This month is the best marsh fishing of the year for speckled trout. They will be thick in brackish bayous, canals, and interior lakes. Colder water is typically clearer water, and that favors flies!

A game plan for putting a nice mess of fish in the box starts off with poppers around sunrise, switching to weighted flies like clouser minnows and charlies under a VOSI around mid-morning, then finishing the day with poppers near sunset. Pencil poppers, Pete's Perch Float Popper, and Skipping Bugs work great for both reds and specks. Best colors are metallic gold, black/chartreuse, green/white, red/white.

After cold fronts pass through, and winds subside, water levels will still be low. Scout the ponds and canals for exposed backs and tails. They'll belong to reds, drum and sheepshead, all of which are eager to eat flies.

Spoonflies, Seaducers, Yarn Crabs, Redchasers, Charlies... just about anything in your box that has action will arouse these fish. If you encounter Redzilla — reds over 15 pounds — which is a real possibility since Hurricane Isaac — toss him a real meal, like an EP Fiber fly.

Crappie also turn on this month with colder weather. Lakes D'Arbonne, Bruin, Sibley and Bundicks are a few of my top spots this month for fly action. I like using the Crappie Candy and the Fluff Butt. But even a pink charlie works good. And Gummy Minnows have a knack for catching slabs in shallow water. When fishing near structure, try suspending weighted flies under a tiny float.