Capt. Anthony Kyzar had one of those days speckled trout fisherman dream out of Cocodrie Monday morning — even if the whole scenario played out just a little bit odd.
Big specks were biting plastics — actual 4-pounders — but they were turning down live shrimp, croakers and minnows.
All they wanted were green hornet-colored Matrix Shad soft plastic lures.
In what he termed a “strange little situation,” Kyzar, with Cajun Fishing and Hunting Charters in Houma, worked a 100-yard stretch of beach on a barrier island and mined it for 20 quality specks.
"We didn't catch many — we caught 20," he said. "But they were all the same class of fish. The smallest one was like 20 inches."
One hammer weighed in at 4.82, and he compiled a five-fish stringer after the trip that tipped the scales at 20.87 pounds.
“And if I had been thinking, we could have put 10 fish that weighed 40 pounds on the scale,” Kyzar said. “The guy who cleans all the fish for the guides said that was the biggest 10-fish stringer he’s seen that he can remember in two years — so that’s a pretty amazing day.”
It was odd not only because the trout turned up their noses at live bait, but also because of the consistent mix of fish holding tight to this particular stretch of beach.
“These fish were in shallow water, like 2 feet, with a bunch of jack crevalle, bull reds and believe it or not, sharks,” Kyzar said. “And we had like 10 sea turtles in the same area.
“It was a strange little situation. We had minnows and they wouldn’t bite that — you’d catch a shark or a jack or a bull red. All they wanted was a green hornet Matrix Shad on a quarter-ounce jighead. We tried other colors, but they didn’t want it.”
Kyzar said he worked along the trough, between the beach and the sandbar, and would Power-Pole down when his customers hooked up with a speck. With only minnows in his livewell, he even called another guide who had shrimp and croakers onboard to see if that would get the big trout more interested.
“He pulled up right next to us and they couldn’t catch anything on it,” Kyzar said. “They were catching jacks. It’s absurd that they wouldn’t bite live shrimp.”
He surmises the big specks were patrolling the surf, venturing to the sandbar but maintaining access to a little deeper water in the trough.
“Saturday we caught a bunch of school fish and went in this area and caught some nice fish in the deeper water near this spot,” he said. “Maybe those fish (Monday) were right up next to the beach in the trough, and they would come out to edge of the sandbar and move in and out of there.”
Another advantage he had Monday was the beach looked like a ghost town.
“There was nobody there,” he said. “It was completely dead. I had the beach pretty much to myself. I guess everybody had to go back to work.”
If you make the trip, Kyzar recommended bring along a healthy supply of terminal tackle.
“Trash fish have shown up in numbers on the beaches so you have to do your best to avoid them — lots of jacks, bluefish, mackerel. Sometimes you see birds diving and pull up and it’s ladyfish,” he said. “I went through probably 100 or more plastics Saturday morning.”
The fish cleaner told Kyzar afterward all the trout were still full of eggs, and had obviously been dining on pogies.
“I really think if I would have had some big live pogies right there, it might have been disgusting what would have happened,” he said with a chuckle. “I told my customers I really think there was a 6- or 7-pound trout swimming around in that area.”