If you were to read a list of a fishing guide’s most important tools, you’d probably pass away before you found an American Flag on the record.

However, Outcast Fishing Charters’ Capt. Lloyd Landry looks at the Stars and Stripes every morning after leaving his lodge in Buras to determine which side of the river he’s going to fish.

“I have an idea of what the wind is doing based on the weather forecast, but I just let the American Flag in Buras tell me whether I’m going to go left or right,” he said.

If Landry is faced with a wind that has a westerly component, he’s apt to fish the east side of the river.

“You can launch in the river at Riverside and run to the east side through Ostrica,” he said. “If you leave there and head south, pretty much all you’re going to do is redfish, fishing off Quarantine Bay heading south off Fort Bayou.”

For die-hard speckled trout anglers, Landry suggested heading north.

“If you want trout on the east side, you’re going to head up the river and fish areas like California Point, Bay Auguste and Cox Bay,” he said.

When fishing these areas, Landry looks for a certain bottom composition.

“We fish the (oyster) reefs and all the points out in the bays,” he said. “Anywhere you find moving water and bait is usually good.”

Landry uses ¼-ounce jigheads either tight-lined or under a cork.

“A lot of times I use the clip-on corks because I’m switching from fishing with a cork and without a cork,” he said. “If the weather is decent when I’m making my way out to the bay, I’ll tight-line a lot out there.”

One overlooked area is the back-levee canals near Cox Bay. The guide said nasty weather days are when these work the best.

“When it gets really cold and the water gets low, that’s when we’ll just annihilate the redfish in there,” Landry said. “They’ll gang up at the intersections off all the canals.”

He rarely has an issue with water clarity in the canals.

“It stays clean in there, and it’s protected from the wind, so it’s easier to fish,” Landry said.