This week’s cool front could hasten the departure of speckled trout from interior marshes near Cocodrie and Dularge, according to a local fishing guide.
Capt. Tommy Pellegrin, with Custom Charters, had already reported catching specks on the outside last week, but suspected Wednesday that strong north winds forecast through Friday might speed up the trouts’ transition to outer waters even more.
“They’ve definitely made it to the islands, front and back. But they’re still inside, too,” he said. “You’ve got the whole smorgasbord from inside to outside covered right now. It might only last two weeks like that, and this (north wind) may get them out of the inside totally.
“Stuff like this will flush the water out, and run them out quick. They were starting to edge out from way deep in the marsh pretty good, and they were still in the interior lakes, but this may just get them out all the way. They’ll be back of the islands, and in front of the islands out by the wellheads.”
Unfortunately, that same north wind pushing the trout out dirtied things up considerably, and Pellegrin said clean water was hard to find on the Dularge side Wednesday.
“I looked around for some decent trout water, but there was none. I mean none. It was pretty bad,” he said. “Where the trout were — behind the islands — with this north/northwest wind, that’s the worst place now. It’s going to be really nasty and it looks like it will blow from the north through Friday. So I would say for this week, you need to find some really protected north banks somewhere, maybe Lake Barre up against the bank. But the water is just dirty everywhere.
“I would say in the Cocodrie/Dularge area, bide your time and wait for Saturday and Sunday when the weather clears up. Saturday might be the first day to catch some trout after this — and that’s if the water cleans up enough.”
His trout bait of choice is the HLT Anchovy in coco pepper or purple gold on a 1/4-ounce jighead. He stressed to try different presentations, either popping the lure under a cork or fishing it tight-lined.
“Over the reefs for us was under a cork, and the deeper water was tight-lining,” he said. “But a lot of times it’s the other way around. You have to try everything - don’t fish just one way.
“It doesn’t mean they’re not there - they might just want it a different way.”
Typically, shrimp have shown up in larger numbers by now so fishing birds would be an option, but that hasn’t happened yet this spring, Pellegrin said.
“There’s not a lot of shrimp, so everything we’re catching is spitting up old mullet, old croakers, all kinds of little fish like anchovies,” he said. “Normally we have packs of birds diving showing you where the trout are, but now we have none. Nothing.”
When the weather gets right and the water clears, he recommended fishing any of the wellheads behind Last Island, Caillou Island and Timbalier Island.
“They all have fish, and the points behind the islands are good, but the wellheads are really good,” he said. “By the time this weather clears up, the moon is coming around and it’s going to be on in the surf.
“Watch the breakers if there’s any. Find a spot close to the beach that’s kind of deeper because there are no breakers right there. That’s where your trough is coming out from behind the sand bar - that’s where you'll want to fish.”