John's Journal...

A Look at the Hurricanes Effect on Gulf Coast Fishing

More on Louisiana Fishing with Kirk Stansel

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the fishermen at Lake Calcasieu near Lake Charles, Louisiana, still had good lives and enjoyed outstanding fishing. The storm brought in plenty of speckled trout and redfish. Many of the tourist areas along the Gulf Coast had shut down, but the fishing business boomed. However, anglers knew that good times generally didn’t last, and bad times might follow. Four weeks later, Click to enlargeHurricane Rita jumped right in the middle of Lake Calcasieu. Although most people around the nation remember Katrina and its devastating effort on New Orleans, the anglers at Lake Calcasieu never will forget Rita. But, on the heels of Rita came some of the best trout fishing Lake Calcasieu has had in years. We’ve talked to two fishermen who guide and operate businesses on Calcasieu – Captain Jeff Poe of Big Lake Guide Service and Kirk Stansel of Hackberry Rod & Gun. Let’s listen to their stories about what happened and what you can expect this summer and fall, if you’re planning a fishing trip to Lake Calcasieu.

Click to enlargeIn the spring of 2006, the trout fishing has been outstanding,” Kirk Stansel reports. “We’re locating schools of trout from one end to the other end of the lake, even in muddy water, which always has been a tough task for successful fishing, even before Hurricane Rita. So many trout are out there in Lake Calcasieu now. We still have some customers who want to fish with live bait, and we certainly allow them to, but you can get your limit of trout with artificial lures now with no problem. We’ve been seeing big fish since April 2006, at Calcasieu. We’ve already seen a few 6- and 7-pound specks, and the sizes of fish our anglers are bringing in now are much better than they were last fall. I really feel like the big fish will move in with the first new moon in June, since that’s usually when we start seeing Click to enlargethose 8-, 9- and 10-pound fish. Our bookings have been slow up until now because most of our customers who fish with us prefer to come and stay at our lodge. But many of them now say they’re returning to fish at Hackberry as soon as we get our lodge back up and running. Our summertime fishing is usually the best time to catch trout and redfish. So, if you’re going to book, now’s the time, since we have people calling every day and booking the lodge for when it re-opens.”

To learn more about fishing at Hackberry Rod & Gun, call 888-762-3391, or visit

Tomorrow: Fishing Calcasieu with Kirk Stansel

Check back each day this week for more about " A Look at the Hurricanes Effect on Gulf Coast Fishing"

Day 1: Captain Jeff Poe
Day 2: More Louisiana Fishing with Captain Jeff Poe
Day 3: Kirk Stansel on Calcasieu Fishing
Day 4: More on Louisiana Fishing with Kirk Stansel
Day 5: Fishing Calcasieu with Kirk Stansel


Entry 359, Day 4