Prospects for catching speckled trout in March in the Dularge area hinge on water temperatures, according to veteran saltwater fishing guide Ricky Brondum.

The Raceland outdoorsman knows from many past springs that the best bet is for warm water — 65 degrees, at least — in the marshy areas of South-central Louisiana.

“March is a real funny month,” Brondum said. “If we have the kind of year we’ve been having (70-degree-plus air temps for a little more than two weeks in January), it’ll be an early spring,” the owner of Speck Chaser Charters (985-856-1535) said. “If it stays warm, the fish will start hitting the lakes like Sister Lake, Lake Mechant and Lost Lake — maybe even start heading south.

“If we get four or five days of warm weather, they’ll come out of the deep holes. It’s real hard to predict.”

Before Brondum detailed fishing tactics and areas to try in Lake Mechant, he also talked about the other side of the coin — the speckled trout fishing prospects if the water’s cold.

“If it stays cold and the water temperatures are still (in the 50s), you have to stay in the deep holes like Little Deuce (dead-end canals between Lake Decade and Lake Mechant) and north of Bayou Seveur,” he said.

“They become almost lethargic in 50-degree water. You can drop a bait on their noses and they won’t expend the energy to eat it.”

Being optimistic, Brondum focused on the way to catch speckled trout when the water temperatures are warmer and favorable.

One of his favorite spots is Lake Mechant, where he’ll likely throw one of two artificials.

“When the water warms up, I do some under a popping cork, and I like to scale down to a Shiny Hiney,” Brondum said. “It seems like I do better, I don’t know why. I love swim baits at that time of year, like a bunker or a blueback Tsunami. I love that bunker, and the blueback’s good.”

And, he confided, a swimbait can be effective both on the flats in the lakes when it’s warm, and deadly in the deepwater canals when it’s cold.

At Lake Mechant in March, the key to catching speckled trout is to retrieve either the Shiney-Hiney or Tsunami slowly, Brondum said.

“If you throw a cork, you don’t want to see how aggressively you can pop it,” he said. “Or if you tight-line (use a swim bait), you don’t want to rip it.”

Where to fish in Lake Mechant? Most of the time, he said, the flats are on for speckled trout.

“I don’t get too close to the grass, unless I’m fishing for redfish,” Brondum said. “I generally stay 50 yards off the bank.”

The lake averages 5 to 6 feet deep, with deeper areas at the mouth of canals that drain into the lake.

A few places to try include Goose Bay (N29 19 23.41 x W90 59 15.72), Bayou Raccourci (N29 20 3.34 x W90 56 52.90) and Deer Bayou, he said.