August is the prime time to target speckled trout and redfish on the rocks — well, around the rocks.
Veteran charter boat captain Jeff Poe said as much a few weeks ago while talking about saltwater fishing prospects on Calcasieu Lake, also known as Big Lake. Poe pointed anglers to the Cameron Jetties that jut out into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Cameron Jetties act like a magnet to the fish and, as a result, fishermen.
“For August, it’s as good (a fishing destination) as any. Just look for pretty water,” Poe said.
For speckled trout, he said, find the prettiest water and baitfish — rain minnows, mullet and pogeys.
“You might have to hunt and peck,” he said, noting the fish could be on the inside or the outside and from the beach all the way out to the point of each line of rocks (each is approximately 1 mile in length).
“They can be anywhere along there,” he said.
However, on a weak, outgoing tide, he has had plenty of success fishing the inside, the channel side, said the saltwater fishing guide who, along with his wife, Mary, and son, Nick, own Big Lake Guide Service (337-598-3268).
Where to position the boat in relation to the rocks while targeting speckled trout?
Poe said he likes to be fairly close, especially if the fish are deep.
“You want to get to the fish without a lot of line out,” he said. “When they’re deep, they don’t pay much attention to the boat. If they’re up, you can make long casts (parallel).”
Sometimes the speckled trout are as deep as 25 feet and sometimes they are as shallow as on the surface, he said. As a rule of thumb, he said, the stronger the tide, the deeper they’ll be. He advised working the entire water column with soft plastics on either a 1/8-ounce leadhead, which he has tied on all his fishing rods when he leaves the dock. If the current’s strong, he’ll switch to a heavier leadhead, he said.
“You’re better off using the lightest leadhead you can get away with and get where the fish are,” he said.
One of his favorite soft plastics down there is an H&H Sparkle Beetle, a shrimp imitation. Clear/metal flake, glow, chartreuse, avocado, opening night and red/metal flake are the top colors.
Also try H&H Salty Grubs and MirrOlure Lil Johns.
To put redfish in the boat along the jetties, fish with cut mullet, live mullet or soft plastics, Poe said.
Much of the time, he said, more redfish can be caught toward the end of the jetties, especially on the outside. They can be anywhere on the inside along the length of the rocks because it’s deeper, he said.
He noted bull reds show up at this time of the year, so be prepared to tangle with them.
“By the end of August, there will be a lot of bull reds down there, 20-plus pounders,” he said, adding the creel limit per person is one more than 27 inches long.
Beaucoup rat reds will be there, too, to give anglers the opportunity to put more redfish in the ice chest.
“You can catch rat reds,” he said. “You could catch a legitimate five fish (between 16 and 27 inches long), very seldom throwing them back because they’re too small. You can get a (five-fish) limit of redfish, not just one fish.”
He Carolina rigs the mullets, using a 3/8- or ¼-ounce weight.
“Sometimes you might have to go heavier,” he said. “You want it to go down and stay down. If it sweeps and moving around a lot, you’ll get hung up.”