During the summer, the vast majority of Calcasieu Lake anglers will be fishing under birds for the small school trout in Turner's Bay and other areas south of this point.

Hackberry's Capt. Paul Davidson Jr. won't have much to do with that kind of fishing, however.

Instead, he'll be after some of the larger trout that Calcasieu Lake is famous for — in places that hardly ever see a popping cork.

Take last July for example, when he and two clients began the day early by motoring toward an opening in a pocket leading into West Cove from the Ship Channel on the lake's southern end.

The 56-year-old guide slowed his 24-foot Skeeter down and anchored quietly after seeing tidal current and baitfish working in the vicinity.

Davidson then dipped a small bait net into one of his livewells and started attaching 3- to 4-inch finger mullets to anglers' Kahle and circle hooks.

"Some good trout were here two days ago, and the tide was moving well here again," he said. "And the mullet were moving, too."

Almost as soon as Davidson cast his mullet into the depths, he felt the tell-tale bump, and then allowed his line to move for a few spool revolutions.

Then, sweeping up with the rod, the angler felt the fish firmly on and he began working the speckled trout toward the boat.

He soon netted the 3-pound trout.

The action continued in that same spot until 9:30 a.m.

"It was pretty hectic as the schools of trout would move into the pocket at intervals," Davidson said. "We all caught a limit of 15 specks each, and all the trout ranged between 2 to 3 pounds."

A little farther southeast, Davidson's friend and buddy, 60-year-old Capt. Tim McGinnis was also on the fish.

"I had a husband and wife with me, and we anchored near the mouth of a little bayou that I knew held some trout," McGinnis said. "There's some deeper water there, and I knew those trout would stage in it waiting to ambush the baitfish."

McGinnis, however, was baiting lines with another species of live bait — pogies.

Casting out and letting one of the baitfish move around in the depths, McGinnis soon felt the thump right before his line metered out.

"For all three of us, the fish were on," said McGinnis. "They would come in and out at the mouth of the bayou, and three hours later we had 45 trout.

"They were all good fish — all 15 to 18 inches long."

In July and August, the heat of the summer takes its toll on both anglers and fish.

"It becomes blistering hot on the mid-lake in July," Davidson said. "As the water temperatures rise, speckled trout, redfish and flounder will find the cooler depths of the Calcasieu Ship Channel much more inviting than the shallow mud flats and shell reefs in the mid-lake."

"I'll find quality trout near the depths here — better fish than can be taken earlier in the morning under birds in other locations."

According to both anglers, it's a matter of cruising the edges of the channel.

"We do this on points, mainly those where you can get a break on the current," said Davidson.

And Davidson and McGinnis agree that an incoming tide is more favorable to this style of fishing.

"The tide is what's responsible for bringing the baitfish to the fish," Davidson said. "No matter what style of fishing you choose, whether it is Carolina rigging or simply working plastics, tidal movement is critical.

"And the water doesn't have to be deep in the mouths of these coves. Surprisingly enough, I've taken trout and reds Carolina rigging in just 3 feet of water. The fish will be coming off the shelf along the Ship Channel, and they will be feeding on what's coming through there."

As for the quality of the fish, the vast majority of speckled trout taken by these anglers in July and August range from a half to 3 pounds, and that's a lot of good trout considering the limits taken early when using the Carolina rig.

On occasion, Davidson has taken them up to 6 pounds when using this technique.

Perfect openings to target include points along the Ship Channel where cuts meet Turner's Bay, Long Point, Commissary Point, the Washout and West Cove.

Editor's note: Capt. Paul Davidson Jr. can be reached at 318-254-3710 or via his Web site at www.fishtalellc.com. Capt. Tim McGinnis can be reached at 337-304-5190.