When we arrived, we planned on using a tip we received from Dana Frickey and Mike White, both of Luling. They told us to fish with a Carolina rig, use a quarter-ounce egg weight and keep the bait on the bottom.
"Use live shrimp and you will catch your limit," White said.
We arrived at our destination at 6:05 a.m. On my first cast with a live shrimp, I felt a good tug. I set the hook and reeled in a nice 20-inch speckled trout.
"That's what I'm talking about," Pete Cassagne said.
For the next hour, we reeled in several nice specks, but we kept losing a lot of live bait to small fish. At 25 cents a live shrimp, we decided to move to the eastern side of Grand Isle.
We dropped anchor in front of Fort Livingston on the Gulf side at the end of the rocks. With the tide still on the rise and a south wind, everyone had an opportunity to cast behind the boat and towards the rocks the way the boat was positioned.
Kenny Donangue and Cassagne each caught a 14-inch speck on live shrimp using a live bait rig. My son, Hunter McDonald, began fighting a bull redfish. He broke the water line several times and made Hunter dance around the boat until Cassagne netted the 29-inch redfish.
After recording the data of the fish, tagging it and taking a few pictures, Hunter released the bull red for another day.
We picked up the anchor and headed for Coupe Abel. We only caught a few hardhead catfish and decided to move to Four Bayou Pass. Seeing a boat near a small island, we stopped and drifted down wind on the western side of the island. It wasn't long before we began catching 16-inch speckled trout.
Cassagne dropped his Power Pole in four and a half feet of water and each of us took turns reeling in 16-to-20-inch specks.
"While we are here, I'm going to try my 2-inch white sparkle beetle under a cork. I love seeing that cork disappear with a sparkle beetle," Cassagne said.
Just like clock work, Cassange's first cast produced a solid 16-inch speck.
We had a tide range of 1.2 feet, an incoming high tide that changed at 1 p.m., clear/ green water, 5 mile per hour south winds and water temperatures in the low 70s. The conditions were perfect.
We moved locations several times to the Cat Island area and picked up good trout everywhere we went. We would catch a few then the fishing would play out. On the day, we caught 71 keepers and threw back a lot more than we caught.
"If this is an indication of fishing around Grand Isle this summer, it's going to be a great!" Cassagne said.