Generally, a litany of factors have to align for success out on the water. However, one key condition carries a considerable amount of weight when fishing out of Venice this time of year, according to Capt. Dennis Bardwell.

“If the (Mississippi) River is down, the trout will move into the river also,” he said. “In (September) the reds were in the river. October, November and December, reds, trout and flounder get in the river. It’s pretty good — as long as it stays below 4 feet.”

When the trout are in the river, Bardwell likes fishing the spillways with live shrimp on the bottom using a Carolina rig. 

For anglers who are speckled trout driven, fishing on the edges of the day is optimal, according to Bardwell.

“You can fish all day, but the morning bite and the late evening bite are usually best,” he said.

If you’re not a speckled trout guru, a great option this year is to target the redfish that get into the river along the rocks. This month should be prime, Bardwell pointed out, and said he was already catching fish there in early September.

Bardwell uses heavy wire spinnerbaits along the rocks to target aggressive reds. The thickness ensures the redfish won’t bend the wire as badly. He teams the spinner with a ¼-ounce jighead and a soft plastic.

“I like a dark plastic — black/chartreuse or purple/chartreuse.”

One of the major keys for fishing the rocks, Bardwell said, is to throw as close as you can to them without getting snagged.

He’s excited for October, based on what he’s seen recently.

“It’s been the best year we’ve had for redfish in years,” he said.

Bardwell said most of the reds are 18 to 20 inches. If you want to battle the bulls, the guide recommended going outside near Southwest Pass.