When November rolls around, Tommy Vidrine’s relentless pursuit of speckled trout doesn’t stop around Grand Isle — but if the weather cools off some, he definitely changes tactics.
He gives his 24-foot NauticStar a rest for a while in favor of a 5-gallon bucket — and fishes the bridges, deep holes and canals along Highway 1 between Fourchon and Grand Isle.
“Those roadside spots are going to be the thing to fish in November,” Vidrine said. “Those holes and pits — like the Snake Pit close to the first bridge — will be on fire. I killed them there last year with a topwater early in the morning.
“When they stopped eating the topwater, I went to the Tsunami and let it go to the bottom and just jigged it up.”
The whole area is a great place to target specks transitioning from the outside waters to the inner-marsh to ride out whatever winter we have in store.
“Last year by Thanksgiving, we were tearing them up on the side of the road,” he said. “Early in the morning is always better, of course. If you get there at daybreak, you can usually catch eight or 10 quick right then.”
The bridges leading into Grand Isle, which have lots of submerged oyster shells near them, are especially productive with a light incoming or outgoing tide, he said.
“That’s where I like to bounce that Tsunami off the bottom,” Vidrine said. “I like the current coming to me, and I throw into the current and let the bait hit the bottom, and I just jam it off the bottom real hard.
“When the tide is moving right on those bridges, I smoke them in there.”
And don’t totally ignore the north side of the highway, he said.
“Sometimes it’s good on that side if the weather is nice and it’s not muddy, like where the floating islands are.”
But if the weather stays a little warmer — and Vidrine can still cast net for live bait — you can bet he’ll be back in his boat on the outside trying to catch some of the last big trout until next spring.
“I’ve been at those (Fourchon) barges in December and caught 100, but it has to be the right conditions,” he said. “If November is warm and there are still pogies around, guess where I’ll be?
“I’ll still be on the big fish — not on the road catching 14-, 15- or 16-inch marsh fish.”