April is a prime time to catch speckled trout, redfish and flounder on Calcasieu Lake.
And veteran charter boat captain Jeff Poe didn’t hesitate on where you should go to catch fish: West Cove.
At the time, though, Poe and others were frustrated by fresh and turbid water conditions, the result of heavy rainfall in February that raised the Calcasieu River.
“We’ll be fighting that for a couple weeks,” said the owner of Big Lake Guide Service (337-598-3268). “It was already fresh.”
Barring monsoon-like weather in March, Poe expects much improved water conditions across the lake system in April.
“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “As fresh as it is now, usually West Cove has the highest salinity we have. It’ll be the first area to get salty because it’s down on the lower part of the lake, and West Pass brings saltwater in there.
“It’s usually one of the best places to fish and April’s one of the best months to fish West Cove.”
Poe said any shoreline there could have speckled trout, redfish and/or flounder, he said.
“Just beating the bank (can produce fish). You don’t even have to be near a bayou,” he said. “And there’s reefs scattered around the bank. Any of those shorelines have oysters … some good reefs there.”
Look for the clearest water possible, green to the color of ice tea, even, he said.
“Fish the cleanest dirty water you can find if you have to,” he said.
Fish can be found from the shoreline out to about 4-foot depths most of the time, he said, advising anglers to look for baitfish and slicks to find the best locations.
For speckled trout, soft plastics are hard to beat. Poe’s favorites are Lil Johns in opening night, chartreuse/ice, watermelon/red and chicken-on-a-chain on 1/8- or, even, 1/16-ounce jigheads.
While he doesn’t rig with popping corks much, he does have them ready to go.
“I’ll have some in the boat and a lot of times it (working a popping cork) works good,” he said.
This is top topwater time, too. Poe has SheDogs in chrome/black and chrome/blue, as well as Spooks and Super Spooks in clown (red head/gold/white) and Rapala Skitterwalks in bone/silver and chartreuse silver at the ready. Pink is also a deadly color at times.
Bigger speckled trout fall for the topwaters and SoftDines, Mirro-Dines and Fat Boys.
“They all work real good,” Poe said. “That’s one of my favorite baits to catch bigger school trout, also.”
For redfish, Poe favors using Gulp curly tails. Ditto for flounder with a Gulp curly tail in pearl or chartreuse on a 1/8- or ¼-ounce jighead.