Fishin' Game: Tips for catching 'em in Lake Pontchartrain this weekend


Posted on October 13, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 14 at 5:52 PM

Frank Davis / Fishing Expert

Fish Pontchartrain's open waters when conditions are calm and fish the marsh ponds and lagoons when the wind is churning up the lake. On days like Thursday when you had both conditions, rough and calm, you fish both locations.

Furthermore, at times like these, remember too that live shrimp on a Carolina rig or live shrimp under a chugging cork will put drum, sheepshead, speckled trout, and black bass in your boat.

Here's what you need to know if you wanna be out there come Saturday and Sunday:

1—Bring along a good supply of live bait shrimp—if you think 50 will do, bring along 100.

2—Bring 2 pre-rigged rods and reels—one spincasting combo fitted with a 13-inch monofilament leader under a popping or chugging cork, and one baitcasting combo fitted with a Carolina rig sporting a half-ounce egg sinker and a 4/0 Kahle or straight hook, both baited with live shrimp.

3—Fish after sun-up, whether you choose open-water or shoreline fishing. And remember to base your “hours on the water” around prime time tidal periods, morning or evening.

“I guess the first thing the weekenders want to do,” Capt. Kenny Kreeger explained, “is scout out and locate the clearest and cleanest water. After hard blows, the integrity of the lake’s water is usually stained or tainted. If the weekend crews can find clear, clear water they’ll have a much easier time actually finding fish.

4—Be aware that Lake Pontchartrain despite its size and depth is generally regarded as a “mean” body of water, known for getting awfully rough in a very short period of time. So if you notice weather building, don’t delay your return to the dock. Stop casting, seek out the lowest position on the boat, and make you way quickly and expeditiously back to safe harbor.

5—At “The Wall” under the new Twin Spans, fish as close to the embankment as possible for bottom fish—drum, sheepshead, redfish, and the occasional flounder. At the trestle, anchor at the upright stanchions (preferably starting at Railroad Marker 174) and cast parallel to the bridge, allowing the bait to be slowly retrieved back toward you. Be ready the entire time, however, to handle the instant strike that could come at any time.

6—If you don’t have the equipment to safely fish the lake on those rough days at the trestle, feel free to contact Capt. Kenny and have him guide you to the schools of fish and you limits. Kenny’s number is 985-643-2944. But remember that all bookings are done on a first come first served basis.

Now, next Thursday we once again launch into the backwaters of Delacroix Island where early in the morning we hook up with Captain Ahab to target some goodly numbers of speckled trout (with a few reds, drum, and sheepshead thrown in for good measure). I’ll fill each of you in on the right technique when I get back to the dock.

In the meantime, stay safe and play it cautious out there. Tight lines and good times to y’all!

Frank Davis