We launched from Pier 90 with high expectations based on reports received over that past week.
After reaching McDonald's first spot on the southern shoreline of the lake, in the vicinity of a location dubbed Lucky Seven, we noticed that the strong easterly wind had caused the area to become choppy and murky.
McDonald decided to try one more spot on the eastern shoreline. After arriving, the sight of calm water gave us new hope. The decision not to flake on the fishing trip was immediately vindicated at the sight of jumbo shrimp skipping across the water.
And shortly after dropping lines, speckled trout and channel cats started to fill the ice chest.
All three of our lines were armed with nothing more than jigheads and H&H glow/chartreuse cacahoe minnows. A bag of bait shrimp also littered the deck of the bow for tipping our hooks.
"Is there any doubt what bait we are using?" McDonald said while he pulled up another speck. "My favorite color is frogs breath, but this is definitely working."
Constantly on the trolling motor, McDonald took us along the shoreline as I bounced my lure across the bottom with a slow- to medium-speed retrieval, consistently picking up speckled trout all over the eastern shoreline.
"Any time you notice a shrimp jump, you should always cast to that location," McDonald said.
We saw success on the eastern shoreline because it was protected from the east wind. The southern shoreline, where we originally stopped that morning, would have probably been successful if it was not afflicted by the wind.
"I saw guys pull up all kinds of fish on the other side of the lake, too (by some tree stumps near Lucky Seven)," McDonald said. "There are fish all over this lake right now."
During the trip McDonald managed to land five different species of fish: redfish, drum, speckled trout, channel catfish and flounder.
According to Martin Bourgeois, with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the drought conditions in the Mississippi River valley caused the low river and subsequently allowed for the salt water habitat to expand.
"Shrimp are very opportunistic so as the salinity level rises, their habitat increases. We've had years where the salt water fisheries expanded all the way to the Des Allemands bridge in the fall," Bourgeois said. "The white shrimp will begin leaving the lakes when we get a few sustained cold fronts."
Bourgeois also stated that when it gets colder the trout become more piscivorous and there is no reason for the fishing not to be spectacular.
"The trout will begin feeding on more minnows and mullet. They will also transition into deeper water (marsh holes and deep bayous)." Bourgeois said.