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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.

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Focusing on wood in the current of main bayous is the key to catching Atchafalaya Basin bass this month.

Best bets for Atchafalaya Basin bass

The long-awaited drop in the Atchafalaya River happened in late June, and that meant it was easy to catch bass in the Basin.

August 26 at 6:43am
Nick Poe holds a speckled trout caught at Johnson Bayou Rigs.

SW rigs load up with specks

Leaving Calcasieu Lake for near-offshore oil-field structures pays off with speckled trout in the ice chest when conditions are favorable this month.

No one knows that better than Jeff Poe, a veteran saltwater fishing guide who frequents those structures as much as he can this time of year. One of his favorite destinations is the Johnson Bayou rigs approximately 7 to 8 miles to the west of the Cameron Jetties.

August 26 at 6:01am
The Apex Predator, Josh Chauvin, shares his favorite gar patty recipe, and also demonstrates how to clean a gar in about five minutes using only a machete.

Video: Apex Predator cleans gar with machete in five minutes

Homemade fish patties have long been a favorite food of mine.

August 24 at 5:26pm
Capt. Curtis LeNormand with Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras shows off a nice Breton Island speck fooled by a Z-Man TroutTrick lure last weekend.

Specks still biting on Breton Island

Capt. Ross Montet had a great trip out to Breton Island late last week, easily bringing back four limits of speckled trout on a day when the fish smashed lures as soon as they hit the water, seemingly on just about every cast. 

August 23 at 1:57pm
Robbie Trahan left Johnson Bayou after Hurricane Ike, but he is looking forward to moving back.

Johnson Bayou’s history

 It felt like I was passing through a whole ’nother country on the drive down to Johnson Bayou. It was wide-open space, like the high prairies of North Dakota — Louisiana’s own “Big Sky Country.”

August 15 at 7:00am
Cade Candies of Thibodaux poses with his second-place 160-pound, 8-ounce tarpon caught this weekend during the 2016 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.

2016 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo final results

Here are final results from the 2016 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo held this past weekend out of Sand Dollar Marina. 

August 01 at 2:19pm
Mike McNerlin (left) and Greg Hammett with some of the 37 crappie they caught in one morning of cranking.

Crank it up — How to catch crappie trolling crankbaits

Trolling crankbaits has exploded onto the crappie fishing scene in the last few years. And, while there is bit of a learning curve, the tactic can be highly productive in terms of filling the freezer with fillets.

August 01 at 7:00am
Blaine Salter’s goal is to build the family jig pole business his father founded larger and better than ever.

Pole Kat — How the Salter Jiggin’ Pole can make you a better angler

The cork slowly went under.

I knew it was a crappie: It didn’t swim off like a bass, twitch like a bream or disappear with a snap like a catfish.

It just eased down, down, down.

August 01 at 7:00am
Jerald Horst (rear) and his grandson Jake Gros spend a lot of time fishing, and they catch a lot of bream. Horst's goal for each trip is 200 fish.

6 tips to catch more bream

Louisiana Sportsman contributor Jerald Horst has a reputation as a serious bream killer. I’ve repeatedly heard stories of him returning to the landing with hundreds of bluegill and goggle-eye.

“My goal is 200,” Horst confirmed when he called and invited me to join him and his grandson on a trip yesterday to the sprawling Atchafalaya Basin. “If I don’t catch 200 it’s not a good trip.”

July 27 at 2:49pm
Capt. Britt Ordes fishes deep with live shrimp for big speckled trout this time of year.

Fish Hopedale trout where they cool off

Go to Blue Bayou Water Park on a scorching hot Saturday and you’ll likely be waiting more than an hour to ride the water slide.

July 22 at 11:43am

2016 International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo scheduled for July 28-30

The International Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo — billed as the oldest fishing tournament in the United States — will get underway next Thursday, July 28, at sunrise.

July 21 at 3:16pm
A cold-worm tipped tube jig will catch crappie and bream such as bluegills, chinquapin (redears), and goggle-eyes equally well.

Langlois’ best Atchafalaya Basin fishing equipment

“I don’t have any fancy jig poles or expensive ultralights,” John Langlois growled. 

July 15 at 7:00am
Casey McLaurin likes never having to measure speckled trout caught offshore.

Go south, young man, for better trout fishing

The Vermilion Bay speckled trout fishery is known for two things. First, it produces a lot of big specks. Second, it’s a highly seasonal fishery.

July 15 at 7:00am

Tippets

July often brings diversity to coastal inshore fishing, as rivers fall and higher salinities prevail. Among the species that will get close to shore — or even inshore — are Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, cobia, bluefish and tripletail.

July 15 at 7:00am
Bluegills are suckers for worm-tipped tube jigs.

Atchafalaya fruit salad — The Basin offers multi-species fishing opportunities this month

When the winter-spring floodwaters fall out of the Atchafalaya Basin, everything that swims bites.

Unless a fisherman is a single-species snob, a day’s catch can include, largemouth and spotted bass, white bass, yellow bass, two species of crappie, three or four species of bream, blue catfish, channel catfish and the odd flathead catfish.

July 01 at 7:00am