Captain Marty LaCoste with Absolute Fishing Charters (985-856-4477) says the trout on the Ship Shoal rigs are doing what they do best this time of year, and that's slam topwaters and tandem rigs at night. "It's going to be like somebody flipped a switch sometime after the sun goes down," he said.

LaCoste pointed out Block 26 in the Picketts area as a great place for nighttime anglers to fish. Whether you fish this rig or some other rig, the important component is the presence of light.

"Most of the rigs I fish we just use the light off the rigs," LaCoste said. "But, you can bring your own generator and set up you own lights on some of the other rigs that aren't as well lit. Whichever light you use, the key is to set up your boat in the shadows just at the edge of the light and cast back into the bright areas."

Recently, LaCoste says the first bite has been with topwater lures like Top Dogs, She Dogs and suspending baits like the MirrOlure Catch 2000. With the water being so clear, it's common to see the trout swimming around these lures until they decide to bite, which doesn't take too long if they are really turned on.

"This bite doesn't last all night, and you can't really predict when it will turn on," LaCoste added. "You've got to be out there when the bait starts rising to the surface and the shrimp start popping around on the surface. That's when you now it's about to get started. They didn't start biting a couple nights ago until after midnight."

If the trout stop blasting his topwater lures, LaCoste goes down after them with tandem rigged soft plastics in avocado/red or purple/chartreuse. Sometimes the glow/chartreuse seems to work better, though, so he keeps a bag of them nearby and ready to fish.

"Fishing the plastics at night is just like fishing them during the day," LaCoste concluded. "You've got to let the fish tell you how to fish them. You may have to bump it pretty hard one night and barely drift it the next. Here recently, it seems they're biting better on the slow drift… barely moving it at all."

These aren't just small fish that LaCoste is catching either. His recent average has been from 14 to 20 inches with a few 12-inch trout mixed in.