YELLOW BUTTERFLIES SIGNAL SEASON CHANGES

I’ve about had a belly full of this year and what 2020 has thrown at us. First, the coronavirus has essentially shut us down. When it began, we were housebound, almost afraid to peek out the door when someone knocked, especially if they weren’t wearing a mask.

            Grocery shopping took place on-line as we ordered from the grocery store, drove there at the appointed time and a friendly sales person, adorned in mask and gloves and in some cases a face shield brought our groceries and placed them in the car telling us politely to stay in the car.

            On Sundays when we ordinarily put on our Sunday clothes and headed to church to greet our friends when handshakes and maybe a hug, that all went out the window because at first, services were restricted to listening to the sermon on-line.  After church, it was common practice to head for a favorite restaurant for lunch. That all came to a screeching halt and we had to become accustomed to “take out”, getting in line with a hundred other vehicles with folks who, like us, just wanted to eat.

            I could go on and on about what we’ve endured for the past six months but doing so is unpredictable and depressing so let’s talk about something that is more predictable. Let’s talk weather.

            One event weather-wise we experienced in north Louisiana was anything but predictable. Who would have ever thought we’d have a Category 1 hurricane to reach this far inland? We are still suffering from the effects of Laura with all the damage it caused. Instead, why not look at some things that are easier on which to hang our hat?

            I grew up in the country and was blessed with a mama who was as good at predicting weather as some of our meteorologists. If mama said something was going to happen, it usually did just as she said.

            A favorite is one that I have watched down through the years that has proven to be basically right on the money….”if it thunders in February, it will frost on that same day in April”. To be honest, it doesn’t always frost on the predicted day but in nearly every case, there will be a significant cool down around that date. She also predicted, usually correctly that there will be chilly weather around Easter.

            There is a prediction shared with me by my friend Neil Shaw, meteorologist for Shreveport’s KTBS Channel 3 who doesn’t always have to rely on his computer and maps to predict weather. Shaw said he received this information from an old gentleman who, like my mom, didn’t need a weatherman to tell him when changes would be coming; he just looked at the natural order of things and when they happened, you could mark it down.

            Shaw told me that the gentleman’s prediction was that when you begin seeing yellow butterflies flitting across the road, there will be a frost some 30 days later. He added that he has watched this for the past several years and it has proven to be basically true.

Taking note, I saw my first yellow butterfly September 10 so I have marked my calendar to see what the weather will be like on October 10. That should be the second Saturday of squirrel season so you can bet I hope that’s right; nothing is more special to a squirrel hunter than to feel the chill in the air and the absence of mosquitoes.

            Shaw noted that the reason for this may have something to do with the lessening of daylight hours and cooler nights in September that trigger the little butterflies to begin their flight, the same criteria that causes hummingbirds to begin their migration across the Gulf to spend the winter away from the cold temperatures. 

            It will give us something to do other than ordering the latest designer mask to see if the butterflies know what they’re talking about.

FISHING REPORT  9-16-20

BUSSEY BRAKE – Bass fishing has been good with mostly 2-5 pound fish caught on Baby Brush Hogs, plastic worms and lizards Bream are fair. No report on crappie or catfish. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

BLACK BAYOU –  Bream are fair; others are slow. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.

OUACHITA RIVER – The river is fairly high but at a stand-still. Bass are in the mouth of the cuts hitting soft plastics. Crappie are best in the river lakes fishing shiners or jigs 9-10 feet deep in 15 foot water. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE D’ARBONNE – The lake is currently around 3 feet down during the drawdown. Some crappie are being caught on the flats on shiners or jigs. Bass are where there is some current from feeder creeks connecting with the lake. Crank baits, spinners and soft plastics are picking up a few. Bream have slowed while catfishing is good on cold worms or night crawlers. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE CLAIBORNE – Striper fishing continues to make the most news with fish schooling and hitting shad imitation lures or trolling white bucktails or spoons beneath the schools Bass fishing has been fair while a few bream are being caught along the sea walls on crickets or worms. The crappie have slowed down this week. Alligator season is ongoing with several tags filled with the largest being around 8 ½ feet. No report this week on catfish. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.

CANEY LAKE – Bass fishing has been best targeting breaking schools with topwater lures. Also some bigger fish to between 6 and 10 pounds have been caught on Brush Hogs and trick worms in fairly shallow water. Crappie fishing has been fair with some caught beneath the Hwy 9 bridge on shiners or jigs. Bream have been fair this week. No report on catfish. For latest information contact Bateaux on Caney Lake at 259-6649, Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.

LAKE POVERTY POINT –Catfishing is fair for smaller sized fish. No report on bass, bream or crappie. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318-878-0101.

LAKE ST. JOHN – Bass have been fair to good with some nice ones to around 8 pounds caught on topwaters early and soft plastics later in the day. Bream and catfish are fair; crappie are slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.

LAKE YUCATAN – The water is falling and fishing has improved with lots of bass and catfish reported. Crappie are slow to fair but some nice slabs have been caught. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

LAKE BRUIN – No report. For information, contact Carlos Gray at 318/766-0075.

Seeing yellow butterflies this time of year, according to some, means a frost 30 days later

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