The next couple of days, as the June full moon wanes, will present some excellent conditions for speckled trout as Captain George Ricks of Get-Away Fishing Charters, photographer Geoff Hackett and I found Thursday morning.
Heading out of Hopedale we dropped anchor on one of the grassy islands bordering American Bay shortly after sunrise.
The spot we chose had all the necessary elements including clean, salty water being pulled around the points.
This particular island appealed to George because it had a couple of shell piles on the shore.
'What I key in on are rock piles on the shoreline and what that tells you is where there are rock piles on the shoreline there are rock piles on the bottom and that's what spawning speckled trout are looking for this time of year,' Ricks said while hauling in another healthy trout.
The method we used to catch our fish was about as basic and simple as it gets - live shrimp under a cork with a little split shot sinker to hold the shrimp down in the trout's strike zone. George has a unique method of hooking live shrimp through the top of the tail as opposed to the common 'head hook' technique. (Watch the video to see exactly where and how he places the hook and demonstrates why it makes so much more sense to hook live bait in this manner.)
Every trout we caught, whether an egg-laden sow or one of the fewer males, was a solid healthy, well-fed fish.
Trout weren't the only species we caught. In addition to the three big sheepshead I caught, there were two flounders and an undersized redfish. George said this summertime trout pattern will hold throughout the peak spawning season which ends sometime in late August or early September.
American Bay is listed on most fishing maps and can be accessed from launches at Hopedale, Delacroix Island, Shell Beach and from the west side of the Mississippi River via Pointe a la Hache.
Make sure you bring plenty of live shrimp and/or croakers. Look for the rock piles on the islands with clean water moving around the points and hold on.