There are many ways to get speckled trout and redfish to bite.
You can entice them with shrimp. You can excite them with lifelike soft plastics under a popping cork. Or you can just flat out intimidate them into hitting your bait.
That’s how Capt. Ron Price, who operates Fish Intimidator Lodge and Guide Service out of Buras, does it. He not only puts his clients on good fish, he does everything he can to make sure the fish bite — even if it means strong-arming specks and reds to get in his boat.
“Typically, there are two places we find speckled trout most of the time in June,” Price said. “They are usually off the beach or around the shallow rigs. Those seem to be the hotspots. The rigs east of the river toward Breton Island and Main Pass hold trout, as does the Black Tank area.
“Some of the better trout fishing is also out toward Grand Isle and out from Venice if the river is high for a long time. It seems like Mother Nature is keeping us with a high river every year. When I first started guiding, I didn’t know what a high river was. Now, it seems like the norm.”
A high river lasting through spring usually moves the best fish out further, and that’s where Price’s approach pays off.
“It’s all about the pretty water when you want to catch good fish and good numbers,” he said. “I’m known for not staying on a spot long if the fish aren’t biting. I’m not afraid to burn some gas to go looking for them. Of course, with the price of gas this year, I may have to develop some more patience.”
One of Price’s favorite lures in the summer is the Norton Sand Eel, especially when he’s targeting bigger trout. He loves fishing the eel in black and chartreuse colors on a 3/8-ounce jighead. Sometimes, he will fish with a slip cork, but most of the best fishing around the rigs is just tight-lining.
“On the rigs, typically, the fish will hold on the current line on the backside of the rig,” he said. “That’s where we try first. The rigs may be in 10 to 15 feet of water, but the big ones like to suspend 2 to 3 feet below the surface of the rig. I like to go to a smaller jighead if the current and wind will allow and let it sink slower. They like that.”
While speckled trout may be a bit tougher to find in June, Price said redfish are pretty much all over the place. They stay tight to the shoreline on a falling tide; that’s his favorite time to catch them. If he can plan a trip for specks in the morning, then find redfish on the falling tide later in the day, that’s about as good as it gets.
“You can’t beat live shrimp for redfish,”he said. “We fish them under a popping cork about 18 inches to 2 feet below the cork, up near the bank. I love to catch them on a falling tide coming out of the canes. They are super active then and lots of fun to catch.”
Actually, when it comes down to it, Price admits the fish and Mother Nature can do some pretty strong intimidating of their own.
“Between the hurricanes and the pandemic last year, we took a beating,” he said. “Those are things we can’t control, but we are getting back to normal. We’ve got a lot of making up to do.”
Price has had to dodge some intimidation in the past, too. He had been guiding part-time but decided to quit his job at a chemical plant to build his lodges and guide full-time. In fact, one of his co-workers kidded him about “intimidating” one of his former bosses, so when he looked for a unique name for his guide service, he thought that would be a good one. But the tide turned on him.
Two months after he went full-time, Hurricane Katrina wiped him out. Then, there was the BP oil spill. The tough times make him understand even more how important it is for his clients to get away from it all and be able to go catch fish.