Bait color isn’t something to fret over tremendously, but Buras fishing guide Capt. Lloyd Landry definitely has a preference on color for fishing the east and west side of the Mississippi River.
“When it starts becoming the end of August, September and October, we start fishing a lot of white baits because there’s a lot of white shrimp in the water,” he said.
Although the west side has some good fishing, it’s very weather dependent, according to Landry.
“The problem with the west side in Buras and Empire, if we get a 10 mph wind, we’re done,” he said. “Our water gets dirty so fast.”
But the east side is a completely different story, Landry said.
“On the east side the river, it’s open, but it seems to stay cleaner a lot longer,” he said.
September is a transition month for speckled trout, and Landry said he fishes closer to the outside instead of the interior.
“Starting in September, we fish from California Bay heading north — up toward Pointe a’ la Hache.
Landry is a big reef fisherman, and he finds those particularly productive this time of year.
“All of the islands that are left around American Bay, Bay Crab, north of Cox Bay are all oysters,” he said. “Those points are washed out, but they used to extend far out. There’s still underwater structure around those islands.”
The way that is most fun to fish isn’t always what the fish want, and Landry said that’s particularly true for him personally in September.
“I prefer to tightline, but in the fall, it seems like a popping cork — you can’t beat it,” he said. “It holds that bait suspended, makes a lot of noise and it really helps people stay off the bottom from getting stuck on the shells.”
Landry said it’s common to find flocks of birds with speckled trout underneath while you’re fishing in September, and he’s found a correlation between where you find the birds and the size of the fish.
“When you go to a pile of birds off the bank, you catch a lot of the smaller trout,” he said. “When you find birds on top of the reef or closer to a point, you tend to catch more keepers.”