Capt. John Pounders takes every shot the weather gives him this month to chase speckled trout in the big water. 

“July is a great month for us to burn a little fuel and head to the outside to catch specks, said the owner of Eccentric Charters (504-382-2268). “I will target them around Coup Abel, Four Bayous, Cat Island and the Bay Long area on the edge of the gulf.

“All those areas will hold schools of very nice trout in July, and I intend to put a dent in their population.”

Pounders said to look for birds diving over shrimp, because that’s almost a guarantee that trout are there.

“They are often undersized, but we usually catch keepers in the mix — and those keepers are the best eating size,” he said. “Try to sneak up on the birds slowly so you don’t chase the bait and fish away, and you can toss plastics tight-lined or under corks. They’ll usually hit just about anything.”

“At Coup Abel I fish the big sandbar. Usually I try to troll along it, about 30 to 40 yards off the sandbar, and I fish all around the boat. When I bump into some trout, I set the (anchor) and see if I can sit on a school and put some good numbers in the boat. When the action plays out I resume drifting.”

Pounders said the best bait is live shrimp or white/chartreuse Berkley Gulps fished about 2½ feet under a cork.

“At Four Bayous I fish the reefs, and there are plenty around the camps and elsewhere,” Pounders said. “Again, I’ll use live shrimp or Gulps under a cork.

“Fish Cat Island — or what little is left of it — the same way. It’s just about all submerged now, but the fish are still hanging around the underwater structure. Use your popping cork like a dinner bell and the fish will come find your bait.

“Then, around Bay Long I like to fish the edge of the Gulf. Look for bird or bait activity, and fish it with the same baits.”

For reds, Pounders said he’ll hunt along the rocks by Plum Point, in Coffee Bayou, in the ponds off Hackberry Bay and in the Graveyard. 

“I’ll use dead shrimp under a cork in those areas,” he said.