From the Sidelines

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 23, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / June 23, 1999

Anybody who has been out on the water with a pole in their hands understands quite well why it’s called fishing and not catching.

Fishing can be the most aggravating of sports at times with tangled lines, snares, bugs, bad weather and of course, the big ones that get away. Butit’s the allure of hooking that big one that makes it all worthwhile.

My dad has been taking me fishing for as long as I can remember. I canrecall catching croakers and catfish off the sea wall along Lake Pontchartrain and reeling in sunfish (perch as they are known here) along the banks of Lake Winona with my dad and grandfather in Minnesota.

We used to go crabbing in Grand Isle and crawfishing in Hahnville, stepping around sleeping snakes (what the heck was I thinking?).

Two Sundays ago, my dad, my brother and I went down to Mozambique Point and Black Bay. It was one of those days where the only thing bitingwas the sand flies. Still, for someone who hadn”t been fishing in almost ayear, it was fun (well, ok, maybe getting bit by sand flies wasn”t a thrill a minute).

But there is nothing like getting away from it all. And being out there,watching the sun come up over the marsh with its radiant colors and porpoises (or dolphins, I never knew what the difference was) swimming through the waves, you can certainly get an appreciation for God”s work.

The following Tuesday, our photographer, Tommy Williams, and I went down to Buras to do a story on Luling”s Ryan Lambert, the owner of Cajun Fishing Adventures and a guide for the past 17 years, for our River Current magazine.

After the interview with Lambert, he invited us to go on a fishing trip with two of his guides, Luke and Lloyd Landry, also from Luling. Thesewere two guys who truly loved fishing. Here they were, coming in from along day of taking customers out on the water and they couldn”t wait to go back out and do a little fishing for themselves.

They were also two guys who knew their craft. As we went out into BretonSound, it wasn”t long before both were pulling up speckled trout. I got myone and only soon afterwards but it was quite an experience feeling that tug at the end of the line and bringing in one of those beauties.

Here I was, out on the water with no land in sight, bringing in a fish while I was on the clock. What a country. The fishing soon slowed down as thestorms rolled in. But as we all agreed, even the worst day fishing beatsthe best day working.

I had some people ask my why we were profiling fishermen for this River Current which is on local athletes. “Fishermen are not athletes” I hadmore than one person tell me.

But as these guys could attest to, fishing is most definitely an athletic endeavor. Standing up for long periods of time, battling a fish, can bedemanding. Just ask any deep sea fisherman that has battled a marlin orsailfish for hours on end.

We here in Louisiana are lucky. We have an ample opportunity toparticipate in this sport, whether it be out in the gulf going after a tarpon or in the marshes looking for reds. And there are numerous places whereone can fish right from the shore. It is truly a sportsmen’s paradise.If you have a story you would like to share about a recent fishing trip, feel free to stop by the paper or call us at 652-9545.

And if you have a picture, whether it be of your son or daughter”s first fish or a catch you would like to show off, stop by or mail to L’Observateur, P.O. Box 1010, LaPlace, LA 70069-1010.

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