Want to find and catch speckled trout in the Dularge area in March?

Fish the inland lakes to catch the fish as they move out of the deeper canals and holes on their way to near-offshore waters to spawn, advises Brady Giroir of Houma, a seven-year veteran charter boat captain who owns Cajun Waters Fishing Charters (985-870-0311). Specifically, he said, target the points and flats of Lake Mechant, Mud Lake, Sister Lake and Moncleuse Bay, all in the Grand Pass area.

“They (speckled trout) should be in transition, moving out of the marsh, heading into the lakes, then heading offshore to go spawn,” Giroir said.

“It’s a lot nicer when you can catch them inshore. By that time, you might have birds working and you can catch them under the birds,” he said, noting the latter often happens if it’s warm in early spring.

For sure, he said, find clean water, and fish 4 to 6 feet deep over shells and, even mud bottoms, particularly where there are current lines. The key is to fish on the lee side of a body of water because, otherwise, the water gets churned up and muddied by the wind.

“Direction (side of the lake) doesn’t matter as long as you’re on the calm side,” Giroir said.

Whatever wind there is, use it to your advantage in your quest to catch speckled trout.

“Get the wind to your back. Let the wind move you. The more you run the trolling motor in shallow areas, the more you scare the fish,” he said. “When you catch a fish, Power-Pole down or put down the anchor.”

Giroir said anglers can catch speckled trout in those areas by tightlining on the bottom or by fishing with a popping cork.

Artificial lures are all you need — no live bait is necessary.

The Houma saltwater fishing guide’s preferences are bunker-colored Tsunami swimbaits and Cajun pepper and chicken-on-a-chain, purple/gold and avocado Bayou Chub Minnows. He’s getting hooked, and so are the fish, on a new “coastal candy” Berkley Rattle Shrimp fished 1 ½ feet under a popping cork, one that makes an aggressive pop when it’s pulled.

Those soft plastics will net you fish averaging 12 to 14 inches long, with the occasional 16-incher, he said. If you want bigger speckled trout, try topwaters, such as a blue/silver Top Dog or a 3-inch chartreuse Zara Spook. Sometimes those artificial lures will trigger bites from fish averaging 2 and 3 pounds, perhaps even a 4- or 5-pounder.

Whatever you use this time of year, look for current lines and points with baitfish, such as mullet, flicking on top of the water.

When Giroir goes on a March trip, he usually starts on the north end of Lake Mechant, then works his way south to Sister Lake.

“I usually like to go to the farthest spot and work my way back,” he said.