by Chris Berzas
On Monday, May 7, Captain Bill Lake knew the conditions were right to catch limits of speckled trout. The structure he was targeting had a tide moving in, and the trout were feeding well.
“I had three clients from Texas with me,” said Lake. “And we launched at 5:30 am and ran for half-an-hour in the dark to Ship Shoal 26.
“I knew that we had to get there early since the bite was at daybreak,” he said.
After pulling up to the platform, Lake tied on double-rigs for his clients. The baited offerings were Egret Baits’ cajun/pepper- , purple/chartreuse tail- , and chicken-on-a-chain Bayou Chubs.
“For myself, I double-rigged an Egret Baits’ VuDu shrimp with a ¼ oz. split shot above the double-rig knot to get the bait to the bottom,” said Lake. “We were fishing by 6:10 am.”
Once all baits were in the water, the fish immediately responded.
“As soon as the shrimp hit the bottom, I had trout on,” he said. “I looked back and my clients had fish on as well.
“It was two trout per angler at every cast there for a while, and the fish were between 16- and 18- inches, with a few at 20- inches,” said Lake. “They were some really fine speckled trout.”
According to the angler, they picked up 48 specks in the first 30 minutes.
“The pattern here was that the trout were evidently swimming around the rig, so we had action for a while and then it would stop,” he said. “They would eventually make it back to us, and the action would be fast and furious for another 20- minutes.”
Two hours and 35 minutes later, Lake and his crew had finished catching their limits – a total of 100 trout.
“It was an awesome morning,” he said.
Now that summer is here, Louisiana anglers will certainly be pondering over times spent in saltwater in pursuit of the area’s speckled trout and redfish.
“Everything is running late with these recent cool fronts,” said Lake. “I am waiting to see how things shape up once we get our usual southeast winds here again.
“With what I am seeing though, I think we will have a good, average Bayou Dularge year with speckled trout,” he said.
“For the next three months, you will probably find my office at Ship Shoal 26, as well as Ship Shoals 28 and 33,” he said. “For anglers going out there, I would tell them to take along Egret Baits’ cajun/pepper- , purple/chartreuse tail- , and chicken-on-a-chain Bayou Chubs, as well as their new VuDu shrimp. These can all be thrown single- or double- rigged.”
Although the VuDu shrimp is customarily fished under a weighted popping cork, Lake advised that anglers should add a split shot to ensure more casting distance and to aid in getting to the bottom of the rig structures at 10- to 12- feet of water.
In shallower waters along the coast, Lake said anglers can also find trout in the following locations: Pelican Pass by Taylor Bayou; Pass Wilson; and Bay Round.
“There’s a lot of trout to be taken here in the summer through late July,” said Lake. “They’ll be on shell reefs, and the VuDu shrimp under a weighted popping cork will be a great lure to catch them with. Anglers can also catch them on H&H Sparkle Beetles over those reefs.”
Lake said that once anglers boat into these areas, look for the gulls working and usually the trout can be found under them. If not, knowledge of where the reefs are will assist anglers in catching trout.
As for redfish, Lake admittedly has had some difficulty accessing marsh ponds due to vegetation infestation that even prevents trolling.
“In the summer, I would suggest anglers look along the eastern shoreline of Lake Mechant and the west bank of Lost Lake,” he predicted. “You will find schools of five- to nine- redfish pushing wakes.
“Stay 60 yards away from the banks and idle to be able to see them, “he said. “And fish all the runouts throughout the summer on the north banks.”
Into the heat of the summer, anglers may also find redfish in and near the rock jetties on Raccoon Island. The bull reds will start showing up in late July, and they’ll be in all of the Passes, especially Whiskey Pass and Wine Island Pass.
Redfish will take Bayou Chub plastics as well as Egret Baits’ Wedgetail Mullets. For the bull reds, cracked crabs cast in the Passes serve well to entice these brutes.
For more fishing information and guide service, Captain Bill Lake can be reached at 985-851-6015. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Regarding Louisiana regulations, anglers are reminded that they may take and keep 25 fish per person at 12- inches minimum total length – EXCEPT the 15 fish daily take and possession limit, with no more than two spotted seatrout exceeding 25 inches total length, regardless of where taken in a defined area of Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes in southwestern Louisiana.
For redfish, there is the 5 fish daily limit with a 16- inches length limit restriction with no more than one over 27- inches maximum length.
Please consult the 2013 Louisiana Fishing Regulations Pamphlet before heading out on the coast this summer.