Monday, October 30, 2023

Rendezvous tops this week's top four

Here's what you need to know for this week:

1. Toledo Bend Rendezvous this weekend

For those unfamiliar with Rendezvous, it began 34 years ago when members of two clubs met at North Toledo Bend State Park to camp and fish. The following year, the clubs decided to rent the group facility.  Since then, fly tiers and other fly fishing enthusiasts from across several states – along with their families – have gathered for a weekend of fly tying and fishing with only a minimal fee to cover lodging and meals. Some are members of clubs, some are not. Rendezvous is open to all!

There are no organized activities. Everyone is welcome to come fish, tie flies, watch some of the region's top tiers, or tie themselves. You can come for the day or the entire weekend. If you come as a family, the rate for the entire weekend for the whole family or individual is just $40 which includes lodging. For one night lodging, the fee is $20 and for day only the fee is $10. For complete details, go to the Toledo Bend Rendezvous website at

2. New speckled trout regs could soon be law

In Sunday's Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper, Outdoors Editor Joe Macaluso reported that the Legislative Natural Resources Oversight Committee passed on the Wildlife Commission's proposed regulation for speckled trout. That means that new limits - 15 fish per day, with a 13"-20" slot size, and 2 fish allowed over the slot - could be law as early as November 20th.  I expect there will be some allowance for the new regulations to be fully publicized. Incidently, this new regulation is statewide.

3. Speaking of trout, will this cold bring them inside?

For most of October, the east side of the Mississippi River has been on fire for trout. Ponchartrain, Bayou Bienveneu, Lake Borgne, Shell Beach, Biloxi Marsh have all produced excellent numbers of both speckled and large white (sand) trout.

West of the river, it's been disappointing. Traditional October hotspots like Leeville, Catfish Lake, Pointe-aux-Chenes, Montegut, Dularge, Lake Prien have produced few stringers. Some reports on Facebook indicate the trout are still in the lower bays. Kayak anglers are hopeful this strong cold spell will help push the specks into the upper marsh.

4. Turnover requires a different approach

With low temperatures reaching the 30s and 40s across Louisiana, surface water on lakes gets cold and sinks to the bottom. Warmer water rises to the surface, gets cold and sinks. This repetitive pattern continues until equilibrium is established. "Turnover" usually results in several days of poor fishing and relocation of certain species. Sunfish go deep, chain pickeral move to the shallows, and crappie move into creeks, canals and bayous, or nearshore structure. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Louisiana fly anglers recognized with national awards

Yesterday the Fly Fishers International (FFI) announced the recipients of their 2023 Awards of Achievement. These annual awards acknowledge individuals and organizations who have advanced the FFI’s mission of conservation, education, and community.

Two Louisiana residents were recognized.

Chris Williams of Sorrento will recieve the FFI Fly Fishing Skills Education Award. This award is based upon extraordinary contribution or continuous prominent effort promoting comprehensive fly fishing education.  

Jeff Ferguson of Lafayette will receive the FFI Mel Krieger Fly Casting Instructor Award. This award, honors the late Mel Krieger, a legend in fly casting. It's presented to someone who has made significant contributions to the FFI Certified Casting Instructor Program, and have dedicated themselves to fly casting instruction.

Please join us in congratulating Chris and Jeff for their accolades and on the great work they’ve done. You can learn more about their contributions by checking out this post on the FFI Gulf Coast Council website post at

Chris, Jeff, and other 2023 FFI award recipients will be recognized in an Awards Ceremony to be held online on October 18th at 7:00pm CST. The public is welcomed to watch. Check out the FFI Awards Ceremony page at

Friday, October 06, 2023

Big day for fisheries conservation in Louisiana

At yesterday's monthly meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission acted on two items of significant interest to saltwater anglers.

1) Passed on NOI establishing a coastwide one-mile buffer zone for commercial harvesting of menhaden. The vote was by the narrowest of margins, 4-3, and must get a final approval based on economic considerations. But it's the first time we've gotten this far in establishing a one-mile buffer.

2) The Commission gave final approval to an NOI setting new redfish limits of 3 fish per day, 18-24 inch slot with no overslot. Now it goes to the Legislative Natural Resources Oversight Committee for final approval before it becomes law.

Many thanks to everyone involved who sent in comments, signed petitions, or showed up in person to comment.

The menhaden industry will fight hard to make sure the one-mile restriction doesn't become rule. In their comments, they suggested that limiting their access to pogies just off the beach would be a crushing blow to jobs and the coastal economy. While today's LWFC approval marks a step closer to success, this battle is far from over.