Fishing, a lot of times, isn’t about following a path as much as hacksawing your own. 

Avid Delacroix angler Brian Epstein does just that in a unique way: He fishes a ringworm lure this time of year for cold Delacroix speckled trout.

“It mimics a baitfish most people don’t know exist — the violet goby,” he explained. “They get stuffed with some in February and March. People will say they’re eating eels. 

“It’s not an eel; it’s a goby”

Epstein fishes the bait on a ¼-ounce jighead, and he said it’s an extremely easy lure to use.

“You don’t have to do any kind of twitching or anything,” he said. “The bait does all the work. It’s a big-fish bait.”

Epstein said if he’s not using the ringworm, he throws Matrix Shad or Saltwater Assassin lures.

Additionally, Epstein noted it’s not imperative to set an early alarm clock this time of year. 

“Leaving before the sun comes up to be there at the crack of dawn is not necessary,” he said. “Sometimes the best bite is in the latter part of the morning to the middle of the day.”

The reason for that, Epstein said, is because of the warmer water that’s created from the warmth of the day.

“Sometimes a difference of a degree or two will make all the difference in the world, and the fish will start biting,” he said.

When working his lures on the bottom of deep bayous, canals and holes this time of year, Epstein said fishing the baits aggressively is not essential.

“You really don’t have to impart much action to it,” he said. “Just let the current wash it along and take up the slack. Every now and then, if you so desire, give it a light twitch, but less is more in cold temperatures for the trout.”

Also, the experienced angler likes throwing double rigs instead of single rigs.

“They’re not going to chase this time of year in the cold,” he said. “You’re going to have to sweep that bait right in front of their face, and you pretty much get an instinctive response. With a tandem rig, you’re doubling your chance of actually sweeping a bait in front of a lethargic trout.”