The dog days of August already have Capt. Mike Gallo looking forward to the cooler, crisper days to come later this fall.
He’ll certainly enjoy the pleasant fishing weather and the return of football season, but what he’s looking most forward to this October and November is the return of the speckled trout bite in the Biloxi Marsh.
And Gallo, who operates Angling Adventures of Louisiana out of Slidell, is expecting a banner fall for trout this year.
Earlier this spring, he had discussions with Capt. Dudley Vandenborre and Capt. Kenny Kreeger, and all three men were noticing the same thing in and around Lake Pontchartrain.
“When we would get together, we all came to the same conclusion: That there were a lot of small trout in the area,” Gallo said. “We’ve been hearing about 11-inch trout being caught all summer long.
“Well, now those fish are 12 inches.”
And because lots of folks caught fewer fish than normal this spring and summer, Gallo said he thinks angler effort waned as well, which could make the fishing this fall even better.
“The word has been out for quite a while that trout fishing has been a little off, so there’s less pressure on those fish,” he said. “If we can get some cool fronts to push through, that will help, too. Usually by about the third cool front, it’s on.”
Gallo recently received reports from a friend who has a camp on Lake Catherine who has been catching up to 125 trout per night under his lights - only about 15 or 20 of which are keepers.
“So we know they’re out there,” he said. “I think it’s instinct that they seek saltier water to reproduce. But these smaller trout didn’t have that instinct to move out, so they just hung around and kept eating.
“What we’re going to start to see in the next three weeks is trout that did not move out to spawn, but have now reached legal size.”
Later this fall, around mid-October, Gallo expects trout to migrate en masse into the marsh from the Chandeleur Islands, Mississippi Sound and Breton Sound, where they’ll start feasting on whatever they can find to fatten up after the spawn and get ready for winter.
“The Biloxi Marsh will be full of trout. As I’m redfishing, I’ll start catching a few trout on spinners, so I’ll kind of know when they’re showing up,” Gallo said. “Then you just start to see them come in more and more and more.
“I’m definitely looking for a really good fall.”