Dugas has been catching fish in the early days of February where he would normally expect to catch them in January – namely in the deep cuts and drains in Oak River. This area has been holding a lot of redfish on the banks and a lot of trout out off the banks.
Activity picks up when water starts pulling out of the cuts during a falling tide.
"Soft plastics have been the deal," Dugas said. "Just about any color has been catching fish, but I've been sticking with chartreuse, avocado with red tail, purple and blue moon.
"The key to catching the redfish is to throw it up in the drain and bounce it down the ledge. We're kind of a month behind on the weather, so I'm considering February as January slow and deep."
The only trouble with the Delacroix area right now is that anglers must deal with a lot of river water that is moving around daily. Anglers can fish one area with nice, good-looking water one day only to return the next to find it brown and muddy.
"You just have to poke around again to find the fish," Dugas explained. "Oak River has been pretty steady, especially around places like Point Fienne and the pipelines, but you've got to explore a little bit each day.
"You've got to fish a heavy jig in there because of all the current. If you aren't on the bottom, you aren't catching fish right now. A 3/8-ounce jighead has been getting it down pretty well."
If the sunny days predicted materialize this week, Dugas said the best fishing would move in a heartbeat from the deeper areas to the shallow flats. The magic number for pushing the trout in droves to places like Pointe Fienne Bay, Bay Jack Nevette and Four Horse Lake has been 53 degrees.
"That's when it's time to pick up the cork," Dugas explained. "Fish (plastics) maybe 3 feet under a cork in about 5 feet of water. They'll be a lot more aggressive on those flats. That's why the cork will work. Here lately, we've had to just about knock them in the head out in that deep water just to get them to bite. I tell people to check the water temperature. Take the cork off if it's 52 degrees or colder, and fish dead slow on the bottom."
Dugas has been pleasantly surprised at the quality of the trout he's been catching so far this year. He's used to catching 13- to 14-inch trout during the late winter, but he hasn't seen too many that size lately. In fact, most of the trout he's been catching have been 2 to 2 1/2 pounds.