Monday, October 24, 2022

Toledo Bend Rendezvous this weekend

A reminder that this weekend, October 28-30, marks the return of Rendezvous at North Toledo Bend State Park in Zwolle, LA.  For 33 years, one of the longest running casual gatherings of fly tiers in the country. 

Open to everyone, whether you tie flies or just enjoy watching.  The group facilities allow for overnight stays.  With only a minimal fee to cover lodging and activities. The event is open to everyone, and families are encouraged!

It’s never too late to make plans to attend.  You can read more details on our September 4th post but we suggest for more updated info to go directly to the Rendezvous website at

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Fall fishing turning on!

Marsh fishing is getting better every day!  The cooler days and nights, along with low river water and drier conditions, have helped specks migrate further into the marshes. Right now, some good catches are being reported - specks, reds, and white trout. The specks and whites are feeding on clouser and shrimp patterns suspended under a VOSI. A lot of feeding activity is taking place under diving birds. 

Specks are fun with a 6-weight or 7-weight, but better bring an 8-weight or maybe a 9-weight for redfish.  That's because the reds are feeling their Fall vigor, and even some bull reds have moved into the marsh.

Freshwater wise, bass continue to chase schools of shad on northern and central reservoirs, with outstanding catches taking place on Toledo Bend. Crappie fishing has been hot, as the fish have moved into the shallow areas near fallen trees and boathouses.  Fluff Butts or Crappie Candies suspended 3-4 feet under a strike indicator is one method, while working Silli Minnows along deeper dropoffs is another. 

Friday, October 07, 2022

Commission votes for new trout regulations

Yesterday at their October meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission adopted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to change speckled trout regulations.

  • Current: 12-inch minimum size / 25 daily bag limit
  • Proposed: 13.5-inch minimum size / 15 daily bag limit

When adopted, this rule will become statewide, removing the separate regulations in coastal western Louisiana.  The Commission’s adoption of an NOI is the first step in promulgating a final rule, which is usually adopted in 90 days. Comments to the proposed rule may be submitted before December 30, 2022. The full notice of intent can be found here:

At the Commission meeting, biologist Jason Adriance reiterated some of the data given since the issue of recruitment failure arose three years ago. He also addressed some of the comments received during the past weeks. With regards to concerns that increasing size would result in much greater propotional harvest of females to males, his data showed that increasing to 13.5 inches would only result in a 3 percent increase greater harvest. With regards to concerns that guide limits contribute to a substantial harvest, the data showed that eliminating guide limits would have less than 1-percent increase in spawning biomass.

Adriance pointed out that we are at our lowest proportion of age 3+ fish in the history of stock assessment, with only 5-percent of female trout reaching age 3. This is critical because, at age 3 or roughly 14 inches, all female trout have spawned at least one season, and in some cases, 2 seasons. At 13.5 inches and a 15-fish limit, the increase in spawning stock would be 20 percent – the goal needed to recover to above the conservation standard.

Nearly all of the 20 persons who commented after the presentation were in favor of a 15 daily bag limit. There was approximately 2-to-1 in favor of keeping the minimum size limit at 12 inches. Many of the respondents stated that Louisiana needs to fix the problems that are causing reduced numbers of trout and even redfish. As pointed out by Commission members, these are beyond the scope of LDWF and will likely take much longer to resolve, and for now, changing limits is the only viable solution.

LDWF will receive comments over the next 90 days before a final action is taken.  We strongly encourage our readers to send their comments to LDWF in support of a 13.5", 15-trout limit.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

LWF Commission to consider new speck limits this Thursday

At their upcoming monthly meeting on Thursday, October 6th, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will consider a Notice of Intent (NOI) to modify limits on speckled trout. Currently the daily bag limit is 25 fish with a 12 inch minimum size, except for the Calcasieu/Sabine estuaries where the daily limit is 15.   A NOI is a proposal that must go through a period of public comment for 90 days, after which it can be voted on by the Commission into regulation.

The recruitment of spawning spotted seatrout in Louisiana has been below the conservation standard for nearly 8 years.  Many of us have witnessed first-hand the decline in speckled trout fishing over the past decade.  There are several factors for this, but none of the solutions can be easily addressed.

At this time, the only viable solution is to increase the number of juvenile trout entering the fishery. LDWF biologists have proposed several scenarios which encompass either (a) increasing the size limit, (b) lowering the daily creel limit, (c) some combination of both. 

CCA Louisiana is pushing for a 12-inch, 15 daily bag limit.  Their press release stated, “The CCA Louisiana’s Science Committee and many others have concerns about the impact on female trout if a shift to a larger minimum size adjustment occurs. Moving to a 13-inch or 13.5-inch minimum size seems drastic and unnecessary. Such a change could damage the female population, and have tremendous negative impacts…”.

However, the Fly Fishers International (FFI) Gulf Coast Council (GCC) continues to support a 14-inch minimum size limit, as they did back in 2020. 

According to their press release, "Scientists across the Gulf Coast are recognizing that without protection of the primary seatrout spawning population, overfishing will continue to be a problem as fishing participation rises and anglers become more efficient. Having a 14-inch minimum size not only brings us above the conservation standard in short time, but also gives us a long-range safety net.".

FFI-GCC also points out that there is very small difference in female-male populations above 14 inches, that the discrepancy doesn't become large until a minimum size of 20 inches is imposed, and that of the other 10 other states that manage speckled trout, none have a minimum size limit less than 14 inches.

A group of Grand Isle charter captains support a 12-inch limit, but have offered a compromise: Zone Management.  This would allow a 12-inch/15-fish limit in the Barataria-Terrebonne estuaries (Southeast Zone), while the Ponchartrain (East), Vermillion (Southwest) and Calcasieu/Sabine (West) could have a larger size limit.

Whichever you support, changes do need to be made.  The status quo is unsustainable for good fishing to continue.  Please send your comments to the Commission by email: