Speckled trout limits east of Stone Island in Black Bay
Higher salinity and calmer winds bring nice trout in closer, Delacroix guide says
The speckled trout bite has been consistent lately in Black Bay from Stone Island eastward, according to a Delacroix fishing guide.
Capt. Randall Shaw, with Louisiana Fishing Charters, said he’s caught several recent limits of specks in clean, moving water and suggested spots like the Wreck, Five Wells, the Black Tanks, the Compressor and as far east as the Central Rig and the rocks at the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet Canal.
“Everybody’s been saying the fishing in Black Bay hasn’t been good. Well, it’s been great all year when the wind is down,” Shaw said. “Now the wind is down and the river is down. The fish have always been there, they’ve just been out of reach for most people.
“Most people don’t want to ride 20 or 30 miles to get into that water,” he said. “Now the river’s come down, the salinity is up closer in, and these fish are showing up.”
The key is to focus on the clean water Shaw has been seeing east of Stone Island. A little further west, he said the water is more dirty and the fishing hasn’t been as good.
“That line can move. It seems like they’re sitting right on the edge of that dirty water. If the dirty water moves 10 miles east, they’ll go 10 miles east,” he said. “Just try to stay in those patches of clean water. If you can find it, they’ve been unbelievable. This is the stuff I’ve been waiting all year to see.”
The weather forecast looks great all week long, but tidal ranges are not particularly favorable for this coming weekend, he said.
“Just look for good water and moving water,” Shaw said. “If you get out into Black Bay and the water’s not moving, go deeper. The deeper you go, the more tidal movement you’re going to find. The bait will be moving with it and the trout will be feeding.”
Smaller trout have already begun moving north into Pumpkin Bay and Drum Bay as they migrate to the inner marshes, he said.
“Those are little trout just starting to show up there,” Shaw said. “Give them another two or three weeks and they’ll be in there. They’re getting close.”
After the full moon on Sept. 19, Shaw said he’ll begin actively fishing for specks closer in.
“That will be when I start trying to find them on the edge of the marsh,” he said.
Redfish-wise, big bull reds have moved in and are biting along the edge of the marsh and in Black Bay.
Shaw suggested dead shrimp under a popping cork or dead shrimp on a Carolina rig, if you’re fishing shelves in deeper water.
“They’re really showing up everywhere. It seems like the middle of the marsh, along the Twin Pipelines Canal, and around the edges where Black Bay meets the marsh, have been having a lot of bulls,” Shaw said.
If you really want to target redfish, he recommends using cracked crab instead of dead shrimp.
“Cracked crab is definitely the way to go,” he said. “On the bottom, they love it. And it keeps a lot of the catfish away, too.”
Many of the cuts into the Twin Pipelines canal are great spots to try, Shaw said.
“You can catch redfish off all those little bayous there,” he said. “If the tides is falling , you can sit in the canal and catch ‘em at all those little cuts that fall out into the Twin Pipelines.”
Shaw said live shrimp are available in Delacroix at Serigne’s Marina, and now is the time to make a trip if you want to catch some nice specks in Black Bay before they move into the inner-marshes.
“I’d recommend getting out there while you can,” he said. “The year’s almost over. There’s not too much time left for you to catch those big trout in Black Bay.”
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