Lafitte redfish biting from top to bottom
Redfish are thick in Lafitte's Lake Salvador and Bayou Perot, and Capt. Jason Shilling with New Orleans Style Fishing Charters knows how to catch them from top to bottom.
Although Capt. Jason Shilling with New Orleans Style Fishing Charters (504-416-5896) told me as much as we idled away from Seaway Marina, it wasn’t readily apparent until we motored into Lake Salvador.
I pointed out a throng of boats all within about a 50-square-yard area and asked Shilling what they were doing.
“Catching redfish,” he chuckled.
My next question was why we were passing up the obvious hot spot right out in the middle of Salvador where anglers were fishing dead shrimp on the bottom.
“There’s a little reef under there, but we’re going to come back to it later,” he went on. “I want to go over to the west shoreline to see if we can catch some on a spoon. There have been some pushing over there and chasing mullet around the vegetation.”
The mullet were milling just under the surface as Shilling dropped his trolling motor into the water. Behind some of them, deeper v-shaped wakes with single fins sticking just out of the water at their starting points casually followed.
Spoon fishing is just a way of life for south Louisiana redfishermen, and Shilling explained that he keeps black, silver and gold spoons in his boat to meet any conditions that he may come across.
“When it gets a little murky, we like to put the black on,” Shilling noted. “Silver if they got a lot of mullet, and gold is just a common one to use. They’re weedless, got a lot of action to them... lot of flash. They create a reaction bite rather than just a regular bite, and you can pull it through just about anything except for that slime grass.”
Shilling had earlier informed me that this time of year he wouldn’t normally be fishing in Lake Salvador. But the mild winter up north created a lack of snow that didn’t melt and run into the Mississippi River.
Because of that, redfish that would have normally pushed south by now to find better salinity have stayed put. Since the river isn’t full, the Jefferson Davis Pond Diversion isn’t pumping muddy freshwater that would push out the redfish.
Some redfish have started pushing south just from their normal migration, and most of these move right through Bayou Perot where we wound up later in the morning fishing dead shrimp on the bottom near the cuts in the concrete walls.
“These walls are to control the erosion from the amount of current coming through here from the diversion,” Shilling explained. “These fish stage up behind this wall with the bait and all back there... it holds a lot of bait behind there. As the current pushes through the cuts, the redfish stack up on the wall and look to attack anything that comes out.”
Shilling wrapped up by saying that fishing dead shrimp on bottom in Bayou Perot is something that would last throughout the summer. And with just a short drive from New Orleans, and just as short of a run to Lake Salvador, anglers can easily check the Salvador reds on top before moving to the bottom in Bayou Perot.
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