We began our late afternoon trip throwing various styles of soft plastics fished on the bottom just north of Poe's operation on the east side of Calcasieu Lake. The area had a cut that drained the marsh, and Poe thought we might be able to quickly land a few flounder without having to exert much effort.
"I know some guys are catching them up in the marsh right now by going as far as they can before they get out and wade the rest of the way in," Poe said. "I figure with the tide falling out, they might be some stacked up here on the edges of this drain. It's not the ideal time of year to catch them, but we'll see."
Nearly every cast produced a bite, but these weren't the fish we were after. Hundreds of small croakers must have moved in to the area, and they just couldn't resist our fake shrimp being bumped off the bottom.
Poe eventually called, "three more casts." With all lines in, we headed south toward the weirs along the eastern shore of the lake. The weirs are great flounder holes, and they typically hold a flat fish or two even when conditions aren't ideal.
We eventually moved to the ship channel after coming up empty handed on the weirs. The ship channel is the highway for all the fish that enter and leave Calcasieu Lake, but this wasn't the time of the year for the flounder to make their run back out to the Gulf of Mexico, so all we could do was hope some of Poe's old holes would pay off.
"I've heard that when people were still running gill nets that 50 percent of the state's flounder production came from the ship channel," Poe said as we settled in and started casting around Monkey Island. "And I've personally seen it when a big ship would come by and pull the water off the flats there would be a bunch of flounder up there flopping around on the exposed areas."
We finally started picking up a few flounder on 3-inch Berkley Gulp! Alive shrimp in white and New Penny. The action wasn't nearly as good as it will get in the coming months, but we were able to pick up a fish or two on most of the flats, points and cuts that we fished. Most of the fish ranged anywhere from a pound to two pounds.
Since there aren't many anglers going out right now just to try to catch flounder, spending a day tossing the Gulp! plastics or shrimp to the flounder holes in the Calcasieu Lake Ship Channel could be a relaxing change of pace from chasing the speckled trout.