2006 Speck Forecast – Louisiana Sportsman Content, LA

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita put trout fishing on hold across much of the state, but once anglers were able to get back on the water, success harkened back to days of yore when limits came fast and furious and competition from other anglers was almost nil.

“I had many, many trips where I limited out on reds and trout in two hours,” Ron Price of Fishing Intimidator Guide Service said. “I had some trips where I limited out on striped bass as well, and didn’t have to pull the anchor.

“You cast in one direction and catch a trout. You cast in another direction and catch a red. You cast in another direction and catch a bass.”

Price concentrated his efforts in the Mississippi River from the Jump in Venice to Buras, and said every cut he stopped held fish.

“You couldn’t go anywhere without catching fish,” he said. “Fish were bunched up.”

Similar reports of incredible fishing came out of Delacroix, Big Lake and other waters slammed by the two monster storms, but Price said he wonders if all the quick creels accurately reflected the health of the trout population following the storm.

“You’re talking about a lot of fish in the river system, but it’s hard to say that the fish all survived,” Price said of his stomping grounds. “How many fish actually died in the storm? I don’t think we’re going to know until after the spring.

“I don’t think we’re hurting, but I don’t think it made it better.”

That’s the million-dollar question Louisiana Sportsman posed to Department of Wildlife & Fisheries biologist Harry Blanchet, who is responsible for keeping up with the health of marine fisheries within the state.

Predictably, Blanchet was reticent to make a hard-and-fast prediction on what the year holds for trout fishermen, but he said the hurricanes really shouldn’t have had much impact.

“To the best of our ability to determine, the storms really did not affect the trout populations,” he said. “The primary thing the storms did was, along…

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