NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Capt. Kris Robert is having a hard time finding limits of speckled trout right now, but the redfish action is so good, he admits he hasn't been trying very hard.
Robert and his fishing buddy, Chas Champagne, have been running to the marsh just off of Chef Pass, where the juvenile reds seem to be holding their annual club meeting.
"There are lots of reds in here -- I mean, lots," Robert said Friday afternoon between casts. "A lot of them are rat reds -- 14- to 16-inch fish -- but you have pods of 20- to 24-inch fish that move through."
The key, Robert said, is to find drains in the marsh. He approaches them from the Intracoastal Waterway, and casts his way in. Many times the fish are concentrated at the trenasse mouths, but sometimes, they're farther back on the flats.
"The flats that are deep enough, you just poke in and cast around," Robert said. "If there are no fish there, you just move on to the next one.
"Sooner or later, you'll hit the mother lode."
Robert said anglers who try the technique shouldn't spend very long at any cut.
"You'll know immediately whether or not the fish are there," he said.
Robert and Champagne have been throwing ultraviolet-colored Matrix Shads on 1/4-ounce jigheads, and they're using their rod tips to hop the baits back on the retrieve.
Robert said some other anglers in the area have had success tipping their jigheads with fresh shrimp, but he doesn't feel it's necessary.
The action is best on a high tide that's falling, Robert said. Friday's southwest wind lowered water levels in the area and gave the water a little more turbidity than it's had lately.
Still, Robert said it's nothing to catch limits.
"If a guy comes out here and fishes hard, he'll have his fish in an hour or two," Robert said.
Elsewhere in the area, Robert said fellow guide Kenny Kreeger is catching drum and sheepshead at the southern end of the Train Trestles.
In addition, Robert said speckled trout diehards are finding fish at the Wall near Bayou Bienvenue, but the action is inconsistent.
"You'll catch 40 one day, and go back the next day and maybe catch 15," he said.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com