Even though the forecast for Friday and Saturday looks a little dodgy with good rain chances both days, there’s a silver lining lurking next week for speckled trout anglers that will hopefully make up for a soggy weekend.
The full moon is next Wednesday, May 14, and Capt. Mike Gallo with Angling Adventures of Louisiana in Slidell said that could help spur this season’s slow bite along.
“You should start seeing some pretty good speckled trout being caught a few days prior to that,” Gallo said earlier this week. “A trout I cleaned today had some fairly developed eggs - not completely hydrated, but definitely on their way.”
Gallo said he caught trout Monday at the Trestles bouncing mojo mullet Deadly Dudleys on the bottom with a 3/8-ounce GoldenEye jighead.
The action wasn’t exactly fast and furious, but he caught some quality fish.
“We caught 15 trout,” Gallo said. “Three hours catching 15 fish is not a great pace, but when you have some 3-pounders, they fill the box.”
Gallo preached patience when fishing on the bottom, and said many of his customers don’t even realize their lure is several feet up in the water column after only a couple of hops.
“You can’t be in a hurry,” he said. “Wait until it goes all the way back to the bottom before you hop it again. That might take a full four or five seconds.
“If you lift your lure off the bottom 2 feet, and you wait and it goes down only 1 foot before you lift it up 2 feet again, then you’ve lost contact with the bottom. You have to be patient enough for it to settle back on the bottom each time.”
He sometimes encourages his clients to feel the lure bumping along the shells.
“Sometimes fish want it when it’s dragging on the bottom, but when they tell me they feel the lure bumping the shells, now I know they’re on the bottom,” he said.
Trout-wise, he thinks things are looking up for about the next month in and around Lake Pontchartrain.
“I think it’s just going to keep getting better,” he said. “I think it’s going to get better in the lake and peak towards the third week of this month and maybe sustain that for two more weeks.
“Then as we get into the second week of June, I think it’ll tail off a little bit.”
Action typically moves from west to east as the trout move toward saltier water, he said.
“That’s been my theory for years,” Gallo said. “You’ll see the Causeway be the hotspot, then the Causeway kind of cools off and the bridges on the east are the hotspot and then they start to cool off,” he said. “Then it seems like Lake Borgne is picking up and by the time we get to July, there aren’t many trout in this area.”
Gallo finished off his Monday trip with a limit of redfish along the eastern shoreline of Lake Borgne between Lake Shore Bayou and Bayou Grande.
He recommended a No. 2 circle hook with dead shrimp under a popping cork.
“It’s nothing fancy, but that circle hook just doesn’t snag in the grass at all. You might throw it in the grass 15 times and not snag it once. Just throw it in the grass and pop it out, and you’ll drop it right by the shoreline,” he said.
But with the circle hook, you have to fight your natural instinct to set the hook, he said.
“You start reeling, just like you do for snapper,” he said. “When the cork goes under, I tell my clients to count to four, point the rod at it and start reeling as fast as you can. Once your line tightens up, raise your rod and fight the fish as normal.
“It hooks them right in the corner of the mouth, just like when you’re snapper fishing.”