With the advice he doled out Monday afternoon, Capt. Marty LaCoste sounded more like a veteran corner man for Rocky Balboa than a charter guide pursuing speckled trout.

“Stick and move” were his key instructions for anglers heading out of Dularge this week.

“We should be catching way more fish than we are right now. You’re having to move a lot. Stick and move, stick and move,” said LaCoste, with Absolute Fishing Charters. “You might catch three or four here and five there, and two there. The most we caught in one spot today was 15. 

“We’re having to work for them, for sure. It’s not ‘pull up and catch a limit quick.’ You’ve got to work for every fish you catch.”

A steady incoming tide and lack of shrimp have made trout fishing tougher than it should be this time of year, LaCoste said.

But with calm conditions and warm temperatures in the forecast, he’s hoping this will be the week the shrimp come out of the marsh and the trout bite busts loose.

“We’re still waiting for these shrimp to show up in full force, but they haven’t yet,” he said. “They’re small and we’re not seeing many. They’re at least four weeks late because of the cold winter.

“Typically, you’re fishing the mouth of the main bayous coming from the marsh, and with a falling tide pushing all those shrimp out, you have birds diving and all your trout eating those shrimp.”

But LaCoste said he saw only a handful of about 100-count shrimp today, and noted he hadn’t seen any birds diving since late last week.

The good news is the trout he’s been able to catch have been quality fish.

“The trout are nice. Almost every single trout we caught today was 16- to 18-inches, with only four school trout. Every other trout we caught today were studs,” he said. “We’re catching them over the oyster reefs and they’re nice solid fish.”

He likes fishing Matrix Shad tiger bait tight-lined, or shrimp creole Matrix Shad under a popping cork, with both lures on ¼-ounce jigheads, and he uses 30-pound Power Pro Super 8 Slick braid.

LaCoste suggested finding clean water in Sister Lake, Lost Lake and Lake Mechant to target specks.

“Basically fish the protected banks where the cleanest water will be. Points with moving water, oyster reefs - anywhere you can find clean water is key,” he said. “The fish have moved out of their winter spot and are in the lakes.”