September is considered the beginning of the fall transition, when trout take their initial migratory steps toward the inside marshes where they’ll haunt deeper holes, bayous and canals during the colder months.
But veteran Charter Captain Chris Pike (504-427-4973) says they won’t go very far from the big outside bays this month, unless there’s a tropical storm.
“I fish the fringe bays in September; the bigger bays on the edges of Black Bay,” Pike said. “Bay Lafourche, Oak River Bay, Lake Campo and over to Four Horse Lake... all will hold trout, and you can still catch some good fish in Black Bay itself. I’ll hit Lonesome, Stone and Belle Islands on calmer days, and feed them a diet of live shrimp about 3 feet under a Bomber Paradise Popping cork.”
Pike adds a 1/8-ounce splitshot about 6 inches above a small No. 1 kahle hook to keep the shrimp in the strike zone.
“If I’m fishing the fringe bays I look for three things. First, birds. They show up in screeching flocks dive bombing over white shrimp, and the trout you find under them will often be keeper size. I fish with double rigged plastics under the birds, on ¼-ounce jig heads either tightlined or under a cork. Use your favorite brand of plastic, but white/chartreuse, opening night/chartreuse or a shrimp cocktail/chartreuse colors have produced best for me. The key is that chartreuse tail. If your plastic is a solid color dip the tail in a bottle of chartreuse dip, and you’ll catch more fish,” he said. “Second, I focus on the deeper passes between the bays, on the downcurrent side. Transition trout like the deeper water in those passes but you still want to fish them with live shrimp about 3 feet under a cork, and you can also try those double rigged plastics.
"Third, I look for hard current lines around points in those same lakes and bays, and use those same baits the same way. Trout and reds hang in the current, picking off shrimp being swept along it.”
Pike also targets redfish this month along the grasslines in the bigger fringe bays.
“There’s a lot of grass in Bay Lafourche right now, so I take advantage of it by looking for moving current along the grass, and toss a live or dead shrimp about 2 feet under a cork,” he said. “I use a jighead instead of a kahle hook when I fish for reds to keep the bait closer to the bottom.”