Fishing is always more fun when there's a competition factor involved. Capt. Justin Bowles and I set out this week to see who could catch the heaviest cumulative weight of three bass and three speckled trout, with the loser paying a time-consuming price.

The day started with a bang but then hit a big lull as Bowles and I bounced around in search of our targeted species. Each of us took turns grabbing the lead with meager catches before we found a pile of fish in an area known well to local anglers.

We fished a falling tide in the morning and a rising tide in the afternoon. Air temperatures climbed into the low 60s, but the warmest water we could find was 52.5 degrees. Winds were easterly at about 12 knots.

Gear for the day included Shimano Crucial, Castaway Skeleton and Waterloo rods, Lew's, Abu Garcia and Shimano reels, Rapala X-Rap jerkbaits, 3/8-ounce Bullseye jigheads and holy joely- (clear with blue, green and silver flakes) and magneto-colored (clear with silver glitter) Matrix Shad paddle-tail soft-plastics. We fished the hard-plastic jerkbaits on medium-light- and light-powered rods.

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Capt. Justin Bowles runs fishing charters for speckled trout and redfish in eastern Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne and surrounding marshes. He can be reached at 985-969-2036.