In this excerpt from Trout Masters Too: How the pros do it, Capt. John Aucoin with Hawkeye Fishing Charters shares several tips and tactics he uses to catch specks in and around Terrebonne and Timbalier Bays.
The tips are great, and can be used anywhere across the coast to catch more speckled trout:
— Always use your trolling motor when stopping to fish. Don’t run the big motor to the spot. Outboard engines spook trout. Stop 75 to 100 yards out, preferably upwind or upcurrent. Drift or troll to the spot, casting downwind. Going downwind makes less noise because the water isn’t slapping the hull. Have the anchor ready to drop if you find trout. If the anchor isn’t ready, drift over the fish, then troll back around and drop your anchor. If you don’t have a trolling motor, get one.
— Wear drab clothes. “I believe that in shallow water, fish can see anglers in bright colors,” Aucoin said. “I wear gray all the time.”
— Don’t try to horse in big speckled trout. Apply just enough pressure to put tension on the fish to keep them from coming out of the water. When a jumping trout hits the water with its mouth open like a parachute, it pulls the hook out of its mouth.
— Use fast-action rods so you don’t shake the whole rod when the bait is worked.
— Work plastic different ways. Sometimes hop it; sometimes hop it and go; sometimes let it fall to the bottom and then work it; sometimes try a fast reel and twitch; sometimes use a do-nothing retrieve.
— Don’t use snap swivels. Tie straight onto monofilament line in the winter. Wintertime fish are smaller and more sluggish. Use a palomar knot to tie on a hook or jighead. In the summer, use a shock leader of 25-pound-test Trilene Big Game or Ande tied directly to the main line with a blood knot. If you don’t know how to tie the knot, buy a book on knots or look it up on the Internet.
— Buy a good set of 100-percent UV protective sunglasses. They should have “580 lens” stamped on their stems. “Costa Del Mars are my favorites,” Aucoin says.
— Get up-to-date color photographic maps and GPS maps, including those that show safe travel routes. Nothing on the water looks like the old maps, and it is easy to get confused in navigation and fishing.
— Don’t be a boat fishermen, one of those who ride around looking for people catching fish. Usually, the first boat on a spot will be the only one that catches fish.
— If more than one person is in the boat, everyone should try something different until a pattern is found.
— Consider getting a Power-Pole to fish in the marsh and bays. “I have two so that the boat doesn’t swing,” he says. They are not as useful, however, in lakes and on the beaches.
Learn more about how the best guides and anglers across the Louisiana coast catch trout day in, day out by purchasing the Trout Masters Tool Kit, which includes a special package price for Trout Masters: How Louisiana’s Best Anglers Catch the Lunkers and Trout Masters Too: How the pros do it.