Capt. Darren Schaff (504-400-2466) loves that he doesn’t have to run far to get into rod-bending action this month.

“Colder weather brings hotter action as the trout move into the deep interior marsh lakes and bayous, and nobody has to run far to find them,” he said. “The whole fall season is when the owners of smaller boats are no longer at a disadvantage to the bigger boats that fish the far outside nether regions all spring and summer.

“Now the playing field is level because smaller boats can get right smack dab into the middle of the best bite of the year.”

Schaff said if you seek the freckled fish this month, try interior lakes first.

“If we get normal winter weather this month, which means if it doesn’t get really cold, then fish the windblown banks of Lake Amedee, Lake Robin, Lake Campo and Hopedale Lagoon,” he said. “That’s if it’s not too windy. The winds push the bait up against the bank, so that’s where the freckled and bronze-back predators will be hunting. I’ll use live shrimp under a cork, or Vudu shrimp in the white/glow color under a cork. I also toss H&H cocahoes in black/chartreuse or purple/white, or the Matrix shad in the lemonhead color — just cast and retrieve. Focus at points and coves, especially if you know a cove with a shell bottom.”

On colder days and low water days, Schaff said he’ll fish bayous such as Bayou Batola, Sister Bayou, Bayou Robin and False River.

“Fish the bends of the bayous,” he said. “Anchor so you can throw along the drop-offs, where a shallow flat drops down to 5 or 6 feet deep or so. Tightline your plastic on a ¼-ounce jighead, and just work it along the ledges, and at points with decent water movement around it.”

But Schaff said if it’s hard fighting bronze-backs you seek, try the coves in Lake Robin and Grand Lagoon. 

“You can also catch reds in the same bodies of water where you target trout, just fish right up against the bank with a live or dead shrimp under a cork, or tightline that H&H plastic in black/chartreuse or purple/white.”