When the colder air from the north collides with our warmer, milder air, fog is often the result _ and the fog has been showing up on a pretty regular basis these past few days.
For many fishermen that means staying home or leaving later, after the fog burns off in the warming sun.
But for Bayou Gauche angler Gordon Matherne, foggy mornings are the best time to go fishing in the Sulfur Mine. (Naturally you must exercise caution both in driving and in boating, but if you are able to see far enough through the fog to navigate safely, then the effort can pay off in speckled dividends.)
“I love foggy morning fishing. That’s when the specks bite best,” Matherne said, as we moved slowly towards the Sulfur Mine from Basson’s Boat Launch in Galliano.
It was obvious that quite a few other anglers had the same idea as the boat launch parking lot was already crowded for a weekday. The last cold front was followed by a week of milder days and the word was out - the specks were eating up baits all around the Sulfur Mine.
The air was wet with fog and the boat ride was cold, but short. Surprisingly, my sonar said the water temperature was almost balmy at 66 degrees, so I figured the specks should be spunky — and they were.
Minutes after his first cast Matherne had a speck in the boat, followed by another one. Three fish later I was still to get a bite.
He was fishing with tandem-rigged beetles about 18- to 24-inches under a cork. I was fishing with a single white plastic cocohoe, also under a cork, but without his results. After he had a couple more hits, I tied on doubles, shortened my leader from 3 feet to 2, and got in on the action.
“That’s how it is sometimes,” Matherne said. “Two baits in front of them are more likely to provoke a hit than a single bait. And the better colors early have been glow, chartreuse, silver or gold flecked - but once it warms up and the sun comes out I’ll switch to darker colors like purple/chartreuse or black/chartreuse.
“I also prefer smaller baits and smaller, less noisy corks right now. You still want to pop it and move it on the milder days. And if the conditions allow it, tie on a topwater bait for both reds and specks.”
Matherne says the Sulfur Mine area should continue to produce throughout the winter.