Spillway openings have been frequent in the last few years, and for Lake Pontchartrain anglers, that usually means short-term trouble.

However, this year’s opening isn’t going to have much of an impact, according to Lake Pontchartrain guide Capt. Kris Robert.

“I don’t think we’re going to get the effect that everybody thinks we’re going to get,” he said. “Everybody thinks the world’s coming to an end when they open the Spillway.”

Additionally, the Spillway can do some extremely positive things for the long-term fishing in the area, according to Robert.

“The good thing is in the fall we’re going to have spectacular fishing because of all the nutrients and bait that are being dumped into the lake,” he said.

Have a ‘Plan B’

Robert said anglers can still expect to find fish in the usual hotspots, like the Trestles, Highway 11 and the Twin Span even with the Spillway opening.

However, Robert said those aren’t the only places anglers should check.

“Everybody wants to fish the Trestles in April and May because it’s so convenient, but when those crowds get on those bridges, it starts to shut those fish down, you have to look for an alternative,” he said.

The alternative, Robert said, is almost a must on the weekend.

“During the week, I’ll kind of focus on the bridges, but when the weekend comes, I’ll get away from them because the same fish that are on those bridges are on those rigs and reefs in Lake Borgne, and on the reefs in Lacombe,” he said.

Reefs can be difficult to find if you don’t know exactly where they are, but Robert recommended anglers go to www.SaveOurLake.org because “they have a list of all the old rigs, reefs and things they’ve pulled up and it’ll show you the GPS coordinates.”

When fishing on those reefs, Robert likes drifting about a cast off of them, and when he finds hot action, he simply uses the Spot-Lock feature on his Minn Kota trolling motor to hold the boat in one position while he and his clients work the area over.

Robert typically throws 3/8-ounce jigheads with Matrix Shad soft plastics.