The advancements in the fishing industry have done almost nothing but better equip anglers so they’re more efficient and catch more fish.
However, according to Capt. Theophile Bourgeois with Bourgeois Fishing Charters, there’s still room for old, vintage items on the boat this time of year.
“If you have an old GPS, it’ll tell you where the land used to be,” he said. “That’s actually better than having the chip, showing you the Google Earth of today.”
Some of the areas Bourgeois fishes this time of year are Government Reef and Barataria Bay. He looks for birds most of the time.
“We’re going to chase birds until it stops happening,” he said.
When he finds the birds, the guide throws popping corks and topwater lures.
When the birds are not there, Bourgeois fishes oyster reefs and islands in Barataria Bay.
“You want to take your time and really rely on your depth finder,” he said. “It can be a 1-foot difference (that makes a place good to fish).”
Over the oyster reefs and old islands, Bourgeois personally likes throwing topwater baits, but he said there are advantages and disadvantages to throwing the bait.
“If you don’t throw topwater a lot, the catch ratio is like 1 to 5,” he said. “You’ll get five blowups for one catch, but the fish are a lot bigger.”
The veteran guide likes the bone color on the topwater baits.
When working the topwater baits, the key is to vary your retrieve. Bourgeois recalled a fish he caught in early August, where he changed up the retrieve to get the fish to fully commit to the lure.
“I stopped, twitched it once, she swirled again, which told me she was still interested,” he said. “After that, you can’t keep doing the same thing; you have to do something different.
“What I do is work my rod tip really fast, but I don’t crank the handle of the reel. I want the bait to be really erratic, but not moving out of her strike zone.”