As summer winds down, so does the spawning season for speckled trout — so the fish begin the very early stages of transitioning back inside to marshes and coastal bays.
For Grand Isle anglers, that means action on the beach might wane a bit as activity on the inside steps up.
“In the beginning of August, you still have a few trout left on the beaches. It’s real hot, and that’s when the bluefish and a lot of Spanish mackerel come in, and the bite is a little tougher on the beach,” said Capt. Eddie Berthelot Jr., with Spots & Specks Charters. “Toward the end of the month, you’ll more or less see the trout disappear from the beach side, and you’ll catch them more over the oyster reefs on the inside.
“August is the beginning of the transition, and the bite is moderate to slow because the spawn is just about over and they’re going back into the marsh until next spring.”
With the trout transitioning, Berthelot does the same bait-wise.
Along with some live shrimp still in the mix, the guide moves back to artificial lures this month — and his favorite color is definitely white, which he employs under a cork over a reef, or tight-lined and double-rigged, too.
“The reason for that is the August shrimp season is coming up and white shrimp are coming out, so there’s more white in the water and the trout tend to bite more of a white-colored bait, both on the beaches and over the oyster reefs,” Berthelot said. “I’ll throw a white plastic H&H sparkle beetle or a split-tail beetle, and a white or glow Vudu shrimp or a magneto Matrix Shad.”
Whatever plastic he throws, Berthelot usually tips it with a chartreuse, glow or pink Crappie Psychic trailer.
For redfish — which he likes to target in the marshes and shallow ponds out of Golden Meadow and Leeville — Berthelot favors dead shrimp, live cocahoes or smoke split-tail beetles, spinnerbaits or gold spoons.
For big bull reds, he changes it up.
“Around Grand Isle is spectacular for bull-red fishing in the end of August, the beginning of September and into October,” he said. “Caminada Pass, Barataria Pass, Four Bayous Pass, Bayou Rigaud Pass — just use cut mullet on the bottom with a ½-ounce weight.”
So August can be somewhat of a mixed bag — but you have to go to know.
“You can still catch some really good days of trout on Grand Isle in August, just remember most have spawned already and they’re thinking of heading into the marsh and eating as much as they can for the winter,” Berthelot said.