This blog originates on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, in Louisiana. It proposes to share the things that happen on and by the river as the seasons progress. As the river changes from quiet, warm, slow flow to rises of eighteen feet or more, there are changes in the lives of the birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles that use the river. And the mood of the river changes with the seasons. I propose to note and comment on these things.

My Photo
Location: Butte La Rose, Louisiana, United States

I transitioned a few years ago from a career as a water-pollution control biologist. I want to do this blog to stay in touch with a world outside my everyday surroundings, whatever they may be. I like open-minded company and the discussion of ideas. Photo by Brad Moon.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Knots and Stageons

One of my friends, Randy by name, asked for a little more information on how the trotline is put together. I managed to get out on the river this afternoon (47 degrees) to bait the other 50 hooks that I had to abandon due to the high winds and rain yesterday afternoon. While out there I took the camera and just shot a couple quick images of the stageon I use and the way the knots are tied. The moon was up in the eastern sky at 4:30 and that’s a nice thing to see. I paddled all the way across the river so as to start there and bait the far half of the trotline, finishing in the middle so that I wouldn’t have as far to battle the current on the way back. When I got to the middle of the line, the last four hooks that I had baited yesterday had three fish on them. Now that is encouraging. I didn’t run the rest of the line, preferring to wait until tomorrow when the frog people (Louisiana Amphibian Monitoring Program) are here for the annual state meeting. Perhaps one or two of them will want to brave the cold temps to run the line themselves. I think there may be catfish to take home for anyone who wants some, or maybe there will only be those three fish I saw. Strange things happen under that water.

My friend Larry Couvillier (“Catfish” to his friends) called today and offered me some white eels that he caught in Lake Fausse Pointe a couple weeks ago. I will try to accept his offer early next week. White eels, as we call them, are actually known by more bookish people as spotted worm eels. A lot isn’t known about the part of their lives spent in coastal lakes in Louisiana, but commercial line fishermen know them well enough to know that they are the best catfish bait there is in the fall months. I will get some from Larry and try them in the river.

The river is at 7.1 feet on the Butte La Rose gauge, rising a little to 7.3 over the next few days. The Ohio and Mississippi are both falling, but a lot of rain fell up there (and ice too). We’ll see some of the that.

Rise and Shine, Jim


Blogger Randy said...

Thanks for the update. Most impressive to say the least. Up until this post, I had pictured a rather simplistic view of what went into the design of your trotline stageons. There must be some "logic" that justifies the extra time and effort involved.

December 04, 2006 2:43 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Well, yes, I think you can say that. If not logic, then the hardest school of hard knocks that I know of. The people who developed this stageon either learned to do it right with the minimum materials and the maximum efficiency or they didn't eat. There is much that could be said about how linefishing was done in the Basin, and this stageon is a very, very small part of it - but no less important for that.

Thanks Randy, Jim

December 04, 2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger Susan said...


I promised my dad to go fishing. He is about your age. Recently his blood test showed a PSA of 32 indicating prostate cancer. proven by needle biopsy. He asked me to ask what your PSA was. We love your blog. S

December 05, 2006 6:13 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Susan, please let me know who you are by sharing your blog profile or your email address. Thanks for the kind words about Riverlogue. Hope all goes well. Jim

December 05, 2006 7:21 PM  

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