A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Billiot in Houma at a Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association Conference. One of her children won an award in our Youth Journalism Contest. She found out a little about the organization and met the criteria to become a member.


We communicated off and on, generally meeting at least once a year at the conference. In Morgan City this year, Wendy talked to Goosie about her charter business and asked if we’d like to come down to Bayou DuLarge and spend a day fishing with her. Hey, that was like hanging a live crawfish in front of a six pound bass, so we set a date.


A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Billiot in Houma at a Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association Conference. One of her children won an award in our Youth Journalism Contest. She found out a little about the organization and met the criteria to become a member.

We communicated off and on, generally meeting at least once a year at the conference. In Morgan City this year, Wendy talked to Goosie about her charter business and asked if we’d like to come down to Bayou DuLarge and spend a day fishing with her. Hey, that was like hanging a live crawfish in front of a six pound bass, so we set a date.

Our trip was planned for Lake DeCade because cold temperatures usually push the speckled trout up in the lake from fall thru early winter. Reports of good catches of trout and redfish had been pretty consistent since the water cooled off, so we were pretty excited about our trip.

As fate would have it, two days before our trip we had the earliest snow fall in recent history, about five or six inches. Cold water temperatures push the trout in the lake, so that in itself is not too bad. But 50 degree water temperature seems to be the magic number.

Generally in the winter there’s no need to leave early so we decided to meet at Falgoust’s Marina at 8 a.m. and let it warm up a little before we headed out. There was still ice on the dock when we left for the lake but we still were confident about our chances.

Nine o’clock—bites; 10 o’clock—no bites. By then it was time to take a quick tour of Liner’s Canal as Wendy also operates Wetland Tours and will take you on a great marsh tour. We made our way up to the Liner families’ camp and stopped to look at a beautiful cypress flat and she gave us the short version of how the canal came to be but you’ll have to book a tour at www.wetlandtours.com and let her tell you the story first hand.

11 o’clock—no bites; 12 o’clock—no bites so we headed to the point of Bayou DeCade on the north end of the lake. We anchored on the right side and pulled out all the stops. Live bait!

We had Kelly Gustafson from the Houma Tourism Office on board so we hooked her up with a live cocahoe minnow Carolina rigged and she cast out toward the middle. I looked toward the bank and saw some shells and had a hunch that some redfish would be cruising that bank even though the water was muddy from wave action.

I threaded a four inch Berkley Gulp Swimming Minnow and a couple of casts later it was on. A few minutes later after a great fight, a five pound red was flopping on the deck of the pontoon boat. (More about that later). 12:20 p.m.—first fish and that got everybody casting to the bank.

We fished there until one o’clock and landed a few more redfish. Wendy got a call from Captain John as he informed us that he’d landed the first trout of the day in the lake and invited us to join him. So we headed to the south end of the lake to get in on the action.

That’s when Kelly took over and proceeded to put a whuppin’ on us at the start. With a popping cork and a chartreuse sparkle beetle, she quickly put a couple of trout and a redfish on board in no time flat.

The action stayed fairly steady as we put some more trout, redfish and drum in the ice chest. They bit until we quit fishing at 2:30 p.m. because we had to get back to Prairieville a little early. It was the proverbial “we left them biting” once again.

Captain Wendy, licensed by the US Coast Guard, owns and operates Casual Charters and Wetlands Tours and uses her pontoon for both enterprises. She specializes and very much enjoys chartering for groups of women, “It is my desire to offer women a fishing trip they can enjoy.  I strive for a relaxed trip where each woman can fish at her own pace.  It doesn't matter if this is her first fishing trip or her hundredth.  I want each lady to be comfortable on the boat and feel free to do as little or as much for herself as she wants.”

“As I take women fishing for the first time, they always leave with a great sense of accomplishment and enjoyment, whether they catch a keeper or not.  Getting women on the water and empowering them to be an angler at their own pace is what this is all about."

Hey, we had a great time and it would be well worth your time to make a trip to DuLarge and spend some time with Captain Wendy. Contact info is www.wetlandtours.com or 985-851-7578.

This trip will air on Ascension Outdoors seen exclusively on EATEL FiberEdge channel 4 beginning Jan. 1. So until next time, have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God truly bless you.