Frank Davis, WWL-TV Fishing Expert
DELACROIX, La. - Come this weekend. Southeast Louisiana fishermen need to head out at breakneck speed from Delacroix to the waters around and between Stone and Bell Islands. . .that’s if speckled trout, redfish, drum, sheepshead, and flounder will satisfy their fishing cravings.
“Right now, Frank, we’re catching fish right at the inside-outside barrier,” Ron “Capt. Ahab” Broadus explained in semi-scientific terms.” That’s because it’s that time of year when inside species are looking to move to deeper water offshore and offshore species desperately want to get inside to the marsh-grass ponds and lagoons.
“Fisherman will begin noticing the environmental and atmospheric subtleties in the marsh ecology as we move gradually but further into fall. Temperature changes, feeding times, and overall fish activity will all be affected. And for us as fishermen to catch our quarry, we have to be attuned to these things.”
But future conditions will come into play later in the next two months. Right now, speckled trout are holding out in the marsh shallows and over reefs, as well as all along the shoreline points and pockets. Reds, drum, and sheepshead are suspended over deep holes where two or more bayous or canals intersect. Fish for them at these spots.
Both specks and white trout will also be schooling under flocks of feeding sea gulls—fish them there too.
“Angling technique is not all that difficult,” Capt. Ahab boasted. “Whatcha do is fish everything under a popping or chugging cork, 21 inches deep. It might be necessary at one or two locations to tie on a Carolina rig and fish bottom. . .but for the most part you should do exceptionally well using only cork, leader, and Kahle hook. . .and a live shrimp, of course!
“Actually, though, I recommend that in addition to your live shrimp, you also pack aboard a pound or two of market shrimp. Trout, occasionally, and just about every other species I’ve named will readily take market shrimp if presented to them properly.”
The fact of the matter is, Thursday I caught just as many gamefish on dead bait as I caught on live bait. Fish for them the way they wanna be fished for and. . .you definitely catch your share will little or no problem.
A few other notes:
Find (and fish at) moving water. This is especially important if tidal range is at its minimum. Current lines at the places I’ve specified make good locations to run down trout and reds (and maybe even a few drum and sheepshead).
Find and fish clean and clear water. Windy days of late have caused some widespread turbidity (dirty and murky water). With conditions as such, this is all the more reason to use fresh market shrimp and live and lively shrimp. Gamefish at times like these absolutely must be able to see or sense the bait.
And finally, regardless of what you fish for and where you fish, you’ll need to rely on a “cast and move” approach. Depending upon where you choose to fish, if they’re in the area they’ll move on and attack the bait within seconds of it hitting the water. If the bait splashes down and 45 seconds later you’ve gotten no gamefish interaction. . .you need to move to another spot! Because you know for certain there are no fish within that perimeter.
If you want to learn precisely how to fish the early and mid-fall periods, you can charter with Captain Ahab and have him teach you how it’s done first hand. What you do is make a phone call, meet Ahab at the designated spot, fish with him all day, and then, when you head back home (with a box of fish, no less), you’ll be proficient at a specialized method of angling. By the way, Ahab ‘s number is 504-914-6063 or 504-835-8398.
Now next week I’ll head on down to Hopedale and team up with Capt. Kerry Audibert. I’ll give you an updated report as soon as I get back to the dock.
Meanwhile, tight lines and good times to ya!