Capt. Calvin Duvalle (504-957-4549) said he’ll focus his efforts this month in the Bay Eloi area, but mostly at the MRGO rocks.
“I’ll fish the various wells and structures in Bay Eloi from mid-March until the end of April, and we usually catch big reds, big black drum and the occasional trout out there,” he said. “If you want real rod-bending action and you have a calm enough day, head out there with live or market shrimp, and fish deep under a cork or on bottom, and you’ll catch 15-pound fish on up, both reds and drum. It’s a blast. Especially for those who have never caught such big fish on light tackle.”
But Duvalle especially likes to fish for big speckled trout this month along the MRGO rocks.
“Every year in April the big sows start showing up along the Long Rocks,” he said. “I fish from the cut in the Long Rocks all the way out to the end, and while I like the ends and at the gaps, I don’t hesitate to fish anywhere that water washes over the rocks or through little gaps. Anywhere that looks good is worth trying.
“I always bring live shrimp if its available, and when its not I’ll fish the soft plastic ShuShu Marsh Minnow lures in chartreuse or glow, either tight-lined or under a cork.”
Duvalle said he also tosses H&H cocahoes in black/chartreuse and white/firetail, fished the same way.
“The usual tactic is to fish the rocks under a cork, with live shrimp or plastics,” he said. “It’s the way most of us fish it because it’s effective. I also like to tight-line a plastic lure up against the rocks, but you have to finesse it so it doesn’t sink and snag a rock. It takes some practice, but it’s worth the effort. I catch some big trout that way. I also like to throw topwater baits this month along the rocks. I like the bone color, or mullet or speckled trout colors, or chartreuse on brighter days. You don’t usually catch as many fishing topwater, but the ones we do catch are often 2 pounds and up. Three- and 4- and even 5-pound trout do not surprise me when I throw topwaters in April.”
Duvalle said don’t hesitate to cross over and fish the west side of the rocks to escape the wind and seas, and says if the cork isn’t producing, try backing off the rocks and fishing a drop-shot rig with live shrimp 10 to15 yards off the rocks.
“We catch plenty like that when the cork isn’t working,” he said.
Besides picking up reds along the rocks, Duvalle said he targets them at points and coves in Lake Campo and Lake Robin, with the same baits or the ShuShu Craw in crab color.