We interrupt elections, a now infamous hurricane season, a pandemic, riots, forest fires and no matter else is ailing and afflicting our nice nation to convey you this information — sac-a-lait are biting.

And, whereas Blaine Salter and David Pizzalato had been hammering huge ‘uns at Outdated River — the oxbow lake close to Morganza — the information on this prized panfish is sweet from all corners of our state, particularly in southeast Louisiana.

“Phrases can hardly describe the scale of the sac-a-lait Outdated River is producing. The large fish are beefing up, and if catching a 2-pounder is what will get you excited for the following month, then that’s the place to be,” Salter mentioned.

And it’d greatest be within the subsequent month as a result of as quickly on the Mississippi River hits 15 ft on the Baton Rouge gauge, the river begins to stream into Outdated River and the sac-a-lait chunk wanes.

If making a visit to the higher reaches of Pointe Coupee Parish and to Outdated River, then know the Verret and Atchafalaya basins together with the Tickfaw, Tangipahoa and Tchefuncte rivers are producing some stable sac-a-lait stringers, too.

For these final 5 locations, catching sufficient sac-a-lait for dinner is nothing greater than discovering your favourite colour tube or solid-body jig (definitely nothing longer than two inches), threading it on a 1/16-ounce jighead and setting it 12-24 inches below a cork. You then discover the construction, one thing like a downed tree, an off-the-bank grassbed, the outer fringe of an off-the-bank cypress tree or a pier and have at it.

Ah, however Outdated River is a unique animal.

“The fish are holding in deeper winter month patterns, 12- to 16-foot deep on boat docks,” Salter mentioned. “However they are going to transfer into the bushes to feed in 3-6 foot deep areas particularly within the Mondieu Lake space on the Ball Park aspect (that’s the appropriate aspect of the lake as you make a left flip to enter the lake).

“Fish the bushes there and work a jig 2-4 ft below a cork and that can produce catches.”

Salter, who realized a whole lot of his sac-a-lait tips from his legendary sac-a-lait catching and jig pole making dad, J.B. Salter.

And what J.B. (God relaxation his soul!) didn’t educate him, Pizzalato did. Pizzalato has snatched sac-a-lait for many years from probably the most fabled sac-a-lait holes in our state.

Nonetheless, this younger (effectively, not so younger anymore) pup has taught the outdated canines some new tips.

“Livescoping is altering the game,” Salter mentioned referring to the brand new sonar-imaging tools on as we speak’s high-tech fishing market.

“It’s an important software to be taught what the fish are literally doing,” he mentioned. “Within the Willow Level-Mondieu Lake space, massive faculties of sac-a-lait are on the transfer. They transfer into the bushes to feed after which again into the lake a number of instances all through the day.

“Livescope isn’t wanted to achieve success, however that you must transfer usually and fish totally till you discover them after which have the web prepared.”

After launching from Outdated River Touchdown, the primary launch after crossing the Morganza Spillway bridge, Salter mentioned he and Pizzalato fished alongside the deep ends of deep piers alongside the levee aspect of the oxbow till they reached Hopkin’s Touchdown close to the Innis finish.

Listed here are his different ideas:

  • Tube jigs in blue/white or child shad colours produced extra fish.
  • Wind is an element, too so “go to a heavier jighead/bait so your wind slack doesn’t the impact of how the bait is working.
  • “Most instances a sac-a-lait is not going to hit a transferring or swimming jig, no less than not the day we fished (final Sunday),” Salter mentioned. “The lure needed to be fished vertically straight up 6-8 inches and cease once we had been fishing with out a cork. Slowly let it fall looking ahead to slack. The larger fish had been holding 12-14 ft down.”
  • Daylight penetration makes a distinction. When the angle of the solar is low in early morning or late afternoon, the sac-a-lait have a tendency to maneuver up within the water column. Shade is vital, too. If fishing when the solar is excessive, work on the edges of the shadows piers create.

So, how profitable was their day.

“You may need to remain all day to catch a restrict (5 per angler per day), however that’s a whole lot of fish,” Salter mentioned. “We went after huge sac-a-lait and we had 4 between 2 kilos and a pair of.3 kilos, and we completed our high 5 was completed with a 1.97-pounder. That was an important day.”

Besides that, as Salter admitted, “We misplaced two on the boat that had been greater than these 2-pounders.”

The fee

Information from Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Fee assembly was most on the seven-person panel rejected the discover to push menhaden boats out to a mile off the seashores.

Leisure fishermen complained these “pogey boats” pushed as shut as 200 yards off the seashores this 12 months to take this useful forage fish and left useless fish of their wakes.

A number of fee members, notably Joe McPherson and Jerri Smitko, challenged the transfer and the problems introduced by leisure anglers.

Just like the redfish and gill web points a long time in the past, that is the primary shot at getting extra restrictive rules for this business business in relation to taking tons of this vital forage base from Louisiana waters.


It’s no secret that geese, largely teal, grey geese and pintails, have been seen within the marshes, rice fields and crawfish ponds after the previous two chilly fronts.

And we gained’t know what the youth and navy veterans discovered on their particular weekend hunts within the Coastal and West waterfowl zones till this week.

This week, too, State Waterfowl Examine chief Larry Reynolds and workers will fly the coastal areas, Catahoula Lake and spots within the northern parishes to provide us a deal with on what the migration seems to be like for the primary cut up of yet one more 60-day season.

What will probably be extra vital is what the 5 tropical techniques did to the waterfowl habitat.

It’s one factor to have water, and we’ve acquired a lot of that, but it surely’s one other vitally vital factor to have the meals — the submerged aquatic vegetation — to carry geese right here.

Now, with hotter temperatures up north, it’s seemingly the migration has stopped for a couple of days, so what’s here’s what the hunters will discover for Saturday’s opening day within the Coastal and West zones.

The identical is true for geese. Opening day is Saturday for these two zones, too.

A reminder for hunters: to be “authorized” it’s essential to have a fundamental searching license, federal and state waterfowl stamps and HIP certification for those who’re 16 or older. Anybody holding a state lifetime searching license is exempt from having a state waterfowl stamp.

An extension

Business fishermen looking for help attributable to hurricanes Laura and Delta — there’s $14.6 million in CARES Act cash — have had the appliance deadline pushed from Oct. 26 to 11:59 p.m. Nov. 23.

Fishermen can all of the Wildlife and Fisheries’ Program Improvement at (225) 765-3980 or (855) 262-1764 for extra info.

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