I think of huddling in front of my space heater in February.
But Capt. Mike Guidry (985-637-4292) says it’s time to go fishing — and not just the routine bottom-fishing you’d expect in February. He breaks out the topwater gear and targets hefty trout in Catfish Lake and the Sulfur Mine.
“I know it seems crazy, but I do this every year, and every year we catch some beautiful trout in February on topwater baits,” Guidry said.
And I know its true, because I’ve gone with him to see it for myself.
“The key is to pick the right days to fish,” he explained. “You know we get a steady barrage of cold fronts in January and February and even into March. Those cold winds bring frigid temperatures to the south and send the trout into deeper holes. I watch the wind direction very carefully, waiting for the front to pass and the winds to switch back to the south, bringing warmer weather before the next front comes through. That’s when you go fishing with your topwater baits — between the fronts.”
Guidry’s tactic is to fish the shallower flats with easy access to deeper canals in Catfish Lake or the Sulfur Mine.
“The trout will forage over those flats, but they’ll stay near the deeper water so they can quickly retreat when the next cold front arrives,” he said.
He said to especially look for places with an oyster bottom.Guidry’s favorite topwater bait is the Rapala Skitterwalk in chartreuse/white.
“If you choose to fish during the front on the cold days, fish the deeper holes and the Texaco Canals around Catfish Lake and the Sulfur Mine, with live minnows on a Carolina rig, or fish a live minnow on the bottom on a plain 1/8- or ¼-ounce jighead, or you can fish plastic real slow, bounced off the bottom,” he said. “I like the old tuxedo-color H&H cocahoes, or sparkle beetles in the motor oil or smoke colors. People give up on the old tried-but-true baits and switch to all the new stuff, but the older ones still work very well.”
Guidry says you can also chase redfish along the banks at pockets, points and cuts with beetle-spins or gold spoons.
“If you see one moving along the bank, throw a live minnow on a plain jighead up in front of him,” he said. “He’ll hit it fast and hard.”