What if I told you could catch some high-quality speckled trout on Grand Isle right now — without having to fight the crowds to do it.
Heck, you don’t even need a boat.
All it really takes is a good bait bucket, some live shrimp and access to a lighted wharf.
But if you’re typically in bed by 10 p.m. blissfully asleep, this might not be the bite for you.
It’s nighttime wharf fishing — and the action doesn't heat up 'til around 9 p.m.
So you don't have to worry about flying out of the marina at daybreak to be the first one at your spot. Just stroll down to the wharf and wet a line when the tide is right.
“That's the thing about fishing at night. You can go and kind of beat the crowds, and the bite is just as good," said Jovi Theriot, 26, of Lockport. “It's happening now on pretty much any wharf on the whole island. While everybody is sleeping, the trout are still on the move.”
Theriot and buddy Robert Vegas have been catching some hammer specks in the 3- to 4-pound range at night by free-lining shrimp or fishing them under a popping cork.
The key is having a strong wharf light, he said.
“If you have good light that will bring bait in, you’ll have specks coming,” he said. “The light brings the bait, and the specks come in to eat. It’s an easy meal for them.”
Theriot said they go and turn on the lights just before dark and start getting set up.
“Then we give it about an hour and we start fishing. We play the tide. As long as the tide is moving, you’ll have that bait coming in,” he said. “But once that tide slacks, you can tell the bite really tapers off. Coming in or going out — it doesn’t matter, as long at the water is moving.”
Theriot said he throws out a popping cork and puts that rod in a holder, then free-lines with his second rod to double up his chances.
“You want to cast out into the shadows and work your bait back toward the light,” he said. “Most of the bites come between the shadow and the light.”
They’ve moved recently from the bay side of the island toward Caminada Pass by Bridge Side Marina with good success.
“It’s quality over quantity right now. I'd rather catch 10 or 12 of those big ones versus a whole limit, that's for sure," he said. “But when the trout move in, I think you’ll catch more of the smaller ones. I think the bigger ones are in right now.”
A big key to success is having an aerated bait bucket that keeps your shrimp alive, he said. Theriot rigs up with 30-pound braid, a 2-foot, 15-pound fluorocarbon leader and a 3/0 kahle hook.
“You definitely need a good aerator for sure. When you get shrimp from Bridge Side Marina, they’re pretty lively. But you need a good bucket, because as soon as they die you’re not going to catch many,” Theriot said. “You can’t just sit there with a dead shrimp on — you won’t catch anything.”
Theriot said he’s looking forward to hitting the surf soon at Elmer’s Island for more big specks. The water is dirty now, but he said this weekend looks promising.
“Between the moon, the good weather we’re having and the fact that it’s warming up, I think it’s the perfect storm for the big trout to move in there,” he said.