Redfish and speckled trout are in transition in the areas surrounding Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne, moving back and forth from deeper water to the shallows as water temperatures fluctuate, according to a fishing guide.
“The water temperature will be fluctuating for the next week or two. This time of year is always a transitional period,” said Capt. Scott Walker with Get U Some Fishing Charters. “For reds, you have to fish the drop offs.
“Oak River, for instance, is deep and you should fish the edge of the shallow flats. The shelf right off of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) has had a lot of reds as well.”
Walker, who likes to target redfish with a lemonhead Matrix Shad on a spinner bait, said speckled trout are a little tougher to come across right now.
“The low temperatures this winter have really mangled some of the speckled trout,” he said. “Once the temperature goes below 46 degrees the trout get lethargic and just stay on the bottom, living off of their own body fat.
“When the water temperature gets above 48 degrees you might be able to catch trout by the Bayou Bienvenue locks and near the mouth of the bayou, where it goes into Lake Borgne.”
According to Walker, the best way to catch specks now is with live shrimp. If they aren’t available, he recommends using the Matrix Shad in shrimp creole.
“Once the water temperature hits 60 degrees, the trout will start to turn on in the lakes,” he said.
But he said that proverbial “on switch” comes with conditions that will affect the intensity of the bite.
“The Pearl River stayed high through June last year and messed up the trout fishing in the Rigolets area. The shrimp never really came in,” Walker said.
The river crested Wednesday at 16.87 feet, which is almost 3 feet above flood stage, but is forecast to drop back down to 14 feet by Mardi Gras.