Bayou Liberty offers variety of species
by joe macaluso
Advocate Outdoors writer
November 17, 2012
Bass. Redfish. Speckled trout and white trout. Flounder. Drum. Croaker.
How many trips? One, to Bayou Liberty on Friday with Jeff Bruhl and his cousin Tommy.
Jeff Bruhl is a fisherman, and Friday morning he and Tommy reminisced about growing up in the country, where fishing, hunting, planting and tending family gardens and playing football were as common to the Bruhls as the sun rising in the east. Tommy Bruhl loved it so much that after his football days at Nicholls State, he went to work for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
There’s no more country, not in Covington, not after Hurricane Katrina. Concrete is today where squirrels and rabbits provided dinner year ago.
But Bayou Liberty and the other Florida Parishes’ bayous within 40-minute drives of Covington hold more than enough action for the Bruhls. Years spent on the Tchefuncte, Lacombe, Liberty and Pearl taught him when and how.
The where is easy: Bayou Liberty Marina is off La. 433. You get there by taking Exit 80 south off Interstate 12, driving to U.S. 190, then taking a right a short ways to a left on La. 433. Cross the bridge a couple of miles down the road, and there’s the marina and its $5 launch fee.
Fishing literally is a minute away: Jeff Bruhl’s second cast with a spinnerbait produced an eating-sized bass. More followed, but it didn’t take long for his want to prove that the 40-keeper speckled trout catch a week before wasn’t a fluke.
As soon as he approached Liberty’s outflow into Lake Pontchartrain, Jeff Bruhl’s face turned sour: “Not the same. Too much freshwater. The fish have moved,” he said.
What happened was some trout moved deep, away from the banks that had produced trout a few days before, and that’s where a handful of specks, white trout, five fit-for-a-restaurant-platter flounder, a 15-inch-long croaker and redfish inhaled bluish Zoom flukes and Gulp! Jerk Shad.
“It’s going to be like this until the cold weather finally pushes the trout into the lake,” Jeff Bruhl said. “That’s when we head to the Causeway. Until then, this is just fine. You just have to fish here when the water is moving. There are baitfish everywhere, but they leave when it gets cold and the trout follow them to the lake.”