Yes, I know somewhere on the planet there is a claim that their bridge is longer than ours. But our bridge is longer over water — and the water our bridge passes over holds fish.
And those fish get very active this month.
“This is the time of year we troll for trout on the Causeway,” Capt. Andy Jones said. “It’s been a long, hot summer, and this month has been long anticipated.”
Jones operates Wicked Charters (985-750-0670) out of Lake Pontchartrain’s North Shore, and besides the usual pursuit of trout and redfish, he likes to target big ,toothy critters in the lake over the summer — sharks and big alligator gar are his specialties.
But once the cooler weather comes around, he switches gears and begins trolling the Causeway for speckled trout.
“I love this season: cooler temperatures, a good feel to the air, the water cleans up in the lake and the speckled trout return to the long bridges,” Jones said. “I usually start probing out there by late September, running along the legs of the bridge looking for bait, and when I find it I’ll stop and jig the area to see if I get a strike. I’m trying to locate some fish.
“By mid-October I’ll be dragging lures behind my boat and catching some decent fish, and in November we really hit the bridge hard. I’ll troll it every day, if the weather lets me.”
Last year, Jones said he located nice pockets of fish between 2 and 8 eight miles out from the north shore. He never had to travel any farther than that to catch his fish.
“The Spillway affected the south shore more than the north shore last season, and we don’t know what stretch of the bridge the trout will congregate along,” he said. “But you can be sure I’ll find them.”
When he trolls, Jones sets out four lines. The two outside rods are rigged with lead line, dragging Rapalas or lipped MirrOlures with B2 Squid trailers tied about 18 to 24 inches behind them.
The two inside rods are setup with braided line, dragging a Rat’L’Trap or a MirrOlure without any trailers.
“I do like to experiment,” Jones said. “I’m using some Bomber Lures that I really like and giving those jointed hard plastic swim-baits a try.
“I like the action on them, and I think they’ll be productive.”
Jones said to move if you pull your baits a while and get no action. Just run up a mile and try again.
“But don’t just abandon a section of bridge that you know holds fish,” he said. “Try trolling on the other side, or troll down the middle of the two bridges, or troll farther away from the bridge or closer to it.
“Sometimes the fish hang a ways off the spans, and sometimes they snug up against it. Keep moving until you figure out where they are.”