For Hopedale anglers, Bayou La Loutre is the “Highway to Happiness” in November, according to Capt. Jonathan Sanchez.
The veteran guide said anyone who can follow the major waterway should have no trouble putting significant numbers of speckled trout on ice.
Bayou La Loutre leads to the seasonally productive water bodies of Stump Lagoon, Muscle Bay, Pete’s Lagoon and Cutoff Lagoon. At least one of them will hold trout on any given day, and usually, they all do.
“The fish are usually wherever you decide to go,” Sanchez said. “That’s what I love about November.”
Not only that, but conditions are almost always in an angler’s favor this month.
“Usually, the (hard cold fronts) come around in December,” Sanchez said. “You’re usually good with fishing a (mild) cold front in November.”
Sanchez said he baits up exclusively with live shrimp this month, and he rigs it under a rattling cork.
“(Leader length) depends on how high the grass is,” he said. “If the water is low and the grass is really bad, I’ll be at 10 inches. You try to get it right to the top of the grass.”
Sanchez certainly won’t stay at the dock if the tide is rising, but he said the fish really respond to a falling tide.
“It drains all those little ponds and trenasses. Whatever bait was in them has to come out,” he said. “Usually the fish are waiting in front of anything that drains out.
“If you can find some potbelly minnows, you’ve hit the jackpot.”
In general, the fish in the area won’t be giants, but what they lack in size, they more than make up for in numbers, Sanchez said.
The productive water bodies are accessible from Breton Sound Marina in Hopedale and Campo’s Marina in Shell Beach.