Fishing action abundant up and down Mississippi River
Speckled trout fishing hot on east side of river, guide says
|Courtesy of Capt. Owen Landgridge|
There's plenty of action on the east side of the river, with all the regular hotspots producing speckled trout.
Capt. Owen Langridge, with Big “O” Charters, has manifested this image into reality, and has been catching limits of specks and reds by 11 a.m. every day.
“You can do anything out of Venice — fish trout in the morning, go out to 100 feet of water to get some snapper and make it back just in time to catch some reds along the river.” Langridge said.
He gets on the water before sunrise most of the time if he can get live bait. All Langridge uses (live, dead or plastic) are shrimp under a cork. When he is not using a live shrimp he sports a Halo imitation shrimp on a jighead that might be tipped with a piece of real shrimp for smell.
“I’ve noticed that the cork is important too,” he said. “I rather use the scoop-top corks because they pop on the water better and don’t slide in the water. You’ll pop an egg-shaped cork and it’ll move 12 to 24 inches on you. I also like a cork that makes a lot of noise; the more noise the better.”
He runs out of Quarantine Bay and usually starts his trips at Battledore reef.
“I catch most of my fish around the compressor rig, wellheads and reefs at Battledore. The shrimp boats can’t get into Battledore because of the wellheads, so the shrimp just build up in there,” Langridge said.
This is his starting spot because Battledore puts him in a position to relocate to other legendary spots such as the Black Tanks, Stone Island and the Iron Banks.
“And if you’re going to the west side, we’ve been catching some good-sized white trout, and specks have been all over the West Delta rigs and the other shallow-water rigs have done well with live shrimp,” Langridge said.
For smaller quantities and increased size in the speckled trout, Langridge suggested heading downriver from Venice.
“We went downriver to the Blind Bay area the other day and caught a few 5-pounders,” he said. “But I’ve been sticking mostly between Stone Island and the Black Tanks with my customers.”
As far as redfish are concerned, cuts in the river system as far north as Empire have yielded tasty slot redfish for Langridge.
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