Mark Wright Elected to Louisiana State Legislature After Fast 30 Point Swing

Maness Snatches Defeat from the Jaws of Victory in Election for LA’s Disctrict 77 State Legislative Seat

Rob Maness looked to be cruising on his way to victory after the primary election for Louisiana’s 77th District seat for the State Legislature. He garnered 12% more votes than the closest of his three competitors, eventual runoff opponent Mark Wright. All he had to do was not self-destruct and the election was his. Unfortunately for Maness, that proved to be too much to ask.

Louisiana State Legislative District 77 Primary Election 2017
Maness had a comfortable 12 point lead over his next closest competitor in the October primary.

It must have been a solemn night at the Maness headquarters on election night as election day voting followed the trend of early voting, as Wright turned a 12-point deficit after the primary election into an 18-point landslide defeat in just one month. Essentially, everyone who didn’t vote for either candidate in the primary voted for Wright in the runoff save for 18 people, at least in terms of net results.

That kind of massive turnaround in such a short period of time is rare in politics and usually requires some kind of unusual event to occur swaying undecided voters and perhaps even some of the primary winner’s voters as well. That happened, as did a few other key events.

For anyone interested in the science of political campaigning, the following can be used as a lesson in what to do and what not to do when campaigning for public office.

Before breaking down how we arrived at the final results, let’s review them. Shall we?

Mark Wright Rob Maness Runoff Louisiana State Legislative District 77
Wright & company turned a 12 point deficit into an 18 point win in just a month’s time, with most of the movement coming in the final weekl

So how exactly did such a momentous shift occur in just a month?

First, Wright focused more on promoting himself as a good candidate, whereas Maness’ primary message was that he was the ‘one true conservative’, and that powerful “political insiders” were holding him back from winning an election. Thus, once the field was whittled following the primary, Wright made quick work to secure the endorsements of the other two candidates who lost in the primary but did not make the runoff.

This was a very prudent and politically intelligent move on Wright’s behalf. Maness had been adversarial with the other candidates during the primary, levying accusations and loads of innuendo. In other words, he didn’t do anything to make any friends or even give himself a chance at winning the endorsements of either of the two candidates who were eliminated following the primary, whereas Wright was poised to court their support the moment the primary results were in.

With early voting showing a trend toward wright (albeit not enough of one to change the outcome without winning big on election day too), Maness began to self destruct.

The author of this blog, a friend and supporter of Wright, and more importantly experienced campaign operative, decided to become involved with about two weeks remaining, starting with a social media campaign that went viral, locally speaking (within the district). The posts got a lot of exposure, were eloquent and completely disarmed Maness’ unfounded claims that “political insiders” were conspiring against him by claiming to be among the people Maness was referencing as “insiders” conspiring and colluding to keep him down.

The problem this posed for Maness was that this author is more popular within the district, and more highly thought of. Therefore when people saw that I’m who he’s referring to, the claim became extremely suspect – perhaps even to the extent it backfired. For the record, there were no insiders conspiring to keep Maness out of office… Except for myself, if you define me as a “political insider.” Also, in order for there to be a conspiracy you need more than one person. I guess I conspired and colluded with myself, because I acted totally independently of anyone including Wright’s campaign, save for dropping by one time to pick up door hangers, flyers and signs (typical campaign literature).

One of the Facebook posts that was extremely effective in getting inside Maness’ head was this one:

If you click “read more” and read the entire post, you an see how that might have bothered Rob just a little.

Maness actually messaged me to ask why I had posted what I had. The reason is because what I posted was accurate.

Just a few days after that post, with polling showing Wright starting to catch up to Maness’ lead, disaster happened for the Maness campaign. To make a long story short, he had a complete meltdown on live radio, in which he make comments that appeared to be insane about nuclear weapons and him being the most qualified person in history to hold the keys to America’s nuclear arsenal (not sure how that’s relevant for a Louisiana state legislator, but it gives us a glimpse into the mindset Maness was in at the time). Then he shouted obscenities at a caller (again, on live radio) five times — FIVE — before the call screener hung up on the caller. However by that time the damage was done. Nothing he said was censored and voters of the district got to see a side of one one of the men running for state legislature that he’d rather not have shown.

The Facebook posts may or may not have played a role in his radio meltdown, but my suspicion is they did. To what extent I won’t even attempt to guess.

Following the radio debacle, Maness continued digging when rather than issue a statement apologizing and saying the pressure of the campaign had gotten the better of him and that the behavior he exhibited was not indicative of who he is. However, that wasn’t what Rob had in mind. He issued this letter to the editor of a local newspaper, which had inklings of remorse, but the overwhelming theme was to attack the columnist who had written what everyone was already thinking. That certainly didn’t do anything to help undo the damage his radio tirade had done to his plummeting numbers.

My Involvement

In the final days of the campaign Wright received some grassroots assistance from yours truly, which is actually probably a bigger deal than it may sound on the surface. I’ve worked (as a paid campaign staff member) congressional campaigns, statewide races for U.S. Senate, and have been sought out by Congressmen seeking advice on whether or not to run for Senate. I served on Newt Gingrich’s Presidential Exploratory Committee. In southeast Louisiana, I’m as formidable a campaign asset as you’ll find, particularly with regard to grassroots.

Peter Egan and Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich poses with fellow Tulane alum Peter Egan, following a meeting of his Presidential Exploratory Committee.

In addition to the campaign’s own canvassing efforts, I distributed what must have been 40-50 pounds worth of door hangers and flyers, put up about 20 yard signs including in key locations along major thoroughfares. I also got a few up in some rather unconventional locations, like the wooden beams surrounding the cement structures holding up the Interstate-12 bride over the Tchefuncte River. Every boat passing under the interstate would have seen the signs. I would estimate that number of boaters at at least 1,000 between the time they were posted and the actual election.

Mark Wright Campaign Sign
A yard sign for Mark Wright displayed to boaters along the Tchefuncte River in Covington.

Between the campaign astutely courting voters who cast ballots for candidates who did not make the runoff, the campaign’s effective advertising (particularly following the radio incident), grassroots efforts by the campaign and social media posts and grassroots canvassing areas that hadn’t been targeted by renegade volunteer Peter Egan, by election day the outcome was a mere formality. Mark Wright had won in an 18 point landslide, a result no one could have foreseen following the October primaries.

Why Did I Get Involved?

The reason I got involved was because I was unsure of the outcome of the election and wanted to erase that uncertainty – at least to the extent I could.

The other reason is well explained in a snippet from this article at The Hayride:

Rob Maness Senate John Fleming

A PAC that had supported Fleming in the 2016 Senate race was behind a series of negative ads against Maness, a little retribution for him mucking up the Senate race a year prior.

I am friends with former Congressman Dr. John Fleming, MD. Rep. Fleming was not only Louisiana’s most conservative member of the delegation, he had a much better chance of beating Kennedy in a runoff (Kennedy was a lifelong democrat until a few years ago). Maness angrily refused, allowing Charles Boustany to sneak into the runoff. Boustany is a “moderate” Republican well to the left of Fleming, as is Kennedy. So Maness in essence cost the only conservative candidate in the race with a shot at winning a chance at the runoff.

My motivation was to ensure Mark Wright won first and foremost. Secondly, I wanted to do all I could to run up the score so that Rob would never be able to impact a major election (like a Senate race) and use his presence to hand the election to a wishy-washy moderate over a conservative. Whether I had any impact and if so how much, we’ll never know. What is known is that my objectives were met regardless of whether I played a substantial role in that or not. 

I do not foresee Maness running for office again in Southeast Louisiana after he handed this race away by failing to maintain his composure when the pressure was on.

To be clear, I’m not taking credit for the outcome of this election. I’m not taking credit for any part of it. I did help out though and Mark and his campaign achieved the result I was hoping to see. Whether I personally played any role in the outcome and if so how much is anybody’s guess. I personally believe Mark would have won comfortably without my support and involvement.

After all, as a HayRide article about Maness’ future eloquently observed:

That seat was winnable (for Maness). But the problem was that Wright, who had been a conservative activist in St. Tammany and had served the movement’s cause for years before taking the plunge and running for the city council in Covington (in other words starting small and moving up, rather than the opposite approach Maness took), had already entered the race. Wright had already learned the retail political skills required to win a state legislative race and he was already building a coalition capable of winning.

Meanwhile, Maness’ approach was to immediately cast himself as the One True Conservative and bash Wright as a Washington lobbyist (which was a stretch; he’s vice president of American Waterway Operators, a trade organization for tugboat and barge companies) when Maness himself is a registered lobbyist, and to trash him as having made crooked deals with the state’s party establishment. That was never going to work, because Wright was a known commodity. People on the Northshore know him better than they know Rob, they know Mark is a conservative with a record of governing like one on that city council, and they like Wright better. And it especially didn’t resonate that Mark was a “career politician;” you don’t get to run for office three times in four years and call anybody else a professional politician. When you start running for office you become a politician, period. Accusing others of that when they run less often than you do simply pisses voters off.

Source: http://thehayride.com/2017/11/happens-rob-maness-now/#ixzz51OchvY19

International Men’s Day

There’s an International Men’s Day?

Evidently there’s an “International Men’s Day.” Evidently, that day this year was Sunday, November 19.

A gas station in Covington, Louisiana took a small extra step to recognize International Men’s Day with a twist on the traditional gender indicators on public restroom signs.

International Men's Day

According to Wikipedia International Men’s Day is about the following:

International Men’s Day (IMD) is an annual international event celebrated on 19 November. Inaugurated in 1992 on 7 February by Thomas Oaster.[1] The project of International Men’s Day was conceived one year earlier on 8 February 1991.[2] The project was re-initialised in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago.[3] The longest running celebration of International Men’s Day is Malta, where events have occurred since 7 February 1994.[4]

Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh, who revived the event, chose 19 November to honour his father’s birthday and also to celebrate how on that date in 1989 Trinidad and Tobago’s soccer team had united the country with their endeavours to qualify for the soccer world cup.[5][6] Dr Teelucksingh has promoted International Men’s Day as not just a gendered day but a day where all issues affecting men and boys can be addressed. He has said of IMD and its grass roots activists, “They are striving for gender equality and patiently attempt to remove the negative images and the stigma associated with men in our society”[7]

Source: Wikipedia

According to InternationalMensDay.com:

“Objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.”

With all the “days” that recognize someone or something, it’s awfully peculiar that this one is so under-recognized such that I didn’t learn of it until Wednesday, November 22.

This appears to be the official logo/flyer of the event:

International Men's Day '17

Dog Food as Catfish Chum?

How to Use Dog Food as Catfish Chum

By: Peter Egan

Catfish chum doesn’t have to be elaborate, home made or anything time consuming or costly in order to be effective.

One of the most effective sources of catfish chum that I’ve found that is both cheap and effective if used correctly. It is canned dog food, to be specific.

Using dog food to chum effectively depends on a number of factors. All of the following are important considerations:

  • Notably, if you’re chumming short-term (on a fishing trip) or long term (when you chum the spot that you fish regularly or constantly).
  • The depth of the dog food can relative to total water depth.
  • The extent to which the water is moving (if at all).

Dog Food Catfish Chum

First, get 2-5 (however many you want and can afford to buy for a fishing trip) 22 ounce cans of cheap dog food, or the largest cans of cheap dog food you can find if not 22 ounces. Remove the paper label and dispose of it in a proper trash container.

My recommendation is to flip the can upside down and poke a hole in the bottom of the can near the edge (if you try to poke a hole in the top it usually removes the entire removable portion of the can’s top), and another hold just below the initial hole on the side of the can.

Thread twine through the two holes three times, then tie the can to the twine with a knot. I like to hold the can over the water while I punch small holes all throughout the can. I may open 4-6 larger holes spread out across the can (maybe 1 cm in diameter).

Unravel enough twine so that your dog food is not on the very bottom of the water, nor the very top. Try to suspend it somewhere before the very bottom or very top, and make sure your fishing approach is consistent with the depth at which you chum.

If you have the ability to tie and drop several cans spread out across a a large boat or patch of land (such as my back deck, which is on the water), doing so can be more effective and establish a larger, more spread out fishing spot.

Dog food scent won’t travel as well as certain other forms of chum, but is effective nonetheless, relatively cheap and is easy to set up and easy to manage. It’s not the most effective chum formula, but it’s far from the least effective, and given how easy it is to obtain and set up, it’s a method worthy of mention here where we’ve discussed catfish chumming extensively.

Related Articles:

Chumming for Catfish in a River with Noodles and a Kayak

Using Chum while Fishing for Catfish in a River via Kayak

By: Peter Egan

If you’ve been keeping up with the How to Chum for Catfish series here at PeterEgan.net and on YouTube, you’re already read that the third flood in just over a month between Hurricanes Matthew, Nate and a flood that was entirely due to strong southeast winds, brought with it alligators, which in turn resulted in a downturn in the fishing. The catfish school that seemingly lived in the bayou behind my house disappeared. The only fish were small bream. There appeared to be more gators than fish.

Thankfully, the waters have receded enough that the gators appear to have moved along and the catfish are starting to return.

Channel Catfish 10-21-17 | Peter Egan

I decided on Friday afternoon once I was finished with work to take my fishing kayak out and drop some noodles up and down the entire bayou, all the while dragging the chum bucket behind me as a paddled my way to the main river, all the way back down to the end of the bayou, then back to my house. As I paddled up and down the bayou after bringing the scent to the main river and leaving a scent trail behind me throughout the journey.

blue catfish - Peter Egan

If you’re wondering what a noodle is, they’re essentially pool toys (those big, long noodle looking foam things often seen in swimming pools where children swim), cut into 4-8 pieces per noodle, with about 3-4 feet of line attached to it, and a hook at the end of the line not tied to the noodle. See the below photos for a visual of what a “catfish noodle” looks like.

catfish noodle

The tactic worked, as I caught a mixture of channel catfish and blue catfish, the largest topping out at around 3 pounds. I used a combination of Canadian nightcrawlers and cut shad (caught in a cast net) for bait on the noodles.

I talked with several of my neighbors as I paddled around chasing noodles with fish on them.

largemouth bass Peter Egan

I also caught a fish I wasn’t intending to catch, and did so in a most unusual way. As I was paddling through lily pads to retrieve a noodle with a fish on, the paddle must have struck a largemouth bass, which then became entangled in the lily pad stems. It was so stuck, I was able to grab it with my bare hands, landing the 1 pound fish without so much as dropping a line. See the video below for more on the this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

In all, the hybrid fishing trip was a success. I caught so many fish I decided to fillet them and am planning a fish fry for after the Saints game (New Orleans Saints NFL franchise) on Sunday, October 22. I rarely keep fish, so the catch had to be larger than is usual in order for me to go through the trouble of cleaning the fish.

Kayak - Peter Egan\

Above is a photograph of the kayak I used to catch the fish. Below is another photo of me holding a catfish.

Peter Egan - Channel Catfish

Related articles: Fishing for Catfish

Chumming for Catfish – The Results

How to Chum for Catfish – Results

By: Peter Egan

Back in early May I wrote an in-depth article and filmed four videos explaining how to most effectively chum the water so as to catch as many catfish as possible while fishing. This article is the sequel to those chumming efforts wherein we review the results.

Between the How to Chum for Catfish article and videos and a more recent guide on fishing for catfish in general, it is the opinion of this author that anyone who has read the two articles and watched the videos will have adequate knowledge after doing so to not just catch catfish, but totally slay them (slay is slang for ‘catch a lot more’ when used in this context).

To recap, the articles and videos previously referenced are linked to (and in the case of the videos embedded) below.

Articles:

Videos (If video 2 doesn’t start immediately after video 1 finishes, just manually click it. Same goes for videos 3 and 4):

The following are a series of photographs of me (Peter) holding fish he caught right there at my chumming spot (the water behind my house) in the time since the original article. These are to establish credibility that the system works. One thing to keep in mind is that I failed to land the four largest fish he got on the line for various reasons ranging from damaged fishing line to a poorly tied knot to trying to reel a 10+ pound fish up to the top of a balcony some 12-14 feet above the water using medium-light action fishing gear.

In all, I have caught about 150-200 catfish since the debut of the original article. Obviously, I haven’t photographed every catch, but the photos taken should be sufficient to establish that my (Peter Egan’s) chumming methods work.

For a while I was relocating them from the bayou/river to a drainage pond across the street from his house, but multiple floods have rendered those efforts moot.

Without further ado, here are the photos:

The Good Times – Catfish Everywhere!

Blue Catfish - Peter Egan
Peter Egan holding a nice, 3+ pound Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish - Peter Egan
Peter Egan holding a large catfish.
Peter Egan with two Catfish
Peter Egan holds two “keeper” size catfish
Peter Egan holding small Catfish
The fish weren’t all large…
Peter Egan Catching Catfish
Peter caught about 14 fish in all the night he wore the shirt in this photograph.
Peter Egan - Channel Catfish
Here’s a nice channel catfish caught on a different night while reppin’ an LSU shirt.
Channel Catfish - Peter Egan
Only about a 1 pound fish, but not bad for a first cast…
Peter Egan - Big Blue Catfish
Peter with another big blue catfish.
Peter Egan - 2 Catfish
Two Fish
Peter Egan _ Blue Catfish
Catfish caught on the first case using live worms as bait.

First, all of the fish seen in the above photos were relatively unharmed and were released successfully. None had debilitating injuries at the time they were released.

Moreover, as you can tell from the multitude of shirts I’m wearing, these photos came from a number of fishing outings, all of which combined netted over 150 fish, perhaps closing in on 200. While I didn’t catch any massive fish during this time period, I did set the hook into more than one, but was unable to land any of them. The fact that I use pliers to flatten the barbs on my hooks (unless I intend to keep the fish I catch, which is rare) doesn’t help. I release 95%-98% of what I catch, so it’s a rare occurrence when I fish with a hook that actually has a barb to prevent the fish from spitting out the hook.

The two largest fish seen didn’t even take the bait. They were an approximately 4-foot catfish in the 25-30 pound range and another one closer to 5 feet in total length with an estimated weight of over 50 pounds.

The bottom line though is that all of these fish were seen or caught right off of my back porch, and the reason I’m able to catch fish sitting on a chair on my own balcony outside the room overhanging the boat slip, is because my chumming methods are effective. Without chum, on average I might get 0.5-to-1 fish per outing. I can catch as many as I want, literally (well, almost literally).

Trouble on the Horizon

An astute reader might have discerned that I am a fan of all things LSU, including but not limited to the school’s football program. After an agonizing week following their loss to Troy, I found my chum attracting a new species altogether.

Big Alligator

I had been seeing Alligator Gar and Spotted Gar fairly regularly, however it wasn’t until the LSU Tigers were en route to the Swamp to take on the Florida Gators that I saw an actual alligator in the water behind my house.

Tropical Storm Nate must have relocated it, but it was about 9-10 feet in length, and decided to hang out where I chum, presumably in hopes of getting itself one of those catfish that used to practically reside there.

I went fishing anyway, and the gator took my bait. I wrestled with it for about 20 minutes before I realized that I was alone and would need someone to film me landing the gator if indeed I was able to do so. I had to tighten the drag to get the camera ready so I could film myself reeling in an alligator large enough to eat me just in case this was a battle in which I would emerge victorious.

Big Gator

When I went to grab the camera to record the landing, I had to temporarily tighten my drag to look for the camera and get it set up, and it was at that point that the gator made its strongest charge of the fight, breaking my 20-pound test Power Pro line.

The fact that the line didn’t break and wasn’t cut by the animal’s teeth is a testament to the quality of the product. While it can be hard to achieve a knot that holds, once you get one the chances are not much below the surface of the water is going to break your line, especially if you are astute at working the drag (the tension on the reel and line that determines how much pull force must be applied for the fishing line to come off the reel so as to prevent the line breaking).

The next day, a smaller gator showed up and has yet to leave. This one is 5-6 feet in length. I have yet to see any sign of a catfish since the gators showed up. I may have to stop chumming for a while and hope they leave, only to resume once they do in order to get the catfish back. One thing’s for sure, if there are gators in the near vicinity, the catfish will find someplace else to feed.

The remaining photos are of this smaller alligator that as of an hour ago was still hanging out behind my house.

For what it’s worth, LSU won the game versus Florida 17-16 in a surprising upset. Most regular readers should be aware that I am fond of Les Miles, LSU’s former coach, and wish he were still the coach.

Gator in the Tchefuncte
Even though this one looks bigger than the one photographed at night, it is actually about half the size of the gator pictured above.
Tchefuncte River Alligator
The same, smaller gator.
Tchefuncte River Alligator
Just chillin’

The purpose of these photos and this segment is to disclaim that when you use chum, you may be inviting creatures aside from those you’re hoping to see.

The same principle applies to saltwater chum, for whatever it’s worth. Typically, sharks are the first or among the first species to respond to saltwater chum, regardless of whether you’re fishing for sharks or not. In the same vein, don’t swim in water you’re chumming, regardless of salinity.

As for this gator that just won’t leave, if it doesn’t leave on his own I may try to catch it this weekend and then relocate it a few miles down the river. The other option is to just take the boat out and find somewhere else to fish. The latter option removes the comforts of home from the fishing equation.

Look for another YouTube video soon, and as always, if you find any of this useful, please like, share and subscribe to these posts and especially the videos.

Video Links:

Missing Les Miles

LSU Fan Missing Les Miles

By: Peter Egan

I miss Lesticles. Of course by Lesticles I mean Leslie Edwin Miles (better knoan as “Les Miles“) former head coach of the Louisiana State University football program.

He was fired after 4 games in 2016. He had been head coach at LSU since 2005, and is the most successful coach in program history.

Les Miles (Lesticles)

When Nick Saban resigned as coach of the Miami Dolphins, he agreed to become coach at Alabama; one of LSU’s biggest rivals. The winner of the game between these two typically decides the division and who gets to go to Atlanta to play for the SEC Championship.

Saban established one the greatest dynasties in the history of the sport. All of sudden LSU couldn’t beat Bama five years in a row counting the year the two teams split two games (2011 season – LSU beat Bama in Tuscaloosa during a 13-0 regular season, but lost in the national championship in what has come to be known as the “mulligan game.”

Les Miles

I From what I’ve seen so far really dislike the LSU football team’s new attempt at offense. For all the criticisms Les Miles took for his style of play, his offenses were never as futile as the Tigers have been through four games.

The motion at the line of scrimmage has reduced LSU’s average yards per carry by approximately 2/YPC. That differences on 0ffense is that the runs are designed t0 gain 4-5 yards as opposed to the 6 and 7 yards LSU backs have averaged the past two seasons and three of the last four.

Les was done wrong by Joe Alleva, F. King Alexander and the LSU administration.

He legitimately won the Auburn game the day before his firing. Go back and watch the clock on the final drive. The clock didn’t stop on first downs and runs out-of-bounds on e separate occasions. That’s easily 25-30 second left in that game when Etling hit the winning TD pass that was overruled because the 25 seconds remaining showed as “0” on the scoreboard.

If Les gets credit for that win his team legitimately won, he’s 3-1 with the only loss being a nail biter against a team that played in a major bowl and nearly won the Big 10 (SIC) [14]. He probably looses to Bama, but if the offense under Miles could score 11 points they may well have won that game too. They sure as he’ll wouldn’t have lost to Florida.

Les Miles LSU

If Miles is never fired, LSU goes 10-2 or at worst 9-3 (if they lose the bowl) last year, makes the Sugar Bowl and is 4-0 to start this season instead or 3-1. LSU Made a terrible mistake firing Miles.

I could very easily see the 2017 team going 4-8 or 5-7, a feat not accomplished since the ’90’s.

Les’ teams were tough, and could impose their will with ease against teams that didn’t have the talent, size, speed or most importantly physicality.

Les Miles won the SEC West 3 times as coach as LSU. He eon the conference championship twice, and played in two national championship games, winning one (2007 over Ohio State 38-24).

During his 11.33 seasons as LSU’s head coach, there were seven games total in which the Tigers scored a 10 points or less and lost. Ed Orgeron, Miles successor had 3 such games out of his first 11 contests.

LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron

LSU fans didn’t appreciate what they has in Les Miles, and are finding out the hard way just how disastrous a decision was made on their behalf by Joe Alleva.

Peter Egan likes to write about a variety of topics including home health care, nutrition, wellness, fishing and other sports.

311 Performs in New Orleans

Peter Egan Attends His Tenth 311 Concert in New Orleans at Champions Square

By: Peter Egan

311 still has “it” after 27 years performing as a band

311 Symbol

Friday, August 04 2017, Peter Egan attended his tenth Three-Eleven concert in his lifetime, and the band didn’t disappoint. The performance (not including “New Politics” and any other opening acts) lasted about two-and-a-half hours, which was barely enough time for the group to play MOST of their albums, while performing nine songs from their new release, Mosaic311 Mosaic.

It would be easier to identify the albums from which 311 did not perform aNick Hexum song than to list those from which it did. 311 performed a total of 24 songs, including the extended version of Applied Science when band members take their traditional break, followed by all five band-mates beating on the drums simultaneously.

The set list for the show is as follows:

Song Title – Album

  1. Perfect Mistake – Mosaic
  2. All Mixed Up – Blue Album
  3. Homebrew – Grassroots
  4. Too Much to Think – Mosaic
  5. Beautiful Disaster – Transistor
  6. Extension – Mosaic
  7. Stealing Happy Hours – Transistor
  8. Come Original – Soundsystem
  9. Hey, Yo (Not “Hey You”) – Mosaic
  10. Bass Solo – (N/A)
  11. What Was I thinking? – Transistor
  12. Wildfire – Mosaic
  13. Amber – From Chaos
  14. Freeze Time – Soundsystem
  15. Applied Science – Music
  16. ’Til the City’s on Fire – Mosaic
  17. Do You Right – Music
  18. Too Late – Mosaic
  19. Beyond the Grey Sky – Evolver
  20. One & the Same – Mosaic
  21. Unity – Music
  22. Down – Blue Album
  23. On a Roll – Mosaic
  24. Freak Out – Music
  25. Creatures (For a While) – Evolver
Peter Egan and friends at 311 concert in NOLA
Peter Egan enjoying the 311 show with friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the heck out of the show, and I’m most certainly not complaining when I point out that not a single song was performed from Don’t Tread on Me, Uplifter, Universal Pulse or Stereolithic. And of course that’s not counting all the independent releases, bonus tracks on compilation albums and other vintage 311 that you can hear on YouTube or at a 311 Day concert, but not on a studio album.

311 Performs in New Orleans, LA

Let me please make one thing very clear. I enjoy all of 311’s Music. It doesn’t matter what songs from which albums were performed at a given show, I’d have had a good time if I was there and Three-Eleven was playing. That being said it struck me as odd that there were four consecutive studio albums from which not a single song was performed during an entire concert. I can’t help but wonder if this is 311 catering to the more casual fans by mixing in the songs they’re sure to know along with the newly released stuff, or if it’s a reflection of how 311 perceives their four most recent studio albums preceding Mosaic. I would like to think it’s the former and not the latter, as there are just too many good songs on DTOM, Uplifter, Universal Pulse and Stereolithic to leave them off the set list for quality reasons.

311 Performs "Applied Science" in New Orleans

In my personal opinion, the high-point of the show was when the band performed Freeze Time, the opening song from the Soundsystem album. If I had to pick out a low or drawback of some sort, the first thing I’d do is complain about the band only performing 24 songs, or roughly two albums worth of work.

SA Martinez goes off during 311's 2017 show in New Orleans

I’m one of those spoiled 311 fans who has been to multiple 311 Day (March 11) concerts in my lifetime, and have seen the band play on for more than four hours on multiple occasions. That has to taint my opinion at least a little, as 24 seems like a perfectly reasonable number of songs to perform on a promotional tour.

311 Concert in New Orleans

If forced to pick my least favorite moment from the show (assuming there’s a gun to my head), it would have been Amber. Amber is not a bad song, it’s actually a pretty good song all things considered. However, this isn’t your average band we’re talking about, and it is my personal opinion that Amber got far more recognition than it deserved based on the quality of the song itself relative to all other 311 songs. The reason I believe this is that for decades 311 has been perceived more as a “guy band,” and the women in attendance were mainly brought there by male 311 fans.

311 in NOLA 2017

Amber got the attention of female fans, and I’m all about there being a record number of females in the audience (out of any of the ten 311 shows I’ve been to, as there was in early August of 2017 in Champions Square in New Orleans. If Amber is in any way responsible for that, wonderful. I guess the band has to take the majority opinion into account when determining which songs to play in a limited allotment of time. I just don’t think it’s as good a song as it is promoted and perceived to be relative to other 311 songs. If I could have replaced it in the set list, there’s not much 311 has ever done that you couldn’t substitute in there and at least from my opinion improve the musical quality based solely on the songs performed. Literally, just pick any song, from any album or from no album, I’ll probably like it more than Amber.

311 Mosaic Tour in New Orleans

Anyway, I’m a spoiled fan who just has to learn to accept that the band has to throw female fans a bone every show to keep them engaged. I do understand this. However, the August 04 show in New Orleans in 2017 seemed to have not only a much higher ratio of female fans than past shows I’ve been to, the female fans were every bit as into the music as were the male fans. Perhaps the perception that 311 is a “guy band” can be put to rest now?

311 Mosaic Tour in New Orleans

On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this show an 8, and that’s only because I’ve been to two 311 Day events and I know first-hand from experience what this band is capable of when they’re really motivated to please an audience. They can’t match that level of intensity every night on tour. Hence why they only do those shows once per year, max.

311 2017 Summer Tour in New Orleans

I really can’t find anything to complain about. The venue was much better than in an enclosed arena where police are looking to meet arrest quotas. The 8 was a pretty arbitrary score from a biased observer. For a concert of its nature (a stop during a summer promotional tour), this show was a ten (out of ten). It’s not plausible to compare every 311 show to 311 Day, and I’ve come to accept that with time.

When a band has been playing and making music together for 27 years uninterrupted, they may release more albums than they can touch upon during the nature of a given live performance. When you’re truly as great at what you do as are Nick Hexum, S.A. Martinez, Tim Mahoney, Pnut and Chad Sexton, these are the sorts of problems you start to create for yourselves over the course of nearly three decades.

311 2017 Show - Peter Egan

When as a fan my biggest complaint is that I didn’t hear songs I wanted to hear, and think through what it would have taken for me to have heard every 311 song I’d like to hear at a concert, I’d need a lot more than one night and they’d need more than one show. There’s just that much great material that this band has put out over the years.

If either a 311 Day concert or cruise is announced at any point in the not-too-distant future, I will eagerly buy tickets to whichever it is, and if it’s the cruise, I’d arrange for some vacation time.

Peter Egan at the 311 show August 04, 2017 in New Orleans

311 is the greatest rock band (arguably the greatest group of musicians) in my generation, and I’ll soak up every show, 311 Day and Cruise I can before they decide to hang it up.

If you missed it, 311 put on an awesome show Friday night, August 04, 2017 in New Orleans. As a writer, all I am able to do is encourage you to attend the next one near you, whoever you are and wherever you happen to be reading this.

Fishing for Catfish

Fishing for Catfish

By: Peter Egan

The Tchefuncte River is located in Washington and St. Tammany Parishes in southeastern Louisiana. It and the bayous along its edges are the primary body of water in which I do most of my fishing. However, the same principles that apply to this body of water apply elsewhere as well. The wildcard would be small, man-made lakes and ponds, which don’t have much if any natural water movement. I’ve found these the most challenging bodies of water for fishing for catfish (provided the pond or lake hasn’t been artificially stocked with fish, fish are fed, etc.).

Tchefuncte River

The Tchefuncte River (on which I reside and in which I often fish) has suffered from over-fishing since Hurricane Katrina tripled the population of Saint Tammany Parish. Bass and alligator gar have been decimated. The bass by wanna-be Bassmasters tournament fishermen who hold tournaments in which the largest fish caught (out of 30-50 teams) often fails to reach 2 pounds.

The gar (both alligator and spotted gar) have been nearly eradicated entirely from the river due to a “Gar Rodeo” held every year in which the team landing the biggest gar earns a large cash prize. There are secondary categories and it used to be a great event. Unfortunately, the gar population simply hasn’t been able to withstand the fishing pressure this event produces.

Alligator Gar

Catfish on the other hand – while they’ve certainly sustained some measure of population decrease – seem to be doing well enough to still be worth investing anywhere from a few hours to an entire day fishing for them. My perception of catfish population may be skewed however, due to my proclivity toward and prowess for chumming for catfish.

I use a variety of chumming methods depending on my goals for the day, if I’m fishing from a boat or from my back porch, and the extent to which I am willing to deal with turtles on any given day.

The Tchefuncte holds all three of the major southeastern United States catfish species: channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish. I’ve caught plenty of each of the three, although I’ve caught more channel cats than blue cats and more blue cats than flathead catfish.

Of all the catfish species, I’ve noticed the steepest decline in the Flathead population relative to the other two. I have no explanation for why this could be or if my anecdotal observations are even representative of the river as a whole.

Anyway, there are a few different ways to fish for catfish. I always use chum. If the water is moving, fish downstream from the chum, near it but not too close. Read below for more on each individual method.

Peter Egan Catfish

Catfish Fishing Methods

  1. Weighted bottom fishing.
  2. Bottom fishing – no weight.
  3. Just below the surface using a bobber to keep the bait at the desired depth.
  4. Fishing near the bottom using a bobber or sliding cork to help identify when a strike occurs.
  5. Jugs/Noodles/Trotlines
  6. Noodling

1. Weighted bottom fishing

This would typically involve a leader with a half-ounce weight about 12-14 inches above the hook (you tie the line to the leader), or with leaders which feature a clamp at the bottom for the weight with a separate line/wire part of the leader coming  out of the side, this is where the bait would go. The objective of this latter leader style is to ensure the bait is near the bottom but at least 4″-6″ ​off the bottom.

Either way, these techniques are used when there is fast-moving water or a strong current and you need the weight to keep your bait in one place. Remember, catfish are primary scent feeders, so if your bait isn’t sitting still in moving water they will have trouble finding it provided it’s moving.

Fishing Leader

2. Bottom fishing – no weight

This method would be used in bodies of water with no or almost no water movement or current. The purpose of this method is to avoid losing fish that strike while method #1 is deployed, but spit the bait out when they feel the tug of the weight. In bodies of water that are heavily fished, the fish will learn to immediately spit out anything that doesn’t feel right. When fishing without weight, not only is the weight not needed due to the lack of moving water, but the fisherman need not be perfect in setting the hook, as an often be the case with the first method.

3. Just below the surface using bobber to keep bait at the desired depth

This is my preferred method when it’s working. The main advantage to fishing closer to the surface than the bottom is that you’re far less likely to get your hook caught on debris on the bottom, and no possibility unless a fish gets hooked and swims into some sub-aquatic structure, making it difficult if not impossible to land the fish. Still, those instances are rare if you’re careful not to fish near known structures and know how and when to work the drag on your fishing reel.

Unfortunately, this method generally is less successful with catfish considered to be well above-average in size, but can be a great way to catch as many 1-4 pound fish as one desires (provided they’re chumming effectively).

Fishing Bobber

4. Fishing at or near the bottom with a bobber or sliding cork

This method is useful when you know the approximate depth of the water being fished. It’s a combination between methods 1, 2 and 3. The purpose is to give the fisherman a slight advantage by being able to watch the cork or bobber as opposed to feeling for a strike. This is especially useful when fishing with more than one rod simultaneously.

5. Jugs and noodles

Jugs and noodles are literal empty milk, 2-liter soda and detergent bottles, or pool noodles cut up into 3-4 pieces. They are used because they float and even the largest fish can’y keep them submerged for long.

This method requires a boat, as the fisherman attaches twine or fishing line with a hook at the end and baits each jug, spreading them out across a wide amount of water, then driving the boat towards any that start moving (with a fish on) and using a net to scoop both jug and fish. Obviously, this method requires a boat.

I find jugs/noodles far more effective than trot lines, in which a line is run either across a river or across a stretch of the shoreline, with individual lines with hooks every 18″ to 24″. This method leaves too much time for the fish to remove themselves from the hook, as the line is traditionally left baited in the water overnight. Some people swear by trot lines, but I’ve had far more success with jugs and/or noodles when fishing without a rod and reel.

Fishing Noodles Jugs

6. Noodling

This is a dangerous form of fishing popular in Oklahoma involving people wading into the water, feeling around until they find an ideal habitat for a large catfish, then attempting to catch the fish with their bare hands, usually by gripping it at the jaw. Louisiana waters where freshwater catfish thrive also happen to be full of alligators, so I’ve never tried this form of catfishing. If I were ever to travel to Oklahoma or parts of north Texas, I’d certainly give it a try as long as my first trip was as the guest of someone experienced in the practice.

Which method of catfishing is best depends primarily on the water conditions in a given body of water. If the water is still, you can afford to stay off the bottom more often than not. If the water is moving rapidly or if there is a strong current, you’ll need to put enough weight on your leader to keep your bait in place, with the amount of weight necessary depending upon how much it takes to keep your bait in one spot without the water being able to move it (thus making it difficult for catfish to trace the scent of your bait). By keeping it in one place, the fish can find the bait more easily.

If you’d rather not deal with a rod and reel (and you have a boat or at least a canoe), maybe jugs/noodles or a trotline are for you.

Baits

Which bait to use depends on what the fish in your area prefer, and your willingness to get your hands dirty.

It’s hard to beat Canadian nightcrawlers, but you’ll be washing your hands every time you bait up. The same goes for pre-packaged stink-bait like ​Magic Bait.

Other options include shrimp, hot dogs, chicken and beef livers, artificial lures that are hollow and designed to be filled with a foul-smelling paste with one large hole to insert the paste and a few smaller holes to let the paste’s scent escape the rubber container. There are also sponges with hooks attach that are designed to be dipped into a commercial catfish bait product that smells worse than death.

I keep large Canadian nightcrawlers (usually from Wal-Mart), raw shrimp (perhaps slightly rotten), Magic Bait’s “Chicken Blood” flavor bait and Magic Bait’s Dinner Bell Catfish Chum. I typically use the commercial chum when I don’t have a natural chum that’s better. I’ll mix it with Magic Bait (the bait mixed with the chum) and will throw in whatever decaying food leftovers I have that would compliment the scent.

Canadian Nightcrawlers

One example is a paste I make by catching shad in a cast net when they school in the summer, putting them into a blender mixed with water and blending until all that remains is a fine paste. I freeze the paste inside a plastic bag and add to the chum bucket as needed.

That said, conditions have not been very good for shad this summer, and when I have seen them I haven’t had my cast net on me, so I’ve had to make due with mostly commercial chum for the better part of this year.

Conclusion

In any case, the method of fishing should be determined by the body of water in which you’re fishing. Use the guidelines above to determine which type of fishing will yield you the most catfish.

Bait is as much a matter of preference as anything. I’d recommend keeping more than one bait on hand just in case the fish don’t like whatever bait you throw out initially.

Tchefuncte River Flooding Changes Fishing Outlook

Tchefuncte River Flooding Impacts Fishing Outlook

Monday, June 19, I was amazed at the size and aggressiveness of the catfish feeding on a cup of dry dog food I had thrown into the water from my weight room balcony. There were at least a dozen fish over 2-feet long and countless smaller fish fighting each other for the dog foot. Two massive catfish would collide and they’d both make a splash similar to what you would expect to hear if you dropped a cinder block into the water from about 20 feet up in the air. It was quite a display.

Nature has a way of knowing when major weather events are imminent, and these fish were forecasting a storm and subsequent flooding that I hadn’t anticipated despite seeing the signs first-hand (the fish going crazy).

Had I realized the storm was going to cause such severe flooding I’d have gotten a hotel room so as to not be trapped inside my house. Being flooded in, I decided to take the unexpected day off from work to try and catch some of those massive catfish I had seen feeding just two nights before.

Unfortunately, the day had other plans for me. Shortly after catching my first catfish (a relatively small one), as I was removing the hook my dog Paris swallowed the wad of Magic Bait catfish bait — hook and all — that was attached to my other rod and which I was about to throw in the water.

Well, I wasn’t able to get her to throw it up and had to cut the line, leaving the hook somewhere inside my dog’s throat or stomach. Luckily, my brother was in the area and he was able to meet me after I waded through waist-high water to carry the dog to the roadway (that wasn’t flooded), and bring her to the vet for me.

Peter Egan soaking wet after wading through a flooded road

Luckily, the vet called a few hours later and said the surgery was a success and that the dog was expected to make a full recovery. My bank account likely won’t make a full recovery, but that’s a different story for a different day.

Anyway, I fished for about three hours after that. I caught five small catfish. Had I done my fishing two days prior, all my efforts chumming in order to keep catfish in the area would have resulted in quite a haul. After the flood, the effect of the chum was minimized as fish have access to new ground that’s usually dry and tend to leave their regular spaces exploring their new, temporary territory.

I’m going to try again in a few hours once it’s dark (which is when I normally see the big blue catfish – for whatever reason they won’t eat during the day, even if I throw the same food in the same spot). Hopefully, my efforts tonight will yield better results than the five 12-14 ounce catfish I caught during the day.

If you were planning on fishing the Tchefuncte the remainder of this week or this weekend, I’d suggest a change-of-plan. Everything that would normally apply in fishing the Tchefuncte can be thrown out the window in these conditions, including but not limited to there being twice the water containing the same number of fish (meaning the fish are more spread out and thus harder to catch). I would recommend booking a fishing trip where results are pretty much guaranteed. The storm system is well past the southern tip of southeast Louisiana, so offshore fishing should be close to normal if not completely normal by now.

My advice would be to call someone like Captain Troy Wetzel and ask him about the conditions in and around Venice, LA. If he’s comfortable going out in the Gulf and doing some offshore fishing, book a fishing charter with him or someone like him, depending on whether you prefer to fish offshore or inshore saltwater.

If you opt to fish inshore saltwater, make sure to do your research on the fishing captain. There are just as many bad as there are good. Not everyone with a nice bay boat has the tools to be a good charter captain. Certain guides will ensure their clients limit out every time out, while others are still trying to learn what the good ones (like Willy Serpas) have known for decades.

Offshore charters generally involve less risk because there isn’t as much nuance involved in terms of finding the fish and catching them. The oil rigs are the only structures out there. The only questions is are the fish biting that particular day. Sure, read reviews and make sure you don’t overpay or get stuck with an amateur, but generally speaking as long as you communicate your goals and establish that those goals are consistent with the captain’s strengths, there’s not as much risk when fishing offshore as compared to inshore.

To read more about offshore fishing, leaving out of Venice, LA, check out the following post: Peter Egan Enjoys Offshore Fishing Trip Out of Venice LA.

Anyway, below are some photos of the flooding, along with some photos showing what the water level normally looks like for anyone interested.

Tchefuncte River Flooding
The water in this photo is normally dry land.
Tchefuncte River Flood
The flooding actually got a lot worse than this.
House on the Tchefunce River
This is where the water level is on an average day.
House on the Tchefuncte River
Same house shown in above photos, only the ground isn’t covered by water like it was June 21, 2017.

Advice Needed Regarding WordPress Programmer, Plug-In Developer

Advice Needed Regarding WordPress Programmer, Plug-In Developer

I need to hire a WordPress Developer and WP Plug-In Developer (preferably the same individual or company). I don’t know whether to outsource, do contract labor or hire a programmer/developer full-time, in-house.

I also don’t know what a fair price is for the services I require. Can someone please help me with the following questions?

I am trying to develop a site, but the functionality the site needs exceeds my skill-set.

I need to hire a programmer to develop custom plug-ins and ensure proper functionality for the site. The site is about average complexity in terms of functionality relative to most established mutli-user sites/communities.

Should I:

    • Outsource, hire contract labor or a hire full-time programmer?
    • How much should I pay for each full time and outsource/contract? (Site will be fairly elaborate but about average for sites of it’s nature.)

Does WordPress being open source cause any problems with security? I’m comfortable with the platform, but is it worth it to just trust someone else to develop a site using a platform I’m not familiar with and unable to work within?

I will publish all relevant comments so go ahead and put your link in the URL section.

WordPress Forums

I’ve developed a lot of sites but haven’t coded from scratch since 2005 (Dreamweaver days before CMS took off). I have adequate knowledge of HTML, but not great. I’ve developed hundreds of sites, but nearly all using WordPress, Weebly or some similar platform that makes it easy for people like me to make a good looking website without the development skills I would presume most on this forum possess.

For what it’s worth, I tried posting this to the WordPress development forum, where the admin shut it down on grounds that it belonged in the “Jobs” section. “Jobs” wouldn’t publish it because it’s not a job listing.

Hopefully Reddit can come through and provide me with some objective insights from people with nothing at stake to help me make a decision about what type of help I need and how much money I should set aside for those services.

Jan Dembowski

“Brute Squad” is right… As you can see, Jan was none too eager to allow anyone to potentially help me, even though (at least IMHO) she’s dead wrong about this. I know Reddit can be pretty brutal at times too, but I’ve endured plenty of other people’s superiority complex today so please go easy on me and if you can help answer my questions take the two minutes it takes to do so.

** In addition to comments, I’ll publish a followed link in this post to the site/URL of choice for whomever provides the most helpful answer. **

Peter Egan Enjoys Offshore Fishing Trip Out of Venice LA

Peter Egan Offshore Fishing

Peter Egan recently had an opportunity to go offshore fishing with a couple good buddies from high school.

I received a phone call around 6 pm on a Friday night early in May. It was Justin Richard, a friend from high school asking if I’d like to join them for a fishing trip the next morning. That didn’t leave me with a whole lot of time to prepare given that Venice is a good 3.5 hour drive from Covington, however I made it work.

Justin and his father Mitch are a couple of the big shots at Calmar Insulation. If you’re not familiar with the company, they’re the ones that insulated the Superdome during the renovations after Katrina, so it’s a fairly large company.

Calmar Insulation

Anyway, they have a really nice fishing boat, and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do some blue water, deep sea, offshore fishing in hopes of landing a Tuna, Grouper or Red Snapper.

By the time I made it to Venice (Louisiana) everyone was sound asleep, so I slept in my car and met up with them at around 5:00 am.

The sunrise was beautiful. There’s no words to describe what the sun looks like when it peaks over the horizon out on the open water on what turned out to be a magnificent day.

Sunrise on Offshore Fishing Trip

It was a fun-filled day and a great chance to reconnect with a couple friends I’ve had for more than two decades.

While we didn’t get any Tuna, Grouper or Red Snapper, we did catch a few Amberjack. Unfortunately, at the time there was a federal moratorium in place and we had to de-hook the fish without bringing them into the boat so as to do as little harm as possible.

Jack Crevalle

While I didn’t catch an Amberjack, I did get several bites, caught a few smaller fish in the 2-3 pound range, and landed one 60 pound Jack Crevalle that fought harder than any fish I’ve ever landed in my entire life. I kept the fish, cutting it up to use as crab bait for my grandfather. He’s too old to catch his own bait and throw his own traps so he needs someone to do it for him, and once I got that fish aboard I wasn’t about to let that opportunity slip away.

I literally fought that fish for what seemed like an hour and felt like it must’ve weight at least 150 pounds. I’ve never caught a fish that fights as hard as a Jack Crevalle relative to the fish’s size. Part of that might have been that I was using medium-action spinning gear, but I’d have it no other way.

Peter Egan Muscles

At the end of the day, I had an incredible time offshore fishing for a solid 10 hours. People pay a lot of money to have the privilege to do that, and I got to do it because I’m friends with someone who owns a boat big enough and designed to accommodate fishing in 600 feet of water.

I am very grateful to the Richards and wish I could thank them enough for the invitation. Any time y’all care to invite me to go fishing with you count me in.

Offshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is so much fun it’s hard to describe. If you’ve never done it, want to do it but don’t know anyone with a boat, I’d highly recommend doing planning your trip with a guide like Troy Wetzel and get your Venice fishing in with a professional that will ensure you catch your share of fish, and the right kind of fish.

Oil Rig in Gulf of Mexico (Fishing)

Not all guides are the same. My great uncle for example rarely returns to shore without all of his clients limiting out on both speckled trout and redfish (red drum), sometimes with a black drum, flounder (or four) or sheepshead mixed in. However, not all guides care that their clients have a good time.

If you’re paying for a fishing trip, it’s worth putting the time and effort into thoroughly vetting your guide and making sure his clients have nothing but good things to say. I once went on an inshore saltwater trip out of Venice with a captain whose name I can’t remember (I think it was Chad, but I’m not certain and can’t recall his last name). He was just awful. He’d angle his boat in such a way that only he could cast near the grass beds, allowing him to catch all the fish and catch everybody’s limit while the rest of us fished in futility in water where we weren’t going to catch a fish if we fished it a month straight because of the way he would position the boat.

To make matters worse, he ridiculed his clients for not catching fish when it was clearly evident that the only reason he was and we weren’t was because he had the trolling motor and would angle the boat in such a way that only he had access to the grass beds and shelves. If I ever remember that guy’s name I’m going to update this post with it as a warning to anyone thinking about booking a fishing charter.

Venice Louisiana Fishing Trip

Back to my recent fishing trip, I was extremely grateful even though it wasn’t a great day in terms of catching fish. I was an invited guest. I paid them nothing. I did offer to help pay for gas but there was some kind of problem at the marina where they couldn’t split the bill and I didn’t have any cash on me. I’ll settle up the next time I see Justin.

If you’ve never been offshore fishing I urge you to make a point of doing it at least once in your life. It’s well worth the experience whether you catch that 800 pound tuna or not.

How to Chum for Catfish

How to Chum for Catfish

Increase your catch by learning the strategies and techniques behind chumming for catfish

By: Peter Egan

Note: The instructional videos are at the bottom of the article. If you’re only here to watch the videos and learn to chum, scroll down until you see the videos.

Ever since I became an adult and started living on my own (with the exception of when I was enrolled full-time in college), there has been one constant — I’ve lived on or near the water. After Hurricane Katrina shut down Tulane’s campus, destroyed my uptown New Orleans home and forced me to take a semester off from school, I’ve resided one or near a large body of water.

From 2005-2011, I lived in a home located on a bayou just off the Tchefuncte River. From 2011-2012 I lived in a beachfront condo along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. From 2012-2014 (October of 2014 to be exact) I lived in a house three blocks from the beach about two miles from the Condo I had lived in previously.

In October of 2014, I returned to Covington and now find myself in the same house on the bayou and 150 feet from the Tchefuncte River.

The reason I have always sought out places of residence near large bodies of water is simple: I love to fish. Freshwater fishing (like the Tchefuncte, the bayou on which my home resides or the pond at my parents’ house growing up), inshore saltwater, beach fishing, marsh / brackish water, offshore — it’s all fishing to me and I enjoy it all.

Peter Egan's Fishing Store

Peter Egan's Fishing StoreOf course every form of fishing and even every species of fish when you get right down to it has its own unique challenges which require different approaches in order to achieve results. Living on the Tchefuncte River, I occasionally fish for bass, but the river has become so over-fished post-Katrina when the area’s population more than tripled that bass are pretty hard to come by. You really need a bass boat with a trolling motor and an assortment of various tackle to even have a chance at catching Power Pro Fishing Line - 20 Pound Test>more than one or two small bass on a given day in the Tchefuncte. A good day bass fishing in the Tchefuncte and all the connected bayous and lagoons would consist of maybe 3-5 bass total, perhaps one weighing over 1.5 pounds. It’s really not a good river in which to fish for bass – especially when you stop to consider the near-constant boat traffic and the fact that on some weekends, 20-25 different boats all troll down the bayou upon which I reside. Most are probably clueless to the fact that there’s already been a dozen other fishermen who’ve thrown every lure at every angle imaginable by the time they make their way down my bayou. Maybe they’re not and they just don’t care. I don’t know and don’t much care myself.

My preferred species of fish to target in this river at least are catfish.

There are several reasons for this: For one thing, catfish are far more abundant than are bass or crappie, the other two primary game fish targeted by fishermen (the river is nearly extinct of Alligator Gar, a species that thrived in the river pre-Katrina, due to over-fishing). Catfish don’t require a boat, trolling motor or tackle box full of expensive artificial lures of every texture, shape, color and size. In terms of food, catfish are delicious, and the taste of fried or broiled catfish rivals that of the other freshwater fish species commonly eaten. That said, catfish are the only freshwater fish on the menu of literally every seafood (and many non-seafood) restaurant – at least in the southeast United States.

A day of bass fishing might yield 3-5 fish on a good day. Panfish (sunfish, bream, perch, bluegill – many species with countless names but all basically the same fish) are easy to catch and taste good. However, they’re small fish and even the larger ones are only a few ounces. Crappie (aka: sac-a-lait) are the exception, as they can grow to be several pounds, but unlike other panfish, crappie can require elaborate tackle and techniques to catch. For the most part panfish are easy to catch and taste good, they’re just a lot of work to clean and there’s not a lot of meat per fish.

A day of fishing of catfish on the other hand can yield dozens of fish, hundreds if you care to catch that many. The fish can range in size from a few ounces to 50-60 pounds on the large end of the spectrum.

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

The maximum size of the fish varies depending upon the species. Channel Catfish, which are the most common species in the Tchefuncte (and in the southeastern United States in general), can reach a size of approximately 40 pounds, however this is extremely rare. A large channel cat is anything over 5 pounds. I’ve caught a handful in the Tchefuncte over 10-12 pounds, but just a handful out of hundreds of fish. Most will range between 1-4 pounds. They’re not huge, but are delicious and widely considered to be the tastiest of the three main species of catfish found in the Tchefuncte.

According to Wikipedia:

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is North America’s most numerous catfish species. It is the official fish of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, and is informally referred to as a “channel cat”. In the United States, they are the most fished catfish species with approximately 8 million anglers targeting them per year. The popularity of channel catfish for food has contributed to the rapid expansion of aquaculture of this species in the United States.

A member of the Ictalurus genus of American catfishes, channel catfish have a top-end size of about 40–50 pounds (18–23 kg). The world record channel catfish weighed 58 pounds, and was taken from the Santee-Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina, on July 7, 1964. Realistically, a channel catfish over 20 lb (9 kg) is a spectacular specimen, and most catfish anglers view a 10-lb (4.5-kg) fish as a very admirable catch. Furthermore, the average size channel catfish an angler could expect to find in most waterways would be between two and four pounds.

Channel catfish will often coexist in the same waterways with its close relative, the blue catfish, which is somewhat less common, but tends to grow much larger (with several specimens confirmed to weigh above 100 lb).

Source: Wikipedia

Blue Catfish

In addition to Channel Catfish are Blue Catfish. Blue Catfish are not quite as common as Channel Catfish in the Tchefuncte, but they’re plentiful nonetheless and based on my anecdotal evidence would appear to be the second-most commonly found species in the Tchefuncte.

Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish differ from Channel Catfish in appearance and in size. Blue Catfish have a blueish tint, don’t have the spots commonly found on channel catfish, have a dorsal hump and over 30 rays on the anal fin (compared to the channel catfish, which generally has between 25-29).

More importantly, Blue Catfish can grow to over 14o pounds, with several documented cases of anglers catching blue catfish in excess of 130 pounds, and a handful over 140. Generally speaking, throughout my history of fishing the Tchefuncte, the Blue Catfish I’ve caught have been larger on average than the Channel Catfish, and most of the fish weighing over ten pounds that I’ve caught have been either Blue or Flathead Catfish, which we’ll discuss next.

Blue Catfish (underwater)

Blue catfish, like their close relative the Channel Catfish, make for great table fare. They’re slightly below the Channel Cat in terms of their taste.

Blue Catfish will eat almost anything, dead or alive, that they can fit into their mouths.

Blue Catfish (2)

According to Wikipedia:

Blue catfish are opportunistic predators and eat any species of fish they can catch, along with crawfish, freshwater mussels, frogs, and other readily available aquatic food sources. Catching their prey becomes all the more easy if it is already wounded or dead, and blue catfish are noted for feeding beneath marauding schools of striped bass in open water in reservoirs or feeding on wounded baitfish that have been washed through dam spillways or power-generation turbines.

More information on Blue Catfish: Wikipedia

Flathead Catfish

Flathead Catfish are the third primary species of catfish found in the Tchefuncte River. They can grow very large, and have an approximate maximum size that is comparable to the Blue Cat. Commonly referred to as “Tabby Cats” among south Louisiana anglers, Flathead Catfish have one distinct difference from Channel and Blue Catfish: their feeding patterns.

Flathead Catfish

Yeti CoolerYeti Cooler

Flathead Catfish prefer life prey. Whereas Channel and Blue Catfish will eat almost anything they can smell, feel or catch (and fit into their mouths), Flathead Catfish are somewhat more carnivorous and prefer to eat smaller fish, crawfish, insects and worms.

Flathead Catfish are good to eat, but their taste is not quite as delicious as Channel and Blue Cats. Flathead Cats certainly taste good enough that were you to catch a nice-sized one, it would go in the Yeti (ice chest) as opposed to being released.

Additional Information about Flathead Catfish: Wikipedia

Magic BaitGenerally when I fish for catfish in the Tchefuncte or Bogafalaya Rivers, I’ll catch all three species, Typically using live worms, nightcrawlers, occasionally liver and sometimes Magic Bait or another brand of “Stink Bait” for bait. I also chum constantly, so I don’t have to travel beyond my back porch to catch as many catfish as I so choose.

This brings us to the reason for this article. Chumming for catfish can greatly enhance your catch and make fishing trips infinitely more fun if it’s done properly. Luckily for my readers, I’ve assembled a series of videos I filed outlining the chumming techniques and strategies I personally use.

Full disclosure, I use Magic Bait’s pre-made, commercial chum as one of the main ingredients in my most common chum mixtures. I recommend buying it online, as you can get it a lot cheaper at Amazon than at Bass Pro Shops. If you click the image or the link it will take you to a page where you can buy the product. I endorse this product because it works. I use it. I pay for at least a bag a week, every single week. Sure, I mix it with various other ingredients to concoct my proprietary chum blends, but it is my genuine belief that the Dinner Bell Fish Chum from Magic Bait is an excellent starting point and a perfect base around which to build your chum.

Flathead Catfish (2)

I also explain different chumming techniques and strategies depending upon your goal. Specifically, I outline two separate strategic approaches for both short-term fishing goals (meaning a one-time fishing trip to a spot you may or may not have fished before but don’t have access to regularly enough to continuously chum the area). The other strategic approaches involve long-term chumming. This is for anglers who either live on or near a body of water, or who have easy access to the water sufficient to maintain a permanent chum bucket and change it out every week or so. Since I live on the water, I obviously prefer the latter approach, but I recognize that few people have this luxury, so I’ve included instructions for those who cannot for logistical reasons maintain a constant chum spot.

In the effort of full disclosure, the four videos combined make up more than half an hour of video recordings. However, I can promise you that if you devote the time to watching all four videos, you will not regret one moment of it, and you’ll emerge a better fisherman. Every line of dialog contained within these four videos was included for a specific reason. If you miss one line you could very well miss something very important.

In other words, pay close attention and watch the videos in order, one-through-four, from beginning to end; at least if you wish to become a better fisherman and know when and how to chum most effectively depending upon your specific goals for that particular fishing trip.

The videos are below.

Chumming for Catfish

Four-part video series featuring expert fisherman Peter Egan of PeterEgan.net.

Chumming for Catfish – Part 1 (Introduction)

How to Chum for Catfish – Part 2

How to Chum for Catfish – Part 3

How to Chum for Catfish – Part 4


Hopefully you’ve watched the above videos and learned when to chum for catfish, how to chum for catfish and which tactics to use depending upon long-and-short-term-goals.

As you can see, the techniques work. My line wasn’t in the water a minute before I caught the first fish.

I’ve been chumming consistently in the time since these videos were filmed. I’m planning on fishing the spot with a friend the weekend of May 05-07, 2017, and I will update this post with photos of our (sure to be solid haul of catfish).

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