Lake Pontchartrain is known for the Trestles, the Causeway and all of the structures that house speckled trout each year.
But one extremely underutilized place is the perimeter of Lake Pontchartrain. In fact, Capt. Kris Robert frequents said you’re making a big mistake if you aren’t fishing the shorelines in Lake Pontchartrain.
“Normally, we’ll start catching them in April, and depending on how long the bait — mullet and pogies — stays in there, the fish will stay in there,” Robert said.
Specifically, the guide likes the rocks around Irish Bayou, as well as the ones in the Salt Bayou area.
When fishing around tackle-stealing rocks, being an accurate caster is crucial. Cast too close to the rocks and you’ll blow a hole in your wallet on jigheads. Throw too far away from the rocks, and you’ll be eating chicken for dinner.
“Generally, the bite will be 2 or 3 feet off of the rocks,” Robert said. “The fish are cruising (close) to those jetties and ambushing prey that’s coming in and out of there.”
Robert usually throws 5/16-ounce GoldenEye jigheads teamed with a variety of Matrix Shad soft-plastics.
This jighead weight might seem heavy to some, but Robert makes his selection for good reason.
“When you’re fishing in that shallow water — especially in our area — you’re trying to get the lure as far away from the boat as you can,” he said.
But Robert doesn’t leave his topwater lures at home. He particularly likes throwing plugs on the edges of the day, but said they also have the potential to produce when the sun is high in the sky.
“When the bait is there, I’ve caught them on topwater all day,” Robert said.
Popping corks aren’t used all that often in the Lake Pontchartrain basin, but Robert said they work phenomenally well around the rocks.
He uses an 18-inch leader under his cork with a 1/8-ounce GoldenEye jig.
“You want that bait to fall as slow as possible because the action of the cork is what attracts them,” Robert said. “They’re going to come investigate it because it symbolizes fish feeding in the area making that popping sound, and when it’s falling slow it gets that fish’s attention to go over there and bust it up.”
The specks around the rocks aren’t exactly pipsqueaks, according to Robert.
“The fish over there are pretty nice, “ he said. “They range anywhere from 16 to 20 inches.
“I remember Chas (Champagne) and I were throwing topwater in front of Salt Bayou a while back, and we had several 4- to 6-pound fish.”