The last set of photographs is from Area 2 in Desoto Parish. The habitat is mixed pine/hardwood, with no agriculture but some winter pastures for cattle and lots of oil and gas pipelines that create a lot of edge.
“I’m all about live bait,” veteran redfish and speckled trout charter guide Herk Bergeron said. “The catch ratio is much better with live bait, especially for bigger fish. Most of the winter, I use cocahoe minnows. I start with shrimp in April. From mid-May into August I use mostly croakers. In September, I shift back to cocahoes.
December usually delivers our first blast of really cold weather. We start getting cold front after cold front beginning in November, and by increments our weather changes from fall to winter with each passing front.
Unlike the warmer months, when scattered crappie create the opportunity to pick one or two here and there and piece together a decent day, Toledo Bend guide Dennis Tietje said the late fall/early winter period calls for a higher level of discernment.
When cooler temperatures have those crappie biting lightly, strike detection becomes paramount. That can be challenging on a good day, but in windy conditions it’s critical that you don’t let the blow rob you of opportunities.