New speckled trout column debuts

Bush to discuss trophy trout tactics every month

I love big speckled trout.

And now as an author of a monthly trout column for Louisiana Sportsman, I think it’s important for readers to know that simple fact.

To begin this endeavor, I also want to give you some context as to who I am as an angler. Like most fisherman in Louisiana, the affection toward catching trout started in the marshes surrounding the Louisiana Delta.

Claiming Port Sulphur as my home waters, my dad and I combed every stretch of the estuary in search of hungry fish. Fueled by subtle taps and iconic head shakes, every cast we made as artificial-only anglers fed the addiction. As every trout flipped over the gunnel, the fuel met the fire, and my passion for these fish became insatiable. What started out as simple father-and-son  family outings turned into a lifelong study of not only catching more fish, but becoming more consistent — until I caught a 27-inch, 7.2-pound trout wadefishing Chaland Pass in May of 2005.

The deep appreciation I had for the fishery up to that point grew by a magnitude of 10 by simply landing and holding that one fish. I no longer launched the boat to catch a limit. Instead, I completely shifted my mind set to target larger bites — with bigger being better.

What I found through the refining process is that those subtle nuances my dad taught me to become a more consistent angler provided the foundation to targeting and catching big fish.

Having now fished for big trout in seven different states and a myriad of estuaries, I continue to learn new techniques, explore new situations and develop angling experience, which I intend to share with you in these pages.

My approach will be simple but informational. In each issue, I intend to cover specific topics ranging from moon phase to solunar activity, to other environmental conditions. In addition, I also will discuss certain lures or specific styles, and use detailed pictures to inform you about things to consider if you decide to target bigger fish.

Regarding the calendar of topics, we will start from the bottom of the water column and work our way to the top with each passing month.

After the summer, we’ll begin our descent back down the water column and discuss the most productive and efficient fall lures. This approach is two-fold: Not only will this allow us insight to the application of new techniques, but it also allows us to explore lures that are ‘in season,’ or on the fringes of high productivity.

My goals for this column are also fairly simple — to open your angling aperture and give you confidence to fish new techniques. In other words, become a more well-rounded speckled trout fisherman.

While daunting at first, I think fishing for big trout is the most rewarding experience possible for inshore anglers.

The fixated gaze and intense focus an angler displays when a big fish surfaces, to the joyful raw emotion of a successfully landing a big fish adds fuel to my fire.  And I’m hoping this little monthly column provides that gentle spark.

Next month we’ll start by discussing lipped and lipless jerkbaits, and hope you join the conversation.

Lastly — and always — take what you need, and release the rest. The resource will thank you. Tight lines.