With speckled trout fishing success up and down this year in Calcasieu Lake, particularly during a summer plagued by high west winds, it’s time to point the bow of the boat to the beach from Johnson Bayou to Holly Beach.

Specifically, target the rocks in the water that parallel the shoreline, advised Jeff Poe, who along with his wife, Mary, and son, Nick, own Big Lake Guide Service (337-598-3268).

“Obviously, it’s one of the best spots down there, ... ” Poe said.  “Fishing’s tough. It’s been pretty inconsistent,” he said, noting locals are wondering if the freezes over the winter might have had a lingering effect. 

He said strong, persistent west winds are definitely taking their toll on fishing attempts this summer, while the heat drives many speckled trout to the Ship Channel and Gulf of Mexico. But those fish that head to the Gulf can be nailed along the rocks along the beach.

Poe said the most important thing about fishing the rocks is to look for clear water and, whenever possible, tell-tale slicks that indicate feeding fish.

“Most of the time you’ll see a lot of bait, mullets and pogies, even shrimp, and the birds working sometimes,” he said.

“Sometimes the trout are stacked on them (the rocks), sometimes in between them and sometimes far from them on the Gulf side. Most of the time they’re on the Gulf side and usually the points are pretty good,” he said.

The rocks mostly are in 7- to 8-foot depths on the Gulf side, and some of them have land between them and the beach, which means they’re doing their job, he said.

Artificial lures that trigger bites around the rocks are topwaters and soft plastics.

For topwater fishing, Poe throws ShePups, SheDogs, big or small Zara Spooks and Skitterwalks.

His favorite soft plastics, mostly on a 1/8-ounce leadhead, are opening night, watermelon red, golden bream or white Lil Johns, or clear, chartreuse or smoke H&H Sparkle Beetles. The latter, he said, are effective in August because they imitate shrimp and “they (speckled trout) like shrimp in August.”

Does the tide play a role? Definitely.

“What you’re looking for is clear water and most of the time there’s clear water on an incoming or rising tide,” Poe said.

If the water along the beach is dirty, head for the near-offshore oil field structures in search of speckled trout. On the way out and way back, or even while you’re fishing along the rocks, look for trash floating in the water because often a tasty tripletail will be hanging around.

“I’ll go look at anything. I’ve seen two or three (tripletail) on a floating gafftop,” Poe said.

Fish a jig under a popping cork around the trash to keep the bait in front of the tripletail’s face. Also, he said they love live shrimp.