It’s common knowledge that September is a dreaded “transition” month. That doesn’t mean a whole lot to redfish anglers and those who target freshwater species, but those who passionately pursue slimy specks know the transition is a real thing. It means the trout aren’t where they used to be and they’re not where they’re gonna be....they’re “transitioning” somewhere in between.
“It can make for frustrating trips,” said Capt. Jonathan Sanchez (504-232-6227), who says it’s one of several challenges September anglers face.
“September is our most active month for tropical weather, so we often face stiff winds and rough seas, which severely limits our fishing options. Plus, we sometimes get the first fronts blowing through this month. They’re weak at first, but nature is letting us know fall is around the corner. All of those things factor in and keep some folks off the water until October, but they miss some very good opportunities to put some fish in the boat,” Sanchez said.
“This month I’ll head outside and fish Black Bay or Breton Sound every chance I get,” he said. “If the weather permits, that’s where I’ll be.”
Sanchez says those big outside waters got off to a slow start. “I found fresh water all the way out by Central and Breton Island in June. But July gave us good water and much improved fishing, and we’ve pulled some really nice trout over the gunnel at the islands in Black Bay and the various structures in the sound.
“Fish live shrimp under a cork, but as deep as you can. If you can do 4 or even 5 feet, do it. I get people started at various depths to see what the fish will hit. Once you crack the code, you’re set. Switch everybody to that depth and put some fish in the box,” he said.
But not every day will be calm enough to allow those trips into the big water.
“On windier days I’ll hunt calmer water on the edges of the outside, in areas like Lake Fortuna, Lake Machias, Lake Robin and Lake Campo,” Sanchez said. “I’ll set up at points with good current moving around them, and toss live shrimp about 3 feet under a cork. Give a spot 10 minutes or so to produce, and move if it doesn’t. Just keep at it until you find fish.”
Another September option is redfish, and Sanchez says the hard fighting spot-tails are plentiful in the grassy ponds and waters of the Biloxi Marsh.
“I don’t remember ever seeing this much grass everywhere. Some places in Bayou Sue and St. Malo are so thick with grass you have to be on plane and up to speed to get through it. There’s grass in Stump and Muscle Bay and on up into Pete’s Lagoon and all the ponds I usually like to fish,” he said. “But you can still find space to fish, and there’s reds along the grass.”
Live or market shrimp are the best baits, fished about 2 feet under a cork right up alongside the grass, or at points with good moving water.