With water temperatures still in the neighborhood of 60 degrees, one Lake Pontchartrain fishing guide expects speckled trout action to remain pretty consistent heading into 2015.
"Our water temperatures really haven’t dropped, and I know we’re expecting some cold over the next few days, but it’s not going to be enough to really make fish move very far from where they are,” said Capt. Mike Gallo, with Angling Adventures of Louisiana. “I think they will still be at the Causeway and the train bridge.”
Gallo successfully fished both locations just last week.
“At the train bridge (Trestles), closer to the north shore where the current is not as strong, a 3/8-ounce jighead will be fine,” he said. “If you’re closer to the south shore where you have a stronger current, then you might need to go with a 1/2-ounce.
“The key is feeling the bottom. You want to make sure you feel the bottom.”
At the Causeway’s 12-mile hump, Gallo said he used a 3/8-ounce jighead in about 14 feet of water because of the lack of current. Specks were caught on a variety of colors, including avocado with red flakes, a white Gulp 4-inch curly-tail mullet and Deadly Dudley’s mojo mullet.
“Remember if you’re hopping it and you bring it up 3 feet but only let it fall 2, then hop it 3 feet again and let it fall 2, you’re 2 feet off the bottom and out of the strike zone,” he said. “You’re done. You’re not fishing anymore.”
Gallo also recommended brightly-colored line so anglers can see when their lure hits the bottom.
“I think it takes longer than a lot of people realize, and they don’t wait long enough,” he said.
As water temps continue to fall throughout the winter, Gallo said slowing down your presentation is key.
“If we get some really cold water temperatures down around 50 or 52, the trout will be very lethargic on the bottom, and you’ll really need to slow your presentation,” Gallo said. “I mean to where you’re dragging it an inch and letting it sit, then another inch and letting it sit.”
Colder water temperatures usually make specks along the bridges in eastern Lake Pontchartrain move more toward the center of the lake, he said.
“When that water gets really cold and those fish get really lethargic, they’re going to move away from that current more toward the north shore and hang out in water with less current,” he said. “If the current is going 3 mph, they’ve got to swim 3 mph just to sit still, and that’s a waste of energy.”
If the lake is rough later this week, Gallo suggested a few additional spots if you’re intent on making a New Year’s week trip.
“If the weather is bad and you’re dead set on going, the Eden Isles canals and the Lakeshore Estates canals will be worth a try,” he said. “They’re manmade, they’re protected and they have deep water.”