College student Micah Doyle doesn’t have much time to fish during the school year, but he makes up for it when the spring semester ends. 

The LSU powerlifter frequents the Grand Isle area all summer long, and on Tuesday made a trip with two other anglers out to Elmer’s Island.

The crew didn’t have a boat, and because Elmer’s is closed to vehicles, they got a hardcore leg workout — in addition to a great box of fish.

“We walked three-quarters of a mile down the beach,” Doyle said. “We went back and forth on Elmer’s quite a few times, but we’d walk down the beach until we got even with the water tower.”

When he got there at first light, Doyle began throwing a topwater bait with little success, but he said the action really heated up once the sky got brighter.

“When the sun came up, they turned on a lot better,” he said. “Around 9 a.m, they shut down. A bunch of dolphins moved in, and it really shut them off.”

Doyle and crew then took a quick break to check out of their cabins at Bridge Side Marina. When they got back out there around 11:30 a.m, the tide was slack and the bite was non-existent.

But persistence paid off, and once the tide started moving again around 1 p.m., Doyle said it was a pretty epic afternoon. 

“All these huge schools of mullet came out of nowhere,” he said. “As soon as the mullet came, it was like a switch activated, and the trout were all up in the mullet.”

The action was literally every cast, according to Doyle.

“You didn’t even have to try,” he said. “You didn’t have to have any technique. You just casted out there and started reeling, and you’d hook up with a fish.”

It took the crew no time to catch a near-limit of specks, and they headed back to Baton Rouge Tuesday night with an ice-chest full of nice trout.

A common mistake frequent Elmer’s Island fishermen make is not wading out far enough, and he said getting a good ways off the beach was paramount.

“Everybody always says the fish are behind people, and you don’t have to hardly leave the beach to catch fish, but we have never caught fish in the first trough,” he said. “It’s always past the second sandbar.”

And because the fish were far away, Doyle said it was pointless to work the lure all the way back to the sandbar.

“You’d get some hits on the initial drop, and then maybe the first two or three pops, and then you might as well reel it in because there was nothing past there,” he said.

Doyle used a variety of colors in the Matrix Shad line of soft plastic paddletail lures, and said that’s a popular brand among Grand Isle fishermen.

Doyle had checked out the area two weeks ago – before Tropical Storm Cindy – and said the numbers of fish were there, but the size was pathetic.

“We probably caught 400 trout, but they were all little,” he said. “Only 40 trout were legal.”

But when he went Tuesday, Doyle said he and the crew caught fish ranging from 16 to 22 inches, and had only two throwbacks.

Cindy ultimately could have a positive impact on Grand Isle fishing this summer, he said.

“I imagine it pushed a lot of clean water up into the marsh, and kept all the water relatively cleaner around Grand Isle,” Doyle said. 

With 5- to 10-mph winds in the forecast, there’s no reason the bite shouldn’t still be on at Elmer’s Island over the long holiday weekend, Doyle said. Find the mullet, fish moving water, wade out as far as you can and you’ll have great success.