Castle crowds

There’s bait, birds, boats and plenty of fish

Capt. Mike Gallo (504-259-3474) idled his bay boat through the crowd anchored around the big rock pile near Violet formerly known as “The Castle.”

It was a Monday morning, and there had to be 20 boats already there, with a couple more approaching.

We arrived a bit late only because Gallo wanted to try the pass at Bayou Thomas, where he spanked some nice trout the day before. So a few boats were there ahead of us, but no one seemed to be doing much.

Gallo anchored in water too deep for his Power-Pole, and we fished live shrimp on drop-shot rigs or plastics on 3/8- or ½-ounce jigheads.

“The trout slammed our live shrimp here yesterday,” Gallo said. “But that was yesterday, and the fish are moving with the bait.”

After we gave the area 15 minutes or so of our time, he pulled up the anchor and headed for the Castle.

What I found interesting at the Castle was how spread out the boats were. The highest concentration was actually parked along the bulkhead wall in Lake Borgne, most of them closer to the end nearest the MRGO. The rest were scattered all over, from right around the crumbled remnants of the Castle to 50 yards away, out near the channel markers in the lake.

I watched the boats as we idled to take our place along the bulkhead wall, and saw that most of them were catching fish.

Not hand-over-fist, but steady.

And they looked to be nice-sized trout.

Gallo anchored up, and we fished the same baits as before, but this time with better results.

We caught several trout in the 20-inch size, but the action soon fizzled. Gallo pulled up the anchor, and we trolled the rear section of the wall where there were no other boats.

By a simple cast-and-retrieve method, we caught some beautiful trout — up to 22 inches.

But after a dozen of those, that action died, too.

The boats closest to the rock pile had left (probably with their limits), so we idled into that area and started catching trout with almost every cast.

For 30 minutes, we could do no wrong. Everything we threw was inhaled by a hungry trout. We fished tight-lined, under corks, pretty baits, ugly baits — it didn’t matter.

And all around us other anglers appeared to be doing the same.

Gallo said the action should remain steady right there until some weather change moves the bait out of the area. He thinks if it stays mild, it should be good at least through mid-December.

But you might have to hunt for a place to park.

About Rusty Tardo 372 Articles
Rusty Tardo grew up in St. Bernard fishing the waters of Delacroix, Hopedale and Shell Beach. He and his wife, Diane, have been married over 40 years and live in Kenner.