Capt. Nick Rando (504-281-8287) says the trout are still transitioning toward outside waters, so this months tactic is to intercept them mid-way.
“They’ll still be in the protected middle areas, especially in early April, as they are instinctively driven outside to spawn,” he said. “I’ll fish the middle areas on out to the big fringe bays, and I’ll focus on tidelines, points and oyster reefs.”
Rando especially likes to hunt specks in the bigger bays, like Bay Lafourche, Bakers Bay, Bay Gardene and Bay Crabbe, and even over toward American Bay.
For bait, he says live shrimp is always best, but he’ll also toss his springtime favorite plastics: Matrix Shad in magneto, lemonhead, shrimp creole and holy joely, under a 4 Horseman popping cork. Rando uses mostly ¼-ounce jigs, but on days with low tidal movement he’ll go down to an 1/8-ounce, finding lighter is better under those conditions.
Hard plastics are also great baits this month, whether slow sinking twitchbaits or topwaters, because hungry trout will pounce on anything that resembles a mullet, he said.
For reds, Rando says you can fish at almost any promising point, from Lake Lery to Grand Lake on out to the same big fringe bays and all areas between.
“If a point looks good, troll or park and fish it,” he said.
Again, live bait is best, but market bait under a cork will produce as well, and gold spoons, spinnerbaits (preferably with a gold #4 Colorado blade) and a ¼-ounce jig with the same color baits or Rando’s personal favorite: black and chartreuse cocahoe.
“The key this month is to find a point with clean water and bait activity,” he said. “Keep looking until you find areas with both or you’re just wasting your time.”