According to Capt. Chris Danos (504-606-6223), the trout in the East Pointe a la Hache area got a head start this year and moved well into transition mode by early August.

“This has been an odd year,” Danos said. “I don’t usually look forward to August because the fishing action tends to be slow. The water is hot, the weather is hot, you can’t hardly keep bait alive and the fish become sluggish and lethargic until September comes around and sets them into transition mode. But this August has really been different. It’s been great in that the fish are plentiful and they’re on the move toward the inside. But they tend to be small and the better sized fish have been very finicky.

“Some days we catch a hundred fish to keep 20 — five throwbacks to every keeper. And some days we fish the same basic area and catch a box of 2-pound trout, and never have to measure a single one. It’s weird. And some days, as you’d expect in August, all the fish will hit is live shrimp. If you throw plastic they’ll ignore it. But we’re also having days in August where we catch more on double-rigged plastics fished just cast-and-retrieve than on the live bait. Like I said, weird.”

Danos said the September outlook is excellent, and he expects a record year for specks just over the legal size.

“All the undersized fish we tossed back over the summer will be keepers by fall, and they’ll be thick in all the transition hotspots,” he said. “American Bay, Cox Bay, California Bay, the Belle Pass area... anywhere midway between the outside waters and the dock. I’ll focus on those areas, fishing points where I know there’s an oyster bottom, over oyster reefs and around points where good current is moving and bait is present.”

But Danos won’t forsake the big outside waters altogether — at least not yet.

“There’s still a lot of trout in Black Bay, and the edges of the big bay have been pretty productive,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll stay that way a while longer, but the longer run isn’t really necessary right now when you can load up the boat with hungry trout in those transition areas.”

Danos said Beshel’s Marina in Pointe a la Hache (504-333-4469) always has a good supply of live shrimp, and you’d be wise to take some for the finicky days.