The speckled trout bite in Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne has slowed as the fish make their way to spawn in saltier water, according to a fishing guide.
“Lake Pontchartrain has a mix of fish being caught along the bridges, mostly drum, sheepshead, the occasional redfish, the occasional flounder and the occasional keeper speckled trout,” said Capt. Mike Gallo, with Angling Adventures of Louisiana in Slidell. “There are still lots of small speckled trout.
“My feeling is the larger fish have pretty much moved out to saltier water.”
Gallo thinks the smaller fish remain in the lakes because they’re not interested in heading out to spawn.
“They just don’t have the instinct to move out and spawn,” he said. “They’re just not that mature yet.”
But the abundance of 11-inch trout this year already has him looking forward to the fall.
“If a 12-inch fish is about a year old, that’s pretty easy. The fish grow about an inch per month,” he said. “Later this fall, all those fish are going to be keepers. That will be a solid 14-inch fish come October.”
A recent trip fishing gas wells in Lake Borgne supports Gallo’s theory.
“We caught about a dozen trout. Nine were white trout, three were speckled trout, and I guarantee you we caught 20 that were about 11 inches long.”
Despite the frigid winter and the late availability of live shrimp, Gallo said it looks like the speckled trout headed out of Lake Pontchartrain about the same time they normally do each summer.
“It seems like in April we were saying that everything is late. In May we were still saying that everything is late,” he said. “Well, I think everything has caught up, because it’s right on track.”
Gallo is catching trout with live shrimp under a cork and also with plastics, but he said the shrimp are producing better.
Redfish have remained plentiful, and Gallo targets them with dead shrimp under a popping cork in the Biloxi Marsh, where he looks for clean moving water with the presence of bait.
“I look for mullet in the area,” he said.