Trout fishing out of Cocodrie is a bit different this year, and it took Prairieville angler Steve Brockman a couple of trips to figure things out.
But he finally hit on what works this weekend — and the result was hefty specks in the box, including a 5.27-pounder that put his son Tyler on the CCA STAR leaderboard.
"He was losing his mind on the boat," the elder Brockman said. "He'd never seen trout that big. We had numerous 20-inch, 21-inch, 18-inch fish. I think we measured two fish."
Steve and Tyler began their trip on Thursday, heading straight out to the islands. They caught a few trout, but nothing to get excited about.
"It's like the islands were dead," Steve Brockman said.
So on Friday the Brockmans headed for deeper rigs in Lake Pelto, and they started picking up solid fish.
Now, the action was anything but frantic: You just had to peck away and be ready to move a lot.
"It seemed like the pattern was, you pull up and you catch one," the elder Brockman said. "You keep fishing, and nothing. You'd move to another rig, and you'd catch one."
They picked up whatever they could on a particular rig before moving to another structure. Those in 12 to 15 feet of water were more productive.
"For some reason, the working rigs were more productive," Brockman said. "There was one with a flare on it, and it must have been 110 degrees (under the flare). I would have to pull back to fish."
The highlight came when the younger Brockman cauhgt a 5.08-pounder and a 5.27-pounder on back-to-back casts. The latter fish should put him in the No. 3 position on the CCA STAR leaderboard for the Southeast Region.
The elder Brockman caught a 5.79-pounder on Saturday, but he hadn't entered the STAR.
Great weather conditions were a boon to fishing the huge, open lake.
"Flat seas — that helped," Steve Brockman said. "You weren't confined to one spot."
But forget about fishing plastics: Live bait was definitely the ticket.
"I think we caught five fish on croakers right off, and then they just quit," Brockman explained. "We switched to shrimp and started catching them again.
Carolina rigs were mandatory — at least for trout.
"We tried popping corks, and the gafftops were going crazy," he said. "And these were Boone & Crocket gafftops."
That continued what Brockman and his wife Stephanie experienced on a previous trip.
"You just had to get on the bottom," Steve Brockman said.
Leader length on the Carolina rigs didn't seem to make a difference. Steve Brockman had his shrimp about 12 inches behind the weight, while Tyler Brockman went with about 18 inches.
And the shrimp they were using were big — as in 21 to 25 count.
"We took our leftover bait home and boiled it," Brockman said with a laugh.
But don't go out expecting to sink the boat with numbers.
"We fished until 9:30 a.m. Saturday and had 18 trout," Brockman said. "Nothing was fast. But they were good trout."