As water temperatures slowly start rising in Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne and the Biloxi Marsh, speckled trout action should begin consistently heating up as well.
Capt. Mike Gallo, with Angling Adventures of Louisiana in Slidell, said March is typically a transition month for specks.
“Fish are leaving where they were in the winter and are heading to where they’re going to be in the summer, but this is a long process,” Gallo said. “April is still considered a transition month, so this doesn’t happen overnight.
“They’re everywhere and they’re nowhere, if that makes sense. They’re not in one specific area.”
That’s why Gallo likes a popping cork rigged with a plastic lure 2- to 3-feet deep this month.
“It will help you cover the most water, and it calls fish to you. You don’t have to be pinpoint accurate,” he said. “You can be 15 feet from him, and you pop that cork and he’s going to run over there to see what’s going on.”
With mostly overcast skies lately, Gallo prefers darker baits, and said he’s had success with the brand new Deadly Dudley in mojo mullet, a translucent dark purple lure with a chartreuse tail.
And the “10-minute rule” is especially important during the transition, he said.
“Give it ten minutes in a spot, and if you’re not catching, move on.”
Understanding where the fish were is just as important as knowing where they’re heading, he said.
“Use past history to your advantage. You know they were in deep water in the winter time, and they’re still in the process of filtering out, so everywhere I go will be close to deep water,” Gallo said.
In the Biloxi Marsh, that means ponds, cuts and trenasses off of Bayou Biloxi and Bayou Grande.
“Try a little bit of everything,” Gallo said. “Points, cuts and pockets.”
He’s had success in the past fishing the outer edges of turns in the bayous, which are typically the deeper side.
“The fish were staging right along the drop-off,” he said. “Once you break that pattern, how many turns do we have in bayous? Thousands of them, so you try everything and see what produces the best. Then you try to duplicate it over and over and over.”
Speck-wise, Gallo said three water temperatures will be important over the next 60 days or so: 60 degrees, when the speckled trout bite will become more consistent; 68 degrees, when the spawn will begin and 77 degrees, when the spawn reaches a peak.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, March is certainly not a 10, but it’s not a 4 either,” Gallo said. “It’s probably more a 5, 6 or 7.”