon shower sparked by daytime heating.
“It was weird. We kept checking the weather app, because it looked cloudy or hazy, but there wasn’t anything there,” Grand Isle native Jake Besson said. “The dust made us think twice and look twice, but it didn’t slow down the fishing. It was a busy week, and with the holiday and the rodeo, we’re expecting an army of people to come in and we think more people will have good luck than bad during their trips.”
Offshore fishing was the talk of the marinas because of the upcoming rodeos.
Besson said anglers have been reporting sizable red snapper catches during weekends when the season is open.
According to data provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the snapper season is still somewhat in its infancy with just a small sliver of the allotted snapper weight met.
Besson said that’s good news, because the busiest times on the island are during the weekends when the snapper season is open.
“They’re hitting right now — hard,” Besson said. “We’ve also been seeing a lot of tuna and mangrove snapper come in. I think the board at the rodeo will have some big numbers on it. It will be impressive.”
If unable to go offshore, or if that’s just not your cup of tea, there are other fish biting heavily in local waters.
In the marshes just north of Grand Isle and also toward southern Terrebonne Parish, redfish activity has been hot with some anglers bringing in some of their biggest catches of the year.
Houma native Ross Theriot said he and his group loaded up on reds in southern Terrebonne Parish. He said they caught — even on a windy day. Those winds have somewhat slowed speckled trout activity locally, but on calmer days, the fish are still available — often in abundance.
“It was a very easy day. The (reds) were hitting throughout the day,” Theriot said. “We caught a bunch and when we got back to load up the boat and head home, other people were also coming in and they had all caught a lot, too. It’s been a busy time. Everyone is taking advantage of the dry summer we’ve been given.”
Over in Bayou Black, water levels are slowly dropping, which is allowing locals to get out on the water and make their catches.
Theriot said bass have been a little bit finicky in recent weeks, but sac-a-lait are biting hard. Fishermen in that area have also reported freshwater perch coming onto the shore.
“Perch might be the best eating fish there is,” Theriot said with a laugh. “So I know that’s made a lot of people happy.”
In Lafourche Parish’s fresh waters, catfish and crappie are hot, and anglers there, too, have caught perch and sac-a-lait.
Golden Meadow angler Andrew Billiot said he’s perch-jerked almost every afternoon with friends and family. He also takes to Bayou Lafourche to catch bass when the seas are calm.
“It’s hot,” Billiot said, wiping sweat off his brow last week. “But I’d rather be wet with sweat than wet from rain. Sweat means we can fish and right now, they’ve been biting.”
Forecasts for next week call for temperatures in the low-to-mid 90s with rain chances hovering around 30-40 percent per day. •