Back in May, me and some of my closest fishing buddies targeted speckled trout to be tagged and released at the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) Long Rocks. 

It’s been only a couple months, but already several recaptures are in.

Thanks

First, a big thank you goes out to the anglers who reported specks they recaptured, and to the volunteers at TAG Louisiana. 

I really appreciate all of you for being a team player in this effort, and I feel that TAG Louisiana has done a great job despite the tumultuous changes in years past.

About those recaptures ...

If you already read my blog, then you’re aware of the great trout action inshore anglers saw at the MRGO Long Rocks near Hopedale.

In just a few fishing trips, we caught 300-plus specks, with some of the bigger ones falling prey to artificial lures like lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits and jigs.

We had a blast, and kept some specks for delicious trout tacos — but a good number were also tagged and released.

How the tagging program works

Should an angler recapture one of the tagged fish, they can call the phone number printed on the tag to supply the recapture information (in exchange for a reward of some sort), and then they can do as they please with the fish.

Because TAG Louisiana is a cooperative program, they share the recapture information with the person who originally tagged the fish in the first place. (In this case, moi.)

So, a few recaptures already have come back, and almost all of them have the fish remaining very near the place they were initially captured.

What does it all mean?

For me (someone who is not a marine biologist), these handful of recaptures are not enough to indicate a trend, but it does show us that at least some speckled trout are still on the MRGO Long Rocks.

So maybe a lot of trout are still there, and that’s why those three were recaptured. Or maybe only those few were left, and that’s why they were recaptured so quickly.

See? You can slice it any way you like.

Conclusion

I enjoy tagging because it helps me learn more about speckled trout, though it certainly doesn’t provide all the details.

But it’s a way I can give back to a fishery that’s been so good to me, and also learn more about the fish I love and share what I discover with those who have the same passion I do.

Tight lines, y’all. 

Editor’s Note: Capt. Devin Denman is an avid inshore angler who writes the Louisiana Fishing Blog. To read more of his articles, visit lafishblog.com.