June 2015 - Volume 35, Number 6

Features

The east side of the Mississippi River south of Empire has all but melted away, but move a little to the west to find all the school trout, reds and puppy drum you can handle.

Scarlett O’Hara often got this look. But poor Ashley Wilkes never noticed. Glenn Close got it in Fatal Sttraction, and Michael Douglas caught it in the nick of time.

The offshore waters off the toe of Louisiana’s boot get a lot of attention, but head to the west for some exceptional rig-fishing action on everything from snapper to hard-fighting amberjacks.

“Offshore is what we do,” 46-year-old Dennis Menard Jr. said. “We have blue water in our veins. We are all intrigued by it.

“It’s the not knowing what you are going to come up with.” 

After a couple of years of bouncing off of Dennis and Amanda Menard at various fishing events, I knew they were a storehouse of fishing and rigging tips.

This swamper spends as much time as possible targeting one of the coolest cats in the water — goujon. Follow his lead, and you’re sure to add a lot of meat to your freezer.

All Johnny Broussard’s friends describe him as a man of the swamp.

 “I met him in the swamp,” his good friend David Meyers said. “That’s because that’s where he always is.”

Actually, he isn’t always in the swamp. The slender, athletic, square-jawed Cajun with the mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes owns and operates Johnny’s Custom Paint in Broussard.

You might be able to catch a bunch of dinks inside the Delacroix marshes, but there’s only one choice if you want to head home with plenty of trout for the freezer — head outside to where the big trout spend their summers.

I can’t tell you how many times I walk through my house during summer to find my kids plopped on the couch Instagramming, Snapchatting, Facebooking or watching plain, old-fashioned television.

When fish transition to their summer haunts, jumbo worms can be the key to convincing big fish to feed. Here’s how the pros use them to build limits.

He’s not the fastest guy on the court, nor is he the flashiest. The center, the big man in the middle, has certain responsibilities, and when called on for particular duties, that size and strength play to his advantage

Do you have to have live bait when fishing offshore? Well, it doesn’t hurt. But choose the right jig for the job, and you could be fighting bigger fish — and getting reaction bites even when those fish aren’t feeding.

It’s a fact of life: Drop a piece of bait over any northern Gulf of Mexico structure from the Midnight Lump to the countless wrecks and reefs to the legs of any drilling rig, and something is gonna eat it.

If you want to catch some trout but don’t have a bay boat capable of handling the nearshore Gulf waters, just head to Cocodrie and work the bays that are the last step in specks’ late-spring transition.

Let’s start with a confession: I have an issue with hard-headedness. It spans well beyond fishing, but for this purpose we’ll focus on fishing — specifically the lifelong pursuit of all things speckled trout.

The Pearl River offers some fantastic bass fishing, if you can decipher the maze of water. Learn the best approaches from this father/son team.

Covington’s Jason Pittman and his son Trenton worked the mouth of a canal leading into the river channel, working Mister Twister Jerk Rats — flat-bodied puffs of plastic with twin tails — across gator grass patches near points.

Follow this route out of Galliano and Golden Meadow, and you’ll fill your box with trout and redfish along the way.

The plan was to meet at Basson’s Boat Launch in Galliano, where Capt. Mike “Rippin Lip” Guidry would be waiting with Capt. T-Man Cheramie.

While many Lake Pontchartrain anglers are bouncing jigs and trying to discern subtle bites, this guide is fishing a rig that looks, well, stupid. And he's putting quick limits in the boat.

“Ya wanna go fishing, Stupid?” the voice rang from up the aisle at the Louisiana Sportsman’s Show in Gonzales.

The cherubic face it came from had an innocent smile on it.

“Wa-whaaat?” I stammered in reply.

Most Lake D’Arbonne anglers head offshore for summertime bass, but this accomplished fisherman stays shallow and does what he knows best — catch quality fish.

Before David Harrell even carried the big bass to the scales that Saturday, he had an inkling about what his friends were going to say.

Wondering how you can catch some bruiser trout like this one landed by Jovi Theriot last month at Elmer’s Island? Discover expert tips for surf-fishing success, as well as the best approaches to filling the box with speckled trout from your boat.