Fishin' Game Report: Cocodrie reds and trout iced over!
Frank Davis / Fishing Expert
This week’s Fishin’ Game Report schedule was to have taken us down to the
marshes behind LUMCON on the lower fringes of Chauvin. But our guide at Coco
Marina, Johnny Glover, called late Wednesday afternoon to give us the negative
“Frank, I’m not recommending that we even try to get in a fishing show
tomorrow,” he systematically explained. “We’ve been having biting cold
down here, which is supposed to bite even harder tonight and tomorrow, and it’s
been accompanied by strong northerly winds, gusting sometimes to 35 and 40 miles
per hour, which consequently has driven just about all the water out of the
marsh areas where I wanted to take you to fish, leaving us with nothing but a
big ol’ very definable mud flat.
“Frank, sadly, we aren’t gonna catch a thing tomorrow morning!”
After having fished with Johnny every single week for well over 25 years I
had come to totally respect his evaluations. If he said “the fishin’ is out,”
then we both knew that “the catchin’ was out” too!
“I suggest that your TV viewers just push their fishin’ plans into the
weekend, which is predicted to be significantly better for catching some of
those wintertime reds and trout,” he said.
Johnny seemed to have a real handle on the forecast.
Carl Arredondo, Laura Buchtel and Dawn Brown in our weather center all
concurred that while the weekend would still be a little breezy (quite a
difference from the 35 and 40 mile per hour gusts that plagued Lower Terrebonne
the rest of the week), both Saturday and Sunday was expected to have sunshine, a
few scattered clouds, and somewhat mild temperatures—lows in the 50’s and
highs around 68. And the chance of rain was at only 30 percent.
“That’s good fishing weather in anybody’s book, Franko!” Johnny
And the winter fishing below Cocodrie has indeed been good. All the veteran
anglers who spend a great deal of the cold weather months on the LUMCON marshes
will reluctantly divulge that nice numbers of redfish in the 3 to 5 pound range,
as well as a respectable number of flounders, are holding on the flats and
points from just below the marina out to, say, Bayou Sale and beyond. And some
pretty decent-size speckled trout seem to be stacking up in the deeper marsh
channels, close to the bottom, where the water is warmer than it is on the
“Fish the reds either tightline on a Carolina or really shallow under a
popping cork,” Johnny hinted confidently. “Fish the trout down deep,
preferably where two bayous or canals intersect, on either a Carolina or a
plain, unpainted, quarter-ounce jig head. In both cases, live Cocahoe minnows
are your preferred bait, but you can’t completely rule out the effectiveness
of a plastic Cocahoe tail fished dead slow on the bottom or popped hard under a
“Frank, the fish are there!”
A couple of points to be made here:
1—Dress appropriately for wintertime marsh fishing. It really does get bone
chilling cold out there when the temperature drops quickly.
2—Go slow. . .especially in areas of low water. There are all kinds of mud
flats and sandbars and oyster reefs which sometimes lie “just below” the
water surface, plus a lot of remaining Katrina debris, that you simply just can’t
see. The last thing you want to do is “stick” a boat high and dry in the
midst of the winter season—you might not be able to get anyone to come out to
pull you off the obstruction for hours on end. Go slow!
3—The marina restaurant and ship’s store are closed for the winter
season, so you won’t be able run upstairs to get drinks and sandwiches or to
buy some missing tackle or last minute “essentials” that you left home.
Double-check everything at the house—and make sure you bring everything you
need with you, including bait.
4—The back-down ramp at Coco Marina, however, does remain open all winter
long, 24 hours a day. So you can plan on using it to launch your boat.
5—And finally, a number of Coco’s charter captain team does run
wintertime trips from about early December until about mid-March. So if you don’t
have a boat, or even if you do have a boat but don’t know your way around the
LUMCON backmarsh, feel free to place a call to the marina and book a date. The
phone number is 985-594-6626. If you reach the answering machine, leave a
message and a number. Either Johnny or Joanie Glover will call you back shortly
with a confirmation.
So that gets you up to snuff on the goings-on below Chauvin. Make no mistake
about it: there are fish there to be caught. All you have to do is pick your
days and conditions. Then go ahead and plan for that family fish fry!
Next Thursday I’ll sample Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Catherine, Lake Borgne,
the Chef, and the Rigolets for you with Capt. Kenny Kreeger. I’ll have the
story posted right here on our website (and on the air at 6 pm) as soon as we
make it back to the dock. Until then…
Happy New Year, y’all!
(Captain’s Note: LUMCON stands for Louisiana State University Marine
Consortium, a high tech marine research facility that sits on acre after acre of
Cocodrie marsh. If you ever get the opportunity, accept the invitation to visit