Capt. Sal “Gotcha Hooked” Fontana (504-812-7773) said he heads outside this month out of Hopedale to hunt both specks and reds in deeper water.

“I switch gears in March and head outside to the bigger bays, where I’ll fish rigs, rocks and reefs either on the bottom or under a cork, depending on the depth of the water,” he said.

Fontana said the various rigs in Black Bay are really where he wants to fish in March, but he said the river will determine whether he gets to or not.

“Last year the river was high and that cold, muddy river water spilled over into Black Bay and messed up the fishing for months,” he said. “I had to head all the way to Breton Island to find good water, and even then every day was a challenge. We had a good season, but we searched hard for good water. We fished a lot of days in the Lake Fortuna area, or along the MRGO rocks, or in Bay Eloi and Breton Sound, but we found fish consistently.”

Fontana said on windy days when the outside was just too rough, he fished up in the Biloxi Marsh.

“All the bigger lakes and bays in the Biloxi Marsh will produce this month,” he said. “I fish over oyster reefs and around points where I see current lines or signs of bait.”

And speaking of bait, Fontana says live shrimp is a no brainer.

“I always use live bait because it always produces,” he said. “It’s hard to fish it wrong. Hang a live shrimp 2 feet or so under a cork and let it do the job you bought it to do.”

Fontana said when he uses plastics, its the H&H double-rigged Glass Minnows in the blue/silver color, or the old B2 squid in glow or chartreuse on a ¼-ounce plain jighead.

“I’m hoping the river will be down this March and April so we’ll be able to fish Black Bay, but I know there’s been a lot of snow up north and a lot of rain, so all of that usually means a high river and muddy water in Black Bay,” he said. “It won’t bother the reds, but if you want trout you may have to fish more on the east side.”