August speckled trout fishing in South Louisiana: It’s hot, the trout are far away, live shrimp are needed and you have to deal with roughly 1,529 hardhead catfish per trip. Perhaps, worst of all, you have to get up earlier than the devil.
Oh, and you have to hope once you’ve bought your paycheck’s worth of live shrimp and filled up your gas tank that it’s not too rough to fish.
Sounds like fun, right? Didn’t think so.
So, this time of year, Dularge guide Capt. Bill Lake doesn’t even mess with the speckled trout. Instead, he goes after drag-peeling redfish.
“In August, usually after the full moon, we start redfishing because the trout go into transition, and the schools break up,” he said. “It gets really tough.”
There are two ways Lake likes to fish for redfish: on the bank and in the deep bayous.
When he’s fishing in the marsh, Lake said good areas to check are the north and east shorelines of Lake Mechant and the south and west shorelines of Lost Lake.
When he’s fishing these areas, Lake makes sure to keep his eyes peeled.
“We look for schools of redfish cruising the bank,” he said. “You can see the ripples. We’ll troll up to them and make long casts, and usually we’ll get a double or triple hookup.”
Of course, when you’re looking for redfish perusing around, you need a little better weather than average to spot them. On days when winds or dirty water won’t allow him to see the fish, Lake takes a different approach.
“We’ll just beat the banks like we’re bass fishing,” he said. “We normally catch 20, 25 reds with no problem.”
When he blind-casts to the reds, Lake uses ¼-ounce Humdinger spinnerbaits with gold willow-leaf blades. He also a chucks a ½-ounce gold or silver spoon.
“A lot of people don’t fish silver spoons, but some days, they will hit those silver spoons a lot better than the gold,” he said.
When selecting a shoreline to fish, Lake likes those with sparse vegetation.
“We’ll tend to stay away from the thick grass, and we’ll fish the cleaner banks or something with scattered grass,” he said. “Normally, we don’t like to fish the banks with thick, matted grass because it makes it harder on the customers.”
A lot of times in late August and throughout September, Lake will resort to fishing deep bayous for redfish. He likes the bends of Bayou Decade, Crochet Canal and Buckskin Bayou.
In reference to fishing the bends of the bayou rather than the straight parts, Lake said, “That’s where your deepest water is going to be. The current eats up the bank in the curve.”
Lake said when targeting these bayous that are 20 feet deep, a heavy egg sinker is a must. He uses a ½- or ¾-ounce Carolina rig to get his cracked crab down to the bottom.
Another key for fishing the deep water redfish, Lake said, is to fish on a light tide.
“My experience is when the tide is too hard, they don’t feed,” he said.