Capt. Chad Dufrene (985-637-6357) is trying to think positive after this year's brutal winter.

“I’m hoping those Arctic blasts won’t have had a detrimental effect on our speckled trout,” he said. “I know we did have a fish kill after the first big freeze, because I saw gulls and pelicans in a feeding frenzy on the carcasses of speckled trout in Lake Lery. After the second Arctic blast I saw the same thing in Grand Lake. I’m hoping that was a very limited effect, but I didn’t do a wide search so I don’t know how extensive the fish kill actually was, although by the time March gets here we should have a pretty good idea.”

Nevertheless, Dufrene said he plans to fish this month like every other March.

“I’ll target the transition areas, the various bays and lakes and bayous these trout traverse every year about this time,” he said. “A frigid cold February could definitely delay trout action for a couple weeks, and a real good spell of warmer weather could speed it up, but generally, March means transition areas. That means Point Fienne, Bay Jack, Bakers Bay, Four Horse Lake, Pato Cabell0 — all those areas start turning on. If it’s still chilly try anywhere along the Twin Pipleine or any deeper holes and canals and bayous.”

Dufrene said live shrimp is the best bait if it’s available, but soft plastics should do the trick.

“I like to throw double- or single-rigged plastics in the current lines off points,” he said. “I doubt you’ll see much bird action simply because I suspect the shrimp will be very small due to the cold winter, but the trout should be in the current lines feeding on minnows or anything else swept along it.”

Dufrene said the redfish action should be solid, with fish spread out from fringe bays to deep interior ponds.

“Nice sized reds should be on the points in the big lakes and bays like Oak River Bay, Lake Campo, Baker’s Bay and others,” he said. “Just park a dead shrimp under a cork at a point right up against the bank and you’ll catch them. You’ll also find reds inside the shallow ponds that have grass. Throw weedless spoons or spinners in pockets and coves along the edges of the grass, and you’ll get your rod bent.

“I think we’ll have a lot of 16- to 18”-inch redfish this month, and a lot of really big reds also. All in all, I expect a great month.”