At 7 years of age, Hank Macaluso has far less fishing experience than the average Louisiana angler, but no one with an arsenal of rods, cases of tackle and an $80,000 bay boat has more passion than him.
The young Baton Rouge angler would rather fish than eat, sleep or play video games, but he hadn’t experienced crabbing until his dad, Chris, recently took him to a roadside hotspot on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
Hank was hooked, and wanted to crab the real way, with a boat and nets in an area with good current and a high biomass.
When Chris Macaluso, a longtime fishing buddy of mine, told me of Hank’s desire to go crabbing, I quickly followed with an invitation. For me, crabbing with kids is a labor of love. The youngsters can’t get enough of the sport, probably because it provides constant action and the quarry is something dangerous and scary that can provide significant pain to those foolish enough to get too close.
Kids, especially boys, absolutely love it.
Due to calendar constraints, we had to schedule our trip for last week, on the same day the big cold front blew through. That complicated factors for getting Hank on a big redfish to start the day, but the northeast wind behind the front pushed water into the marshes on the east side of the Mississippi River, causing a strong tide, which is something I love when I’m targeting crabs.
We set out two test strings, one in a lake and another in a small bayou, and it quickly became apparent where the bulk of the crabs were. Our first run of 10 nets in the lake produced six keeper crabs, while the bayou run of 13 nets delivered only two throwbacks. We retrieved our bayou nets, and relocated them to the lake.
In just a few runs, the Macalusos had plenty of crabs for a family boil, and Hank had a memory that would last a lifetime.
Check out the video below for all the details.
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