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STAR's West Division trout leader DQ’d for failing polygraph

The Louisiana Coastal Conservation Association’s STAR Tournament officially has a new first place speckled trout angler in the West Division — after the long-time leader was officially disqualified this week for failing a polygraph test.

15 hours ago
For his Zydeco Sauced Fish, David Billeaud used blue catfish, but the recipe adapts easily to any mild, white-fleshed fish.

Vermilion Bay means seafood to Trout Masters

It didn’t take us long to learn that Vermilion Bay Trout Masters can cook as well as fish. Over a period of years, the two of us have cooked repeatedly with Steve and Pookie Smith and David “T-Coon” Billeaud, and we have enjoyed every bite.

Yesterday at 9:00am
Biologically, the state's speckled trout population is doing OK, and Jason Adriance, LDWF's finfish program manager, said there are currently no plans to reduce the daily limit or increase the minimum keeper size.

Louisiana’s speckled trout stock ‘biologically OK,’ LDWF says

Although some fisherman have voiced concerns about the quantity and quality of speckled trout caught across Louisiana’s coast this year — as well as increased fishing pressure on the species — a biologist with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said LA Creel data indicate more specks were actually caught in the first half of this year than in 2015.

September 28 at 9:56am
Capt. Ricky Brondum likes to target redfish this month out of Dularge with cracked crab instead of dead shrimp, because using crabs deters the bait stealers.

Redfish plentiful out of Dularge

When September rolls around, speckled trout are just starting to get the itch to head back to inside waters where they’ll ride out the fall and winter.

September 22 at 4:28pm
Capt. Brian Sherman, with Kayak Venice, shows off a redfish caught along the roseau canes on the east side of Yellow Cotton Bay. Positioning your lure as close as possible to the canes is key to catching quality reds, Sherman said.

Kayaking in Venice: Redfish plentiful in Yellow Cotton Bay

Some kayak anglers might be hesitant to toss a popping cork — attached to a twirling 2-foot leader with a Vudu shrimp dangling from the business end — straight at stands of leaning, swaying, hook-grabbing roseau cane, but not Capt. Brian Sherman.

September 21 at 11:03am
According to LDWF's 2014 stock assessment of speckled trout, although the recreational harvest has increased considerably in recent years, the species is not being overfished.

LDWF stock assessment: Speckled trout not overfished

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on Tuesday released long-awaited stock assessments on several species — including speckled trout — that were being withheld because of ongoing litigation from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

September 20 at 1:50pm
The wider profile and heart-shaped tail give this bait a distinctive wobble and kick.

Heart Tail Swimbaits

Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits keeps raising the bar higher and higher with each entry into the artificial lure manufacturing industry.

For example, owner Gary Yamamoto is proud of the fairly new Heart Tail Swimbait.

September 15 at 9:00am
The view from inside East Cove through the Grand Bayou Weir and Boat Bay into the lake shows the weir areaQ is actively used by both cast netters and anglers.

The Cameron-Creole Watershed Project controversy

The Cameron-Creole Watershed Project, like many marsh restoration projects, carries fishing controversy baggage.

Capt. Erik Rue did his best to provide a balanced explanation of what has gone on.

September 15 at 7:00am
Yellowfin tuna will be moving closer to the mouth of the Mississippi as river levels drop in the fall, allowing guides like Capt. Joey Davis to put their customers on fish with shorter trips out of Venice.

Falling Mississippi brings tuna bite nearer to mouth of river

September is well known as a transition month for speckled trout, when they begin the process of moving from offshore waters and heading back to inland marshes and bays for the winter.

September 07 at 8:00pm
Capt. T-Man Cheramie said live minnows under a popping cork are effective for trout this month.

Live minnows deadly for Leeville specks

Capt. T-Man Cheramie (985-677-6294) said the trout are already on the move, beginning their annual transition off the beaches to the inside, and though September is a dreaded “transition month,” you can still put plenty of nice fish in the box if you know where to ambush them.

September 06 at 11:38am
This time of year you can catch bull reds in the surf and along the rocks.

Grand Isle bullies — How to catch September redfish

September can be a stressful month. We’re in the peak month for tropical activity — a fact that keeps most of us glued to the daily weather forecasts, and a significant stress producer in itself.

Plus, all the kids and students are back in school. Traffic is heavier, commute times are longer, and the Saints, LSU, Tulane and all our favorite prep and college teams are back on the football field, increasing our anticipation and anxiety.

September 01 at 7:00am
David Billeaud (with cigar) and Steve Smith have mastered the art of speckled trout fishing in the Vermilion Bay complex.

Vanquishing Vermilion — How to catch Vermilion Bay trout

Those wiggly, slimy, little silver fish just do something to a person. 

Speckled trout might not fight as hard and be as colorful as their redfish cousins, they might not grow as large as their black drum kin and they might not be as tasty as their croaker and channel mullet relatives, but specks rule in Louisiana.

September 01 at 7:00am
When the trout bite is tough, try fishing your baits slowly along the bottom.

Bottom feeders — Late-summer trout tips for Breton Sound

I could tell he was getting a little impatient. Capt. Ross Montet knew there were loads of speckled trout in the warm shallows skirting Breton Island.

Two key words in that sentence: “loads” and “warm.”

This time of year does, indeed, find trout both stacked around the barrier islands and hanging out in the breeze of Breton Sound.

September 01 at 7:00am
Erik Rue is critical of fishermen who want to use their cell phones to find fish rather than read sign on the water.

Life after summer — Best fall fishing bets for Big Lake

“Look at the camera! Look at the camera!” 

Keeping him looking at the camera was almost impossible. Erik Rue’s brown predator eyes kept darting toward any sign of another fish to which to feed his artificial bait.

The 30-year veteran charter captain with Calcasieu Charter Service (337-598-4700) was out to show me there really is life after summer.

September 01 at 7:00am