Hot. Sizzling, searing, scorching, broiling, roasting — all describe our summer weather, and the trout don’t seem to like it any more than we do. Perhaps it’s why they pulled a disappearing act in June and have had anglers scratching their heads ever since.
Not to fear. The freckled finfish we so highly prize haven’t gone away, and my old friend Capt. Hook has the scoop on where to find them and how to fish them, even in an oven-like August.
“First, I’d say you should leave early because you’ll have to quit once the heat gets up into blow-torch mode,” Hook said. “And second, you need to plan on the longer runs to the outside bays where the deeper water makes the bottom temperatures cooler. I usually start by hitting a few structures in Bay Eloi, and if I don’t find anything I just keep heading farther out into Breton Sound, as long as the winds and seas allow it.”
Hook said the various wells, platforms and structures in Bay Eloi should hold a variety of fish this month, as will the rocks at the end of the MRGO.
“The rocks have not really produced as much as they usually do this summer,” he said. “Maybe because of freshwater inundation or maybe because it got so hot so fast, or maybe because we didn’t see shrimp out there like we usually do, or maybe because of all of that, but it made the rocks mostly unproductive, with some fairly decent days where you’d catch some nice fish one day but then nothing at all the next,” he said. “It was discouraging, but hopefully we’ll have much more favorable conditions this month. A lower river, saltier water and shrimp swarming into the sound and Bay Eloi along with the tides of salty water. That’ll turn everything on, and the fact is, I’ve seen that happen before, almost overnight.”
Third, Hook said to hop from structure to structure.
“The Dope Boat, Little Central, Big Central, Five Wells, Holy Cross, Breton and Gosier Islands... just move until you find them,” he said. “They haven’t been all stacked up in one place, so you catch a few in one spot and hop to another and catch a few there and so on until you run out of time or fill your box.
“Fourth, if the river falls, I’d head to Black Bay and fish those structures. Stone Island, Lonesome, Belle, Iron Banks... all that should hold some nice fish. It usually does this time of year.”
Fifth, if you’re left with no freckled fish options, chase redfish. Hook said he often has charters who only want to chase the hard fighting bronze backs, and thankfully there has been no shortage of them.
“Redfish tolerate the fresher water really well, and they’re definitely more tolerant of the cold, and they also seem to tolerate the heat better than the trout because you can still catch reds in the warm shallow inside waters, as well as along the banks in the bigger lakes and bays,” he said. “Find a nice drain or cove or a point with current on it, and fish it shallow with dead or live shrimp under a cork.”
Hook said you’ll want to bring live shrimp (or croakers if you can get them) for the specks, and fish them under a cork or on the bottom, depending on the depth you are fishing.
Capt. Hook’s Escape Charters can be reached at 504-512-2602.