Capt. Ron “Ahab” Broadus (504-914-6063) called me with a report and an invite.
“The trout are smackin’ baits in the big bays,” he said. “I’m taking my brother-in-law out tomorrow and there’s room in the boat if you want to join us.”
I definitely wanted to, so I met him at his Delacroix Island dock at daybreak and jumped aboard his 25’ Gator Bay Boat and we headed out for the fringe bays.
The weather was picture perfect, light winds, calm seas and the water clarity was decent. Not clear, but fishable. We make a stop at Serigne’s to load up the livewell with some live shrimp, but there were none to be had. So it’d be an all plastic day, which didn’t bother any of us a bit.
“I only bring live bait as insurance this time of year, but we usually don’t need it,” he said. “The trout are perfectly content hitting these plastics right now.”
After a 20 minute ride we turned into the mouth of a big bay and were greeted by flocks of birds, swooping and diving over bait. They looked to be a mixture of mostly terns, but with quite a few seagulls among them. I could tell Ahab’s initial instinct was to zip right past them, but he decided to kill the outboard and give them a try.
“We’ll give it about five minutes,” he said as he dropped the trolling motor over the bow.
Both Ahab and Chris Meaux, the bro-in-law, were armed with either an opening night Deadly Dudley or a lemonhead Matrix under a cork, while I tossed a glow Vudu shrimp, also under a cork.
The bites were immediate. As soon as it hit the water, wham! But almost all were slightly undersized. We must’ve caught (and released) dozens of 11 ½-inch trout that morning, but we also caught quite a few that hit the 12-inch mark and went in the box. After a while, Ahab decided to break a cardinal rule: to leave biting fish to go look for fish. We could’ve stayed right there and limited out on 12-inch trout, but we were all eager to explore so we headed to the opposite end of the bay and dropped the trolling motor near some small broken marsh islands. Again we had immediate hits, but these were much nicer sized fish.
“The trout are out here in these bigger bays right now,” Ahab said. “Lake Campo, Oak River Bay, Bay Lafourche, Bay Gardene, Bay Crabe, American Bay... all are holding good fish. Over on the other side of Bayou Terre Aux Boeuf you can fish Lake Robin, Lake Machais, Lake Fortune, Two Trees, Lake Calabasse...all that area will be good also.”
Ahab said whichever area you choose, look for these things: birds, bait in the water (especially mullet or shrimp), moving current, decent water and tidelines.
Ahab said if he is unfamiliar with a particular bay, he’ll head first to a prominent point and fish off it by 20-50 feet.
“If the water is decent, if there’s current, and especially signs of bait in the water, fish it,” he said.
“Fish plastics under a cork, and toss some shallow diving crank baits this month,” he said. “Trout and reds will eat them up.
“If the bite is slow, move. And move until you find them. You might only put a few in the box in each place, so just keep moving and adding to your box until you’re done.”
Capt. Ron Ahab Broadus can be reached at 504-914-6063.