Frank Davis / Fishing Expert
LAFITTE, La. - Across Lake Hermitage, amidst the broken island grasses, sports fishermen this weekend can fill an ice chest with guaranteed limits of keeper-size black drum and the occasional redfish.
I checked with several charter operators today and learned that practically all of the fish caught this week were taken with popping cork rigging, a 13-inch mono filament leader, and a 4/0 hook baited with market shrimp. All the details you need in order to catch your share Saturday and Sunday are highlighted in this week’s web copy of The Fishin' Game Report.
“Frank, what we’re getting this weekend and what we’ve been getting for about two weeks now is possibly some of the easiest fishing around,” Capt. James Wilson, Phil Robichaux Fishing Team, explained. “These drum are stacked all along the grass-lined banks of Lake Hermitage, just waiting to ambush an unsuspecting shrimp, baby crab, or minnow.
“They’re back into the troughs and coves, they’re down in shoreline holes, they’re wedged between stumps and rotted pilings, and they’re over oyster reefs and rangia shell beds. Weekend anglers don’t need GPS coordinates or LORAN charts to pinpoint exact locations holding fish. All they gotta do is canvass the shoreline, focus a trained eye on the grass configurations, and close in on any activity on the surface of the ponds and lagoons.
“As I tell my clients all the time, find bait movement and you’ll find gamefish ready to take your bait!”
The deciding factors that confirm whether or not you’ll catch your limit are (1) moving water and (2) clear water. Best activity takes place at spots where the tides are active and causing the water, bait, and baitfish to move. In short, you’ll catch very few (if any) gamefish when the tide is slack. And. . .the second most critical point is to find a place where the water is clean. This might be a tad testy since wind-blown surface water here lately has been churned up like heavy cream into butter. But nevertheless, try as hard as ever to locate clean, moving water. It’s the criteria for success.”
Here is the best news I can give you when it comes to mid-October fishing for drum. . .
“You don’t—repeat do not—have to roll out at 3 am to get to the fishing grounds before the sun comes up! Drum and reds that are feeding now are feeding later in the day (say about 10:30 or 11 a.m.). So sleep in a little while longer and still have time to go out and claim a limit or two.
So until next week, be careful and cautious out there, be courteous to fellow boaters and fishermen, and wear your life jackets. Oh, yeah—and don’t catch ‘em all. . .save some for me.