For reports go to www.louisianasportsman.com
3/29/2010 “Milk-Run.” I had the pleasure of taking Ben Kleinpeter and his grandson, Stanford, to
hunt for fish. Having grown up with one of the Kleinpeters out of Baton Rouge, I was really
looking forward to the trip. This was Stanford’s first fishing trip, and Ben asked me to introduce
him “right”. I knew just the spot. After a long run down the Big-Muddy, I anchored up and gave a
lesson on casting and fishing with a cork. We were using Lowcountry-Lightning corks, and I
knew that their noise would bring the reds. I hooked up first and landed a 19” red. Then it was
Ben’s turn. He put a “Spot” in the boat then Stanford hooked his first red. Unfortunately, it got off.
I explained to Stanford that the red’s mouth was hard and he really had to hit him hard. His next
hookup was perfect, and Stanford landed his first redfish. I put my rod up and spent the morning
helping my guys have fun. I’m not into numbers, but after boxing our limit, we probably caught
and released another 40 reds. Most of our fish were on the small size, 16 to 20 inches, with a few
26’s thrown in to keep it interesting. I pulled anchor and went looking for other spots, but none
were as productive as our first. The ride gave Ben and Stanford a great look at our Delta. We were
through by noon and headed in.
3/21/2010 Taking up the slack. While the trout bite has not been exceptional, the red bite is
awesome. I took Tim Lang from Dallas and his son Ted down in the Delta yesterday to "pass a
good time". The Delta didn't disappoint us. I went to my "secret" honey-hole, anchored up, and
started catching reds. It's been just that easy. I caught the first couple to demonstrate how it was
done and then put my pole down to help my guys. We were throwing market bait under a cork.
The noise of the cork and the smell of the shrimp were all we needed. My guys couldn't believe it!
We had our limit in the box by 8:30, and then just "caught and released". I don't know how many
we caught (not important), I do know my guys had a great time (very important). About 11:00 I
wanted to look for trout. We weighed anchor and headed to my "secrete Speck hole". We only
caught a double hand full, but all were big 3 to 4 pounds. The specks are just starting to move in
and should really get hot in the next several weeks.
2/20/2010 Beautiful day in Venice. I took some regulars today - Dr. Tom and his friends, John,
Kelley, and Dwayne. They met me at the Venice Marina about 7am and we headed down the high,
muddy River. The wind was whipping pretty hard and forecasted to get even harder, so I headed
to a little spot I felt would be out of the wind and still produce fish. I hit it today. We were throwing
market bait under a cork and the action was steady. We were hooking up on reds in the 22 to 27
inch class and the box was full with our limit in about an hour. This was Doc's birthday and I
couldn't have given him a better present. After our limit was boxed, it was catch and release for
the next several hours. These guys really kept me busy. About 11am we had caught 65 reds.
Wow, what a day. They were done so we headed back up the cold River. I've got these same men
tomorrow and its going to be hard to repeat.
10/27/2009 Needed a day off. I got rained out today, but after yesterday I’m glad. All my fingers are
cut and my back hurts. Why? I netted, unhooked, and released 118 redfish in 3 hours that’s why.
Tony Pittman and his friend, John Shimock, both from Pennsylvania, had me booked for 2 days of
red fishing and “boy” did we find them. I went down in the Delta before daylight and started with
shrimp under a cork. We fished for maybe an hour with no takers and then bam it was on. I don’t
know what happened, maybe the fish gods were watching. All I know is it was awesome. We had
reds on one side of the boat and trout on the other. Most of the reds were bulls and all of the trout
were bulls. The trout were in the 3 to 4 pound class and the bull reds were in the 20-pound range.
The trout bite lasted about an hour but the reds never quit. We used live shrimp, live minnows,
dead shrimp, spinner baits, spoons, corks, jigs, and even some homemade lures. We caught them
on everything we threw and on every cast. It was amazing. I’ve been fishing all my life and have
never had a day like yesterday. Needless to say my clients have already booked a trip for the
spring. I hope the fish gods are still smiling!
10/19/2009 Greetings from Georgia. My regular clients, Waite Popejoy and his son Sam, from
Atlanta, were in town on Monday to visit Tulane University. Sam is a high school senior and is
considering spending his college in La. While here they decided to hook up with me for a little
trout and redfish delite. I headed downriver to one of the outer bays and found the trout
agreeable. We have a high River down here and the high muddy water has pushed the fish back
out to the bays. Find a lee bank with "cleaner" water and its on. We were using live bait on Sam
and plastic on Waite. Both produced quite well. The bait was ahead of the plastic but not by much.
The best color for the day was electric chicken. Go figure. My clients didn't want to keep any fish
but said I could have some. This was great because as a charter captain I don't get to keep many
fish. Tonight I'm cooking trout for my grandsons.
After the great trout bite we moved to the red point. They were there. Again the chicken produced.
After catching and releasing a limit or two, we headed back up the muddy so that these men could
make their appointment with the university. These are great clients and a pleasure to fish with.
10/15/2009 `Big time with the Boy Scouts. The last 3 days was my annual trip with the former
directors of the Boy Scouts of America. These guys come from all over our country and I look
forward to taking them every year. They always want reds and the bigger the better. The first day I
started at one of my favorite Bull holes. We threw market bait under a cork and nothing was
happening. I knew the bulls were there but no bites. After about 20 minutes I rigged one guy with a
3/8 jig tipped with shrimp. First cast and it was on. I frantically rigged the other men and in short
order all were hooked up. It was fun watching these 3 men run around my boat each with a 20
pound bull and trying not to get all 3 lines tangled. After 2 ½ hours of non-stop action the bite quit.
I didn’t count but I know we landed and released at least 35 bulls. Then we cranked and headed to
my “keeper” spot. The short boys were there and we boxed our limit by noon and headed in.
Second day I figured I’d do it all over again. Wrong. When I got to the bull hole it was muddy with
no tide movement. We bottom fished and managed about 7 bulls and many catfish. I again went to
the “keeper” hole and boxed 2- 20-inch reds. I moved to another spot and found them. We again
boxed our limit and then it was catch and release.
Third day everything was different, different wind and direction and small tide. I ran to a favorite
spot that I haven’t fished in several weeks. We went to live bait under a cork and it was
immediately on. These were not only bull reds but also “big” bull reds, some up to 40 pounds.
These reds were here feeding on trout and if we didn’t catch a bull we caught a nice trout.
Sometimes the reds would take a hooked trout away from us. We also hooked sharks and jacks. It
was constant action from the time we got there to leaving. We landed and released over 40 bulls
and boxed a limit of beautiful trout. What a great way to end 3 great days with the Boy Scouts.
9/23/2009 Transition Month??? I’ve been telling everyone that September is a transition month
and that trout would be hard to find. Sunday I took a trip for my good friend, Capt. Larry. He asked
me to take his regular client, Walter Comeaux, of Baton Rouge, and his two sons, Walter, Jr. and
Brian. They wanted trout. I had caught trout yesterday, but they were small, so I decided to roll the
dice and head to a spot that I haven’t fished in several weeks. I expected lots of company when I
got there. Not so, only one boat and it was another friend, Capt. Brent. He was on the big yellow
mouths. I anchored about 50 yards from him and caught trout on every cast except the thirteenth;
Yep twelve big trout in the box and then nothing. Capt. Brent was “in the crack” and pounding
them and I was sucking hind tit. I moved around to every spot that should have had a trout and
nothing except ladyfish. I hollered at Capt. Brent and he was almost done, so I patiently waited. He
eased out and I eased in. We were bit before he cranked the Yamaha. These were all 16 inch trout
and up, some going 22 inches.
It didn’t take long to box our limit and Walter said,” how bout some reds”. I asked the boys if they
wanted keepers or bulls. They said “BULLS” in unison so we headed to my bull hole. We landed 3
and broke off 5. That’s pretty normal for these big bruisers. We finished our day with a leisurely
ride back to the Venice Marina. Who said it’s hard to find trout in September?
9/19/2009 I did a trip this past Saturday for Captain Chris and I really appreciated the work. He had
a large group, maybe 25, staying at the Fin and Feather Lodge and I met my clients at a dinner on
Friday. Dale, Billy, and Stinky were to be my guest and Billy told me that all they wanted was trout.
This gave me cause for a sleepless night because I haven’t been on a good trout bite in several
days. However, The Big “O” always tries to please. I went to the east side because of a strong
south wind, and my first stop and first cast produced a 17-inch trout. WOW, this was going to be
easy. We boated maybe another 5 or 6 and then the hard heads moved in. I think the trout were
still there, but we couldn’t catch them because of the cats. I moved out to a rig and caught about 3
trout. Then I started point hopping. Things were looking pretty bad until I reached a spot I haven’t
fished in over a month. These trout were small, 13-14 inches, but occasionally a 16-incher would
show up. They were also mixed with white trout and fortunately no hard heads. My guys told me
the night before that they would be easy-no pressure guys and they were right. They were here to
relax and have fun no matter what we caught. But catching trout sure made me feel good. We
reached our limit about high noon and I cranked the big Skeeter and started my hour’s trip home.
Great time with a great bunch.
9/17/2009 Bass Pro Shop is in town. Since I am on the Pro Staff of the local Bass Pro Shop in
Denham Springs, I got asked to take several BPS employees out to take pictures for their Salt
Water Catalog. Chris Short, Staff Photographer, and Joe Orr, Design Manager, both from the
Springfield Corporate office, met me at Venice Marina on Tuesday morning. They brought along
Bert Gibson, Fishing Manager, and Dave Langston, Fishing Department Associate. The order was
for me to put them on enough redfish to fill up 20 memory cards on Chris’s camera. That’s about
3000 pictures - tall orders. However, I knew the Mississippi Delta would not disappoint them. I took
them to where I had caught a bunch of bulls last week and figured I would make a day's work look
easy, “Wrong”- nothing there but hard heads. I moved to my bull red honey hole but couldn’t fish
because of 3-foot rollers. Since I had already wasted 2 hours, I decided to run back upriver to my
favorite redfish spot. I got cut off by a big thunderstorm and turned back down the pass to get
away from the lightning. We were stopped in the middle of a pass to wait out the storm when Joe
decided to fish - BAM! - our first red, not a bull but a red bout 20 inches. We continued to boat reds
until we had a bunch of great pictures, and then the storm left. I finally made it to my spot and
again we caught keeper size reds but no bulls. We finished up our Tuesday trip with a bunch of
pictures but not the bulls Venice is famous for.
Wednesday morning greeted me with a big storm to the south. Like a smart captain I ran north. I
pulled up to a little point I hadn’t fished in maybe a month. Bert had a Top Dog on so I told him to
throw right at the point. The bait hit the water and was destroyed by a bull. Many pictures later we
released him and then it was Dave’s turn. Bulls like Top Dogs. A short while later Joe got in on the
act using a Jumping Halo Shrimp under a cork. This was the Missouri boy’s first bull redfish and
he really got excited. He told me, “fights a little harder than a crappie”. Finally Chris got in on the
act. He spends so much time on these trips running the camera that he never gets to fish,
however, he already had so many pictures that he felt he had to try a Louisiana Red. The Halo
Shrimp worked again and Chris fought him like a pro. I got several “high fives” and we had our
memory cards full.
As you can tell, I enjoyed this trip as much as the fishermen I had on board. I was also quite
impressed as to how hard Chris and Joe work to get the perfect picture. These two guys are quite
professional. All 4 men are real assets to Bass Pro Shops. You will be able to see their work in the
next Bass Pro Shop Saltwater Catalog.
8/11/2009 “WOW” That’s all I can say. I took the same two men, Boyce and Larry from Mississippi,
back fishing today. They wanted to go back to the little island that we limited on yesterday. I
agreed and headed out of Venice Marina at 5:30. We would have left earlier to beat the heat but
they don’t start selling shrimp until 5:30. We got to the point on the little island at 6:30 and Larry
was hooked up before I got the boat anchored. The water was cleaner than yesterday and the
trout were hungry. These trout were bigger than yesterday. Most were 16 inches with a few 20 and
22. We were using live shrimp under a Low Country Lightning cork and these two men were
keeping me busy. I was netting, unhooking, and getting fresh shrimp as fast as I could. When we
got around 25 in the box, I grabbed a Betts’s Halo shrimp without a hook and stuck him through
the side of the head just as if it was live. Bam, first cast Boyce was hooked up. He didn’t even
know I had switched him to plastic. I switched both men and the plastic was just as good as live.
The Halo shrimp is hard to beat. I like to fish them and the DOA with a 1/0 kale hook through the
side of the head. Works great. At 8 o’clock we were through. I told them we could catch and
release but couldn’t keep anymore. I decided I would try a top water Spook, my favorite bait. I
made 8 casts and boated 8 consecutive trout. Like I said, WOW. I’ve never done that before in my
life. I asked my clients if they had ever caught bull reds. They had not. So I pulled the anchor and
headed to my bull hole. Larry hooked up first and then Boyce. We netted several and broke off
several. These were 30 to 35 inch bulls and what a fight they gave. At the end of the day while
heading for the marina Boyce told me that today was the most fun he had ever had- ever. Really
made my day.
8/10/2009 Easy Pickin's - my last two trips have not been great on trout, plenty of reds but slow
trout. Today I decided to try something different. I took my regular clients Boyce and his brother
Larry from Mississippi and went to a spot I haven’t tried in two weeks, a little point on a little island
that has produced in the spring but not in the late summer. There was virtually no tide, and no bait
movement, and rain storms all around. This was not the day or the spot to chase trout but I’m
always game for the impossible. We had live shrimp under a Low Country Lightning cork and I
told my guys to make lots of noise and try to wake them up. We started picking up a few small
trout but by 8am we only had 10 in the box. Most guys would have left by now, but my guys
wanted trout and I didn’t know any other place to go. Then it happened! There was bait
everywhere. And there were catfish, sharks, porpoise, and trout chasing them! Larry got on a roll
and boated 9 in a row. Boyce and yours truly were right behind. I switched over to plastic to see
what would happen and I couldn’t get a bite. I went back to bait. By 10:30 we had our limit. The
heat was unforgiving and my guys decided to try for the reds tomorrow. We made it back to
Venice Marina before noon, and I hope we can do it again tomorrow.
8/1/2009 Stag Party-today I hosted a stag party in the Delta. Scott McKinnie from Mississippi is
getting married in 2 weeks and he hired me to take himself and friends - Allen McKinnie, Mark
Thomas and Andrew Hendrix fishing to celebrate his upcoming wedding. The Delta did not
disappoint. I started out where I caught them 2 days ago, wasted 30 minutes, and caught nothing.
I moved a couple of miles and started a little drift. Scott caught a trout. I stuck the pole and it was
on. We were using shrimp under a cork, but I believe we could have caught them on chewing gum
wrappers!! Several times these guys had 4 on at the same time. I was netting, unhooking, and
dipping shrimp for 4 young men and they almost killed this old man. It was awesome. They
wanted to stop and get a break but I wouldn’t let them. “Catch-um while they're biting” as my dad
would say. At 8:45 we had 100 in the box, the last 7 on plastic. “Smoked-um”. We left our honey
hole and went looking for reds. I struggled for awhile but finally found a little point with lots of bait,
and a few keeper reds. At 11:30 we had our reds, were out of bait, and I was whipped so we
headed for home. Great stag party with a group of great guys.
7/12/2009 Big bad Yellowmouth. I took my friend, Bob Newman along with his friend, Bob
Flournoy from Nashville, back to where I had caught 100 trout yesterday. I thought it would be a
piece of cake. Anchor up, catch a bunch of trout, enjoy the company, and go home. I’ve been
doing this long enough to know it never works out that way. We were using live shrimp under a
Lowcountry Lightning Cork, and the bite was steady. Only trouble was we were catching hard
heads, sail cats, ladyfish, jacks, and an occasional trout. I thought about moving but the trout
were here yesterday, so I decided to stick it out. The trout bite gradually picked up and my two-
Bobs were having a ball. About 9:30 I could see a big storm building northeast of us and moving
our way. There was a big water spout hanging out under this cloud and I knew the wind would get
really bad. There were about 10 boats all around us and they started leaving one-by-one. I actually
pulled my anchor and started to leave but I stuck it back just so my Bobs could make a few more
casts. My Tennessee Bob was reeling in when a large fish swirled and smacked his shrimp. He
yelled Bull Red, and I yelled back, no a Big Trout. Bob played the “yellowmouth” like a pro and 5
minutes later I netted the largest trout that’s been in my boat this year, 8pounds 2 oz and full of
eggs. We took lots of pictures and then ran for cover. The storm was almost on us and I had to
make the Skeeter scream to beat out the wind and rain. Mission accomplished!!
These Two-Bobs really had a great time and so did I. Can’t wait to take them again.
7/4/2009 Happy 4th. All my friends out there think I’m fishing today, but no, I’m celebrating the 4th
with my wife, daughter, and grandsons. I decided this year that I would have a normal holiday. I’m
bar-b-qing, eating watermelon and drinking (lemon- aid). Just got off the phone with my son in
Germany. Monday it’s back to the old grindstone-fishing in Venice. Yes, it’s a tough life, but
someone’s got to do it. The reds have been on fire in Venice. They are stacking up along the
passes waiting for the Mississippi to fall a few more feet so they can move in. I don’t know how
much longer it will last, but I’ve had several trips that we caught over 100 reds. It’s silly. The trout
are looking for clean water so that’s what you have to do, find clean water. My best luck has been
on live bait under a Lowcountry Lightning cork. Clean water plus live shrimp, equals trout.
6/26/2009 Unbelievable---absolutely unbelievable. I took Brian Low from B.R. and his friend from
Kansas City, Mike Tuma, on the trip of all trips this morning. My friend, Capt. Brent, asked if I
would take them and I jumped at the chance. We left Venice Marina at first light and headed south.
Brian asked if I could try to find a few trout and then some reds for Mike since he had never fished
down here. I hoped the Delta would oblige.
My first stop was a bummer, not a bite. I gave it about 5 minutes and moved to a better looking
spot. We worked along for about 100 yards and Brian hooked up on a big trout. I stuck the pole
and these guys had a trout on for 15 straight casts. Then it happened---the reds moved in. They
ran off the trout and it was Red Heaven. We put our limit in the box in 10 minutes and started
catching and releasing. I was using live shrimp and I wanted to move to look for more trout. My
guys wouldn't hear of it. They wanted reds. In 2 1/2 hours we caught and released 107 reds. All I
could do was net the fish, take him off the hook, get a shrimp, and hit the clicker. I begged my
guys to give me a break. It was awesome. I'm sure Mike went back to Kansas City with stories
nobody will believe but it happened in the Delta.
6/16/2009 Hot in the Delta. Not just the temperature but the fishing is hot down here too. I took 3
men from St. Louis today. They were with a group of 9 that fished for the last 3 days. My three
today - Allen, Lonnie, and Dave - fished with me last year and I was looking forward to today's trip.
Dave told me when they got in my boat that they had to be back early to catch a plane in N.O. This
didn't make me mad because the midday heat has been brutal the last several days. I motored
downriver to the exact spot I had caught them yesterday. Two men started with crickets and the
third with a red Billy Bay. All 3 were catching right off the bat, but the plastic was doing better than
the live. The early morning bite gradually slowed and the crickets started taking over. We were
catching both reds and specks. All the specks were 15 to 22 inches and the reds were keepers. At
9:10am we were through. This put us back at the marina with plenty of time to catch a plane and a
limit of both reds and specks in the box. We beat the heat-great day.
6/6/2009 "WOW" what a weekend. I took Dr. Tom Plantz and his two friends, Kelly Lee and
Dwayne Benable down in the Delta both Saturday and Sunday. I started out where I slammed
them last week and nothing, not even a hardhead. Moved about a quarter to another spot and one
trout. I moved again to a little beach with grass coming out into the water and hit paydirt. We were
throwing crickets under a cork and the girls were hungry. These were big downriver trout in the 2
to 4 range. These 3 men kept me so busy that I was soaking wet by 9am. By 10:30 we had our
limits of both trout and reds, and headed in. Sunday I wanted to repeat but things had changed.
The wind was different and the tide did not want to move. We were picking up smaller fish than on
Saturday but it was still fun. We pecked on them until 11:30. When I checked my counter, we had
15 reds and one trout shy of a limit. Close enough for me. We headed upriver with a full box and
lots of good memories.
5/22/2009 The beating of the drums. I had 3 young men from Florida yesterday. Chris Mosley,
Richard Wise, and Pat McKee, all graduates of Florida State U. They were down here on a reunion
and asked if I would take them fishing. My Friday trip had cancelled because of the weather so I
was empty. I told them the weather and fishing would be "iffy", but they wanted to wet a line. We
waited at the Venice Marina to let a rain storm pass and then headed out. I went west to a spot I
had fished the day before and two boats were anchored on the hole. I trolled past them to another
spot 200 yards away and the fish were hungry. I had market bait under a Lowcountry Lightning
cork and the noise from these corks drew in fish from all over. Nice trout, reds, flounder, crokers,
and black drum were coming to the noise. I don't usually catch drum but they have been
everywhere the last few days. By 11am we had 20 trout in the 2-3 # range, a limit of reds, a limit of
drums, and a big flounder. The black clouds were building in the east and we headed for home.
Great trip on an iffy day.
5/10/2009 How sweet it is!! I took Andre and Joe Paul Amedee from Belle Chase, and their uncle,
Russell Chabaud, from Houston, both Saturday and Sunday. We fought the fog but made it to my
first stop Saturday. We boated about 50 specks in short order and then the tide slowed and so did
the fish. These men were all exceptional fishermen and they made my job easy. I moved a little bit
and got into another bite. We were rolling along until the reds moved in. We boated and released
about 10 reds, but no more trout. The reds ran them off. About 11am I got a call from my friend,
Capt. Raymond. He was on a good bite. After I found him we finished out our limit in short order
and headed in. Thank you Ray.
Sunday, the fog was horrible. I asked Capt. Dan, who has radar, if I could follow him to one of the
passes. He obliged; thank you Dan. We made it to where we started on Saturday. No tide
movement and no fish. I knew the fish were there and told my clients we were going to wait them
out. It took a lot of patience, but an hour later we got some water movement and the trout started
just like clock work. At 54 trout in the box, Andre asked if we could try for big trout. We moved, hit
the big trout holes but only a 4 pounder. We headed home at noon after two great days on the
water with three great fishermen.
5/8/2009 Doesn't get any better than this. I took my brother, Roy and his friends, Kenny Waters
and Ken Rathburn on their annual spring fishing trip. We fished both Thursday and Friday and
both days were great. Thursday was too foggy to run the River but I slipped down the west side
until I found a little break and jumped to the east side rocks. We slowly motored to one of the
passes and made it to our hole. Live crickets under a Lowcountry Lightning cork did the trick for
us. This cork makes a lot of noise and really brings the fish. We loaded the box and were back to
their houseboat by 1pm.
The second day was almost a carbon copy of the first except the fog was not bad. The fish had
moved on me but my friend, Capt. Don, found them about 300 yards from where I was Thursday
and called me over. Sure is good to have good friends. We caught more and bigger trout on
Friday. Guess the big girls were getting ready for there Friday Night full moon spawn. Again we
were back at the dock for 1pm and all can't wait to do it again next year.
5/5/2009 Let the good times roll. Took my regulars, Steve Delaune, Robert Gatica and Robert's
dad, Bobby, down in the Delta today. It was very foggy on the river at daylight so I followed Capt.
Ross down the west side. We crossed over about 8 miles down. It was not fun. I sure was glad to
follow Capt. Ross-thanks. I finally made it to my first stop. I had caught them pretty good there 2
days ago, but it was slow today. We put about 15 trout and a dozen reds in the box over the next 2
hours. The reds were all 24-27 inches. The trout were 16 inch regulars with a couple 22 inchers
mixed in. My bite slowed so I moved about 300 yards down the bank just looking. We got into a
little bite that picked up steam the more we fished. At 11:30 we were out of bait, but still catching
on DOA's. The 100qt. box was full and Robert had an 8 hour drive back to Texas so we headed
home. I wish all my days were this easy - great guys and great fishing.
5/4/2009 Fun in the Delta. I got a call on Thursday for a weekend trip from Johnny Stockton of
Denham Springs. I was booked solid. Thirty minutes later my Friday trip canceled. I called Johnny
back and he said he could make it. Friday morning he showed up with his associate, Tommy Pace
and Tommy's son, Blake. We headed to the Delta from Venice Marina. I went to a spot I haven't
fished since last year. Three trout later I was ready to move- too slow and off-colored water. I
called my friend, Capt. Dennis. He was on a few so we headed there. Dennis was on the "crack"
and hitting them pretty hard. I anchored about 80 yards away and started picking up a few. After
about 25 nice trout, my bite quit so we moved again. My third stop was great - big trout on one
side of the boat and keeper reds on the other. Blake was after reds, Johnny & Tommy wanted
specks. The Delta did not disappoint them. By noon we had a limit of trout and 9 nice reds. We
were out of bait, so we headed for home with a great box.
4/25/2009 Rocky Top in the Delta. I took two Tennessee fishermen to the River this past 3 days
and what a trip they had. My regular client, Steve, and his associate, Andy, both from Memphis
met me Wednesday afternoon at Venice Marina and we headed down river to look for reds. My
first stop was my last stop. We boated a limit of beautiful 18 inch reds in short order and then
released another 15 to 20. Then I moved and we managed enough trout for these guys' supper.
The next morning we headed back to the same spot and proceeded to box a limit of trout before
the wind got up. We were using live shrimp under a cork but also did well with plastic. Halfway
through our bite, Andy broke out a flyrod and tied on a Bass Pro fly shrimp. I told him he was
wasting his time, but presto, he landed several nice trout. Shows you what the Captain knows.
These guys are accomplished fishermen and sportsmen and fish all over the world. They both
told me that Venice is the best.
The third morning was strictly catch-and-release. We caught a bunch of trout and small reds.
Then they asked me for some bulls. The wind prevented me from going to my favorite "bull-hole"
so I went right around the corner from that hole hoping that a few bulls might be in the area. The
gods smiled. Andy hooked up first, and then Steve. They landed 4 of the biggest reds I've ever
seen and we headed for home. Great 3 days of fishing. They are coming back in June
3/6/2009 The reds keep on rolling. I took Mike, Buddy and James out of Baton Rouge yesterday.
The hard southeast wind pushed me to the west side and I felt it would be an easy trip. My first
stop where I always catch fish was a mudhole. I know you can catch fish in dirty water, but this
was ridiculous. We managed one keeper and I moved on. Second stop the water was a little
better, and I had confidence we would bust-um. Didn't happen. We were throwing market bait
under a cork and this usually produces. Not today. Two more keepers and off to another spot. I
found beautiful water, probably the best water I've seen downriver this year, and I knew we would
jump on-em. Nada. I knew the fish were there but we couldn't buy a bite. After a fruitless hour,
Buddy asked if he could fish on the bottom. I re-rigged him and his first cast was a keeper.
Second cast, another keeper. It didn't take me long to re-rigg everyone. We sat in one spot and
finished out a limit of beautiful reds and then started catch and release. Goes to show that even
the Captain can learn from his clients. I'm always ready to try something different when the normal
2/25/2009 I took Dr. Tom Plantz out of Baton Rouge and his 3 friends, John, Kelley, and Dwayne.
We headed down the cold Mississippi at first light and anchored up at my first stop. We were
using market bait under a cork and the bite was slow. We managed 2 reds from that spot so we
moved to another. Two more reds and then nothing. My third stop produced 3 reds. It was then I
realized that we needed to keep moving. I usually have a lot of patience with a spot but this day
was different. 2 or 3 from each stop was the pattern and I obliged. We never got bored with any
spot and in several hours we had caught and released over 40 reds. Most of these fish were in the
24 to 26 inch range with a few over 27. Most days if I find fish at a spot I can wait them out and
catch a limit without moving. Not today. Goes to show you have to figure out their pattern every
day. Its very important to use the freshest shrimp you can find and make plenty of noise with the
cork. The redfish are everywhere downriver and this makes for a fun trip.
2/23/2009 Wow!! What a red trip. I took my old buddy, Gene Smith, from Starkville, Miss. and his
two friends, Rodger and Victor down the River chasing reds. We left Venice Marina kinda late
because it was cold. We bundled up and ran the cold River. My first stop was where I mauled them
two days ago. One red for the box and then nada-nothing. Moved to another spot -nada again. 3rd
spot-nada. 4th spot-nada. 5th spot-paydirt!!. Gene hooked up and I stuck the Power Pole and we
never moved again. We put our limit in the box and then it was catch and release for two hours.
Rodger kept saying, "I can't believe we are releasing these beautiful fish". But we did. After about
45 fish, I had had enough. We bundled back up and headed up the cold Mississippi. Wish every
day could be like today.
11/21/2008 I rarely donate a trip, but when my daughter asked me to donate one for a raffle to
raise funds for my grandson's football team - the Southside Patriots - I couldn't refuse. A young
lady by the name of Barbara Stapleton won the raffle and we booked for last Wednesday. She
brought along two friends - Gina and Eloise - who work with her. These ladies were all novice
anglers, so I knew I had to find a close, easy place to fish and to bring live shrimp to help catch the
My first stop was my last stop. Barbara had a fish on before I got the other ladies rigged up. We
were fishing Carolina riggs in 8 feet of water. It's very easy to Carolina rig with braided line. I use
a 1 - ought Kale hook with split shot about 3 feet above the hook. No swivels, leader, beads,or
anything else. Works great and is very simple.
My guests kept me very busy baiting hooks and taking fish off the line. Eloise caught a 26in red
and played him like a pro. It was steady, constant action with lots of squeals and high fives from
the ladies. Gina was the only one with fishing experience and at first she kept ahead of the
others. However, Barbara and Eloise caught on quickly and we had a ball. At 10:00am we had 65
trout, 5 stripers, 8 reds, and 2 large blue cats. What a day! It's days like this that make my jog fun.
10/27/2008 October in the Delta. I haven't posted many reports lately. My internet in Venice has
been down since the hurricanes and I don't have it up and running yet. I'm in Denham Springs at
my wife's computer right now and my trip yesterday was so good I had to post it.
I took Brian Neal of Hammond and Bob Moore of Baton Rouge on a "Delta Delite". We headed out
of the Venice Marina at almost good lite(dark), and went south. My first stop produced a trout on
the first cast. Bob had a 3 pounder. Then Brian caught a 26 inch red. This went on for an hour or
so till we had our limit of reds and about 30 specks. I moved about a half mile to a spot I've never
fished but always wanted to. Bam, the trout were there, and we finished our limit. It was only 10:30
and was too beautiful a day to go in so I headed to another favorite spot. The reds were stacked.
They kept grabbing Brian's "Aggrivator" cork so they tied on topwaters and the show was on. It
was topwater catch and release. I got to do the releasing. These reds actually liked Brian's cork
better than the top dogs. They would grab it and run for 10 to 20 yards before spitting it out. I've
never seen two men have more fun fishing, it was great.
The River is down and green, the weather is beautiful, and the fishing is on.
9/24/2008 First trip after the storms. The two hurricanes really slowed me down and I hadn't
fished for over two weeks when Dan Sturgon of Sabel Steel called and wanted a trip for last
weekend. He had 2 friends, Keith and Marcus,and they all wanted to catch some fish. I told him he
was buying "pot-luck" but I would give it my best shot. I had no idea of the water conditions much
less the water hazards left by our two storms. We met at Venice Marina at 6am. The big Skeeter
was loaded with live bait, market bait, ice, fuel, and tackle, and we headed out. The predicted high
east winds sent me to the west side. The water was off color at my first stop, but we started
picking up a few trout. Live shrimp under a cork was the ticket. It was slow but steady and in a
couple hours we had 35 beauties in the box. My guys asked for reds so I moved several miles to
my red spot and directly we had a red on the line. Same story as the trout, slow but steady. By
1pm we had our limit of reds, all in the 22 inch class. The box was full so we headed for the
landing. Great trip for "pot-luck".
The storms pounded but didn't hurt the fishing in Venice. The marinas are open, the restaurants
are open, and I'm open for business.
8/15/2008 Running of the Bulls. I took Christie and Jamie Holwager down in the Delta on
Thursday. Christie works in the fishing department of the Denham Springs Bass Pro Shop, and
she won a trip with me, Big "O", for being their best salesperson. She had never caught a bull red
and Jamie had never been fishing. They were both in for a treat.
I headed to where I slammed the reds 2 days ago and naturally there was nothing there. My
second spot produced nothing. My 3rd, nothing. 4th, nothing. Getting worried? Me too. My 5th
stop was paydirt. My first cast hit the water and went down with the reel screaming. I handed the
rod to Christie and she fought the bull like a pro. We landed her, high fived, took pictures, and
released her to fight another day. Then Jamie got in the act. He fought his red to the boat and we
repeated the above. We caught and released about 5 more and then went looking for keepers.
After a boring hour, Christie said how much fun it was catching those bulls. I took the hint and
headed back. We caught and released at least 12 more and broke off a bunch. We also boxed a
limit of keepers and several trout.
This was a trip I don't think Christie or Jamie will ever forget.
7/21/2008 Hot time on the reefs. Today I took my good client Many Guileyardo and his 2 son-in-
laws, Danny Brown and Trey Neathery looking for trout. I needed a break from downriver and I felt
confident about the oyster reefs behind Buras. We left Venice Marina at good light and headed
west. My first stop and the first cast produced a trout. It was on. This was not a fish every cast day
but the bite was steady and the trout were solid, 16 to 18". We had about 50 in the box when the
bite quit. We hung around the reef for awhile thinking it would start again but it didn't happen. We
did pick up 4 nice reds. I moved to another spot. And got into them again. We were out of shrimp
so I switched my guys to the Billy Bay Jumping Halo in his Grass color. Just like the real thing.
These fish were bigger than the ones we caught on live crickets. By noon our box was full, the
sun was overhead and I brought my men back to the dock before the brutal afternoon. Great Day!!
7/17/2008 Reds in the Delta. Monday and Tuesday of this week I took my old friend, Gene Smith,
from Miss. along with his Texas friends, Joe Ashy, Pat Gray and Gilmer Abels, to chase the reds
down in the Delta. These guys were willing to catch trout but reds were there fish of choice. My
first stop was a bummer. No reds no trout no nothing. After an hour of frustration I moved to a little
protected cove, anchored down, and decided to chum up some reds. I chummed with market bait
and soon we caught our first red. A few minutes later another. Then the bite really turned on and
over the next 4 hours we boxed our limit and then caught and released another limit or two. These
were all perfect size reds for the grill. We then moved to look for some bulls and they were located
along a little deserted beach. We only landed a couple, but the reels were screaming for 2 hours.
We headed in to beat the heat and repeated the same trip on Tuesday. These were great guys and
we all had a great time.
6/26/2008 Hot times in the Delta. I haven't posted in awhile, I've been too busy fishing. The high
River has slowed the trout bite downriver a little but the quality has been up there and the reds are
everywhere. 4 & 5 pound trout are being caught mostly with live shrimp or croakers at the rigs.
The reds are plentiful and are taking market bait under a cork.
Today I had Steve, Bill and Phil from Memphis and we pounded the keeper reds(18" to 22"). WE
kept our limit and released for several hours. These guys wanted reds and the Delta was there to
oblige. Venice is hot as always, both fish and temperature.
6/11/2008 Three days in a row with the St. Louis bunch. Alan Schweiss, David Bade and his son
Drew fished with me Monday through Wednesday and each day was different and awesome.
Today was the best. I started out looking for reds which is unusual for me, but I just felt like
waking up the reds. After putting a limit in the box we started looking for trout. Boy, did we find
them. These were big sows, "Yellow Mouths" as they call them and plenty of them. We had
crickets under a cork and they were doing there job. Every trout was 3 to 5 pounds. By 10:30 my
box couldn't hold another trout. We were out of shrimp and out of ice chests so we headed for
Venice Marina to get out of the heat. Three great days with three great guys. I hope we can do it
5/19/2008 Slammed-Um- I fished with 3 Razorbacks today. Chris, Mike and Dennis, all from
Arkansas, were ready to leave the dock at 5:30, so I cranked up the big Skeeter and made a
beautiful early morning run down the Mississippi. When I got to my first stop there were 2 boats
already there. We found a hole, anchored up and started drowning crickets. We picked up a few
trout but it was slow. After an hour I picked up the pole and headed to my second spot. I had
caught fish here yesterday and I felt confident. They didn't seem to want bait so I switched to
black and chautruse on the bottom. Bam- a 4 pounder. I immediately rerigged everyone and we all
started to hit them. The bite slowed after about an hour so I moved about 100 yards and again
found the trout. We also were picking up a few reds and Dennis landed a bull - 27 pounds. When
this bite slowed I moved back to my original spot and switched back to the cricket under a cork.
The tide had changed and the water got dirty but the trout were still there. We ended the day with
a full box of beautiful trout and Mike landed one 7 pounder. A Big trout in anybody's book. We
also had a limit of keeper reds and lots of great memories.
5/10/2008 WE WACKED-UM! Today I took David Johnson, his dad Don, and friend Will Pearce.
Our first stop was dynamite. We started at 7 and by 8:15 we had our limit of beautiful Delta trout.
The box was full. We used live bait along with the Betts Jumping Halo Shrimp. It is probably the
best plastic shrimp I have ever used. We eased out of our spot so we wouldn't mess up the bite
for the other boats and went looking for reds. Two stops and nothing. The third was paydirt. I had
to make my guys empty their drinks out of their ice chest to make room for the fish. By 10:00 we
had our limit. For the next hour it was catch and release. Don got tired like me so we just watched
the boys battle the reds. It was high 5's at 11:00 and we headed in. Venice is exploding. The River
has turned the corner and the fish know it.
5/1/2008 Another red day in the Delta. Today I took my younger brother, Roy, along with his two
friends, Kenny Varin and Kenny Waters on their annual fishing bash. They do this every year and
naturally the wind had to blow like the second coming of Katrina. Trout were out but reds were in.
I told them I wouldn't even look for trout but I felt like I could find a spot out of the wind where
there might be a few reds. We got-um. Market bait under a cork and it was on. Not every cast but a
good bite. By noon we had our limit and headed to the Venice Marina dock. I'm going to have
dinner with these guys tonight and try to do it again tomorrow.
4/29/2008 WOW, the Reds are Running! I had the pleasure of taking 3 male nurses from the
Shreveport area today. Alex, Heath, and Doug met me at Venice Marina about 6:15 am. We had a
nice easy ride down the Muddy Mississippi. About halfway to where I was headed I changed my
mind and headed to a spot I fished 2 weeks ago. I don't know why I changed but it was a good
move. The first hour was slow. Then they busted loose. There were reds everywhere. We were
throwing market bait under a cork and by 8:45 we had our limit in the box. From then on it was
catch and release. I lost count around 70 but I'm pretty sure we landed and released over 100
reds. Again, WOW. I'm taking these same men tomorrow, but I don't know if I can repeat. There is
never 2 days alike in the Delta.
4/20/2008 Put the "Hammer" down. After 2 months of looking at muddy water I finally hit paydirt
today. My good friend, Dr. Charles Dahlke, and his friends, Jimmy Weilder and Bill Blair, all of
Columbus, Miss. met me at Venice Marina at 7am. Doc had been fishing behind Buras and told me
the water was too dirty to catch trout. I decided to take them downriver to look for trout and if we
struck out I knew I could find a bunch of reds. This was the first day I've had in a long time without
wind or fog. It was a pleasure to ride down the Mississippi. My first stop looked kinda bad, no fish
for 30 minutes. As I trolled closer to the canes I could see the water get a little cleaner. This gave
me hope. Doc and Bill were throwing topwater, Wiley had black and chautruse on the bottom and
I had an electric chicken under a cork. Finally Wiley had a hit an miss, went back and hooked up.
He boated a beautiful 3 pounder. Directly he hooked up again and then all 4 of us were throwing
black and chautruse. They wanted it on the bottom and we were happy to oblige. This time of year
when we have a high River there is a layer of fresh water on top and salt water on the bottom. This
can happen in very shallow water. The water we were fishing was only 3 feet. The action got fast
and furious and all the fish were "hammers", I mean 2 to 5 pounds. I got so excited that I quit
fishing and cranked up my video camera to record this fiasco. In 1 1/2 hours we had 48 trout in my
100 qt box. I took all the ice out and then put a small layer on top. I couldn't close the lid. These
were big yellow mouths and the best trip I've had in over a year. I told my guys that we were not
going to keep anymore fish and they were happy to catch and release. We did this for another
hour, the tide got slack and the bite quit. I've got some great video and several good still pictures.
I'll try to post some stills tomorrow but right now I'm too tired. The Delta paid great dividends
4/19/2008 I was asked by Venice Marina several weeks ago if I could take a trip for a large
insurance company who were bringing their employees on a fishing trip/tournament/good time.
Naturally I jumped at the chance. I met Trey, Christian, and Pansy, at the fish cleaning dock about
7:30 am. I was there at 4:45 and had to wait. No problem, I'm always there at 4:45. There were
about 15 or 16 boats running in this group and all the guests stayed up late the night before for
their party and crawfish boil. I headed down the "muddy" River with my clients and told them we
were chasing reds today. My first stop proved good. Market bait under a cork proved to be the
ticket. We boated 8 in about an hour and a half and then the bite stopped. Slack tide. Two hours
later all we had boated was a 10 pound blue cat. Then around 11:00 I eased into a little pocket and
it was on. At high noon we had our limit of beautiful 20 to 26 inch reds and headed for home. Trey
had the 2 biggest that he weighed in the tournament. Christian and Pansy were great troopers
and excellent fisherwomen. I'll take them anytime. Thanks to Venice Marina and Capt. Jimmy
Gringo for asking me.
4/18/2008 Easy Living-I was asked by my good friend, Capt. Larry, to take 3 of his regular clients
on a trip because he was already booked with another Captain. I met his buddies at the Venice
Marina about 6:30, we loaded and hit the high, muddy, ugly, Mississippi River. I've been getting
lots of calls about the fishing with the high River. My answer to all callers is that the red fish
fishing is awesome, and we should start seeing good catches of trout in another week. The wind
has been more trouble than the River. Back to my trip. I pulled the big Skeeter to my first stop,
stuck the pole, rigged market bait under a cork and started catching reds. I've had some good
luck the past several weeks with spinners but today they wanted shrimp. It wasn't fast and furious
but they were all catching and having a good time. Most of these reds were the "good" ones,17"
to 20" with a couple 26's mixed in. We had our limit after about 2 hours and then it was catch and
release. Lots of fun.
4/7/2008 Red weekend on a rising River. I had the pleasure this weekend of entertaining Ed
Williams, Promotions Manager of Bass Pro Shops, and his Assistant, Gina Landry. We were all
there for the Fishermen for Bryce fund raiser tournament on Saturday out of Venice Marina. I took
Ed and Gina down the "muddy" River on Friday to scout for the tournament. We got into the reds
and a slow rolled spinner bait produced the most bites. We caught a few on market bait under a
cork, but Ed showed me the light with his spinners. Gina caught on the spinner quickly, and we
soon had a limit of keepers in the box. I knew where I was going on tournament day.
Saturday morning dawned foggy and rainy, and tournament director, Dennis Bardwell, wisely
held up the start until 8:00am. My competitors were George and his two young friends from
Ponchatoula. I had the spinners already tied on when we hit my spot and George hooked up on
his first cast. We boated 7 keepers that were all 25 plus inches and George said not to keep
anymore. Feels good to have people who want to conserve our resources. We caught and
released for two hours, got soaking wet in a driving rainstorm and headed in around noon. Our
fish didn't win the prize but the fund raiser tournament was a winner in the harts of everyone who
participated. I enjoyed it and so did my clients and so did my friends from Bass Pro.
Sunday was "kick-back" time for me. I took Ed and Gina to a close spot to finish my red weekend
and got skunked for 3 hours. Then we put market bait on the bottom in the muddy water and hit
paydirt. After boating our limit we released another 15 or 20 and headed in. My thanks to Ed and
Gina of Bass Pro for an enjoyable weekend and to the organizers of Fishermen for Bryce for the
opportunity to help in the tournament.
3/30/2008 Another good day in Venice. Many Guilliardo and his brother, Tiny, and nephew, Scott,
met me in the fog at Venice Marina at 6:30 am. I had reservations about going out in that much fog
but decided to ease out of the marina and give it a look. I idled for about 2 miles and then we got a
little break so I picked the big Skeeter up on step and eased through the clouds. Its surprising just
how slow you can keep this boat on plane especially with trim tabs. We took our time and 30
minutes later we were where I caught them on Friday. These men have been with me before and
they are a lot of fun. We had both live bait and a bunch of the jumping "Halo" shrimp. I rigged
them about 18" under a rattlin cork and we were off and running. It sure is fun to see those corks
go under and then start rattlin when the trout surfaces and starts shaking and baking. 35 trout
later my bite slowed so I went hunting. We picked a few here and there but no hard bite. Two
hours later I told my guys that we were going back to where we started. I new the trout were there
we just had to find them. It was slow but by 1:00pm we had a limit along with 2 drums and 1
keeper red. We caught 15 reds but all were short by 1/4" as usual. Tiny, also, caught the biggest
stingray I've seen in a long time. These guys had enough so Many broke out the fried chicken and
cokes. We had our Delta picnic and headed in with a full belly and a full box of trout.
3/28/2008 Finally a trout bite. I've been fighting muddy waters, high winds and few trout for
several weeks but today was sweet. I met Robert Ballard of Zachary and his two friends, Eric and
James, at Venice Marina at about 7am. We loaded the big Skeeter and headed to the same spot I
fished yesterday. Yesterday I caught 21 trout but I had a tough wind and dirty water. Today was
different. We had almost no wind, imagine that!! We started out with the jumping halo shrimp
under a cork and picked up several trout, but not the "mother load". I jumped around over the
next couple hours and picked up some more, but we still had "off color" water. Then I hit green
water with lots of bait. PAY DIRT. Over the next two hours we caught our limit along with about 15
undersize reds. By 1:00pm the box was full. We looked for bigger reds but only found one along
with 2 big drums. Not a bad day. The Halo Jumping Shrimp is one of the best plastic shrimps I
have ever used, and it last forever.
3/14/2008 Had a 3 boat trip today with my buddy, Richard Manzella of Cembell Industries, and a
bunch of his friends. Capt. Jeff and Capt. Raymond were good enough to help me and we all left
the Venice Marina dock at 7am. We headed downriver and were greeted with a "pea-soup" fog.
That happens often this time of year. We idled for about 5 miles until we hit one of the passes and
the fog lifted. Up and running, we made it to our spot, got anchored, and started catching. These
men wanted reds and the Delta supplied them. There is lots of ways to catch reds but this time of
year its hard to beat market bait under a rattling cork. The trick is to put a whole shrimp on a jig
head, throw it out and make plenty of noise with the cork. Reds have a tough time finding your
bait in muddy water but if you make enough noise they will come to it. After you "pop" the cork let
it sit about 15 seconds, the pop it again. After we had our boxes full of reds we headed back up
the foggy Mississippi. It was worse at 2pm than it was at 7am. I got lost for awhile but with Capt.
Raymond's help and Richard's eyes I made it back. If you run the River this time of year be very
careful, it can be dangerous.
2/4/2008 I've been deer hunting for the last month so I haven't had many fish stories to report.
However, deer season is over and its back to fishing for me. I went on a little scouting trip out of
Venice yesterday. There wasn't much water anywhere but we managed to find a limit of reds in
about 3 hours. Bait of choice was Tsunami's tipped with market bait. This spring is starting to fill
up fast, so if you want a charter in April, May, or June give me a call at 225-978-1136, or check my
web at www.BIGOCHARTERS.COM.
I am on the Pro Staff of the new Bass Pro Shop that is opening in Denham Springs. I'll be working
their Conservation Night this Wednesday and will be in the fishing dept on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday. If you want to see a great store and meet and talk fishing, come on out and ask for Big
"O" See you there.