Don Dubuc / Fish & Game Report
March is supposed to be the worst month for winds but April is starting off right where the roaring lion left it. Despite the residual dirty water from this week's late frontal passage, our trip to the Pontchartrain railroad trestle bridge produced some nice spring speckled trout.
The key to finding where the fish are when there's muddy, wind-driven and Pearl River outflow water, is locating small pockets of cleaner water. It won't be real clear but it will be slightly 'cleanER' than most areas. This can actually be an advantage because it tends to congregate trout into smaller areas making them easier to locate.
The 'King of Pontchartrain Trout Fishing,' Captain Dudley Vandenborre normally likes to cast and move using his trolling motor parallel to the pilings working into the direction the tide or wind driven water is flowing. 'At times when you find these little areas of clean water, it's best to drop anchor and work the trout hard. Sometimes you have to aggravate them into biting. You have to make a lot of casts because with limited water clarity you have to wave your bait right in front of their face,' he said.
The baits we used were Deadly Dudley bay chovies in blue moon with a chartreuse tail and the new lemon pepper with the blue tail rigged on 3/8 and 1/2 ounce plain jig heads. For some unexplainable reason monofilament line seems to work much better than braided line.
The specks were mixed, some were 2-3 pounds; others had to be released. We picked up a keeper black drum and a flounder. We also had a hectic run on some pesky 'bat' rays officially known as cow-nosed rays. Musician Reed Alleman and I spent several minutes each bringing a couple to the surface but Dudley has a lot less patience and immediately broke off the couple he hooked. 'They seem to always come in squadrons,' he said.
The weekend forecast is calling for another late front to pass through sometime Saturday evening and night with some rain. Until then, the winds are predicted to be light to moderate but Sunday will be a different story with high north and northwest winds making the lake pretty much unfishable. By Tuesday it should be accessible but still a little dirty so use the information on tonight's report and you should manage to catch a few nice specks but watch out for those bat rays!
Hook 'Em Hard!