July 18, 2013 - The latest report for the Venice, Bayou Black and Pearl River.

Rising Rivers
There is a slight rise coming to the rivers in our state. The bump is enough to impact the fishing for the next week or so. Reports this week are good for the Basin, Bayou Black, Venice, Delacroix, and Pearl River. Other rivers along the coast are dependent on local rain fall. Overall, the weather is hot but so is the fishing.

Basin Lighthouse Bassmasters launch out of Bayou Pigeon last week. Skip Rayborn locked in a solid lead in the AOY race with a twelve pound stringer. My day was over around nine because my ten pound stringer did not get any heavier as the day wore on. Grand Lake was the place to be. The water was clean and a pretty green color. Punching an Okeechobee Pit Boss with a 3/8 ounce sinker put five fish in the boat in about 30 minutes. The shady side of the islands in Grand Lake provided cooler water. Later, partner Barry James used a black and blue jig around Cypress trees on the west side of the lake to catch a limit.

Later in the day we headed to Catfish Bayou. The water is not low enough to push the fish out of the woods. Also, with the water rising from the river, it does not look like the water will fall out of the wood for another few weeks. Some of the panfish anglers we spoke to reported having a decent day with perch and crappie(sac-au-lait) throughout the area. Bayou Pigeon was muddy all the way across. The northern edge of the bayou was showing signs of clean water. Again, the rising water was holding the clean water from spilling over into the main bayou.

Venice (and Delacroix)
Media Bass launch from Venice last week. The Mississippi River was around ten feet on the NOLA gauge. Anglers reported Delacroix was where the winners went due to high water in the Venice area. However, anglers reported catching bass in Venice. Hopefully, the fall will be good. Last year’s storm and saltwater intrusion made the area tough on bass anglers. There were about 20 limits brought to the scale with a few over ten pounds. Although this is not weights to write home about, the road to recovery is there. The river should be down over the next few weeks to a fishable level. I will keep my ears open for more Venice action.

Bayou Black
If you want to play find the right runout game, Bayou Black is the spot. Business may be location, location, location but bass fishing is all about the honey hole. When the conditions are right, one drain will produce a limit. Start with topwaters like a frog or popper then anglers can punch cover around the drains. Look for falling tides and early or late major feeding periods for the best chance to catch fish.

Pearl River
It still takes about eleven pounds to get a check from the local boys. Often, fifteen or more is what is needed to win. Six months of high water has protected the fish. With the water below flood levels, some big fish are coming to the scales. Topwaters are great early morning tactics. Pitching plastic or rolling a spinnerbait around cover is another tactic after the sun comes up. Like other areas in the state, look for the Pearl to rise over the next few weeks, then fall. After that happens, the West should be hot. Overall, the Pearl is a nice trip for local anglers.