Catfish Lake specks: Target shallow or deep as the temperature dictates

During some of the last cold fronts, Scott Toups fished the bayous around Catfish Lake in Golden Meadow. "There's a lot of fish close to the public launch, and they can easily be reached by kayak or a small boat. We focused on deep, dead-end bayous fishing with a variety of soft plastics."
During some of the last cold fronts, Scott Toups fished the bayous around Catfish Lake in Golden Meadow. "There's a lot of fish close to the public launch, and they can easily be reached by kayak or a small boat. We focused on deep, dead-end bayous fishing with a variety of soft plastics."

Cold front this weekend could push specks into deeper, dead-end canals

Water depth is a critical element to any type of fishing across Southeast Louisiana, and right now it’s particularly crucial to pay attention to in Catfish Lake.

Golden Meadow guide Capt. Aaron Pierce has been finding lots of speckled trout in the deeper sections of Catfish Lake during cold fronts. When they roll through, he’s been fishing the deeper stuff in the area and having really good success.

“I’ve been looking for the deeper canals, and any point that has wind-driven current or tide-driven current,” he said. “Anything shallower than 4 feet I found hasn’t been that good in those canals.”

Once Pierce gets in those areas, he tries different techniques until he figures out what the fish want.

“It’s weird because some days the cork’s tearing it up — some days tight-line,” he said. “You need to try both techniques to see how they’re biting that day.”

When tight-lining, Pierce has been using a surprisingly light 1/8-ounce jighead teamed with a chartreuse-colored plastic minnow.

“They want it a lot slower,” he said. “You throw it out there, let it sink and slowly reel and bump it back in.”

When fishing under a cork, Pierce again likes an 1/8-ounce jighead with an artificial plastic minnow or shrimp.

Pierce said the size of fish has been all over the place: He’s been catching fish up to 20 inches, but on a recent trip with Vermilion Bay guide Capt. Scott Toups, the fish were considerably smaller.

“We caught over 150 fish, and out of that, like 40 kept,” Toups said.

However, the pattern of catching fish in deeper water held true on that trip Pierce and Toups made.

“We were focusing on the dead-end canals, deeper water between 7 or 10 feet, and that’s pretty much the pattern that should be here …,” Toups said, about fishing the area when the wind is blowing.

During cold fronts, Scott Toups had had success fishing for speckled trout in deep holes close to the launch out of Golden Meadow.
During cold fronts, Scott Toups had success fishing for speckled trout in deep holes close to the launch out of Golden Meadow.

Another key to the bite, according to Pierce, has been water movement: Outgoing or incoming didn’t matter as much as long as there was movement.

On warmer days, Pierce likes to switch to fishing oyster reefs in shallower water with a popping cork.

“I’ll just fan cast around the boat over some oyster reefs, and as soon as I catch one, I’ll put my Talons down to stay there, and if I don’t catch anything I’ll move on,” he said.

Toups said one good thing about fishing the area is a big bay boat isn’t required.

“There’s a lot of fish close to the public launch, and they can easily be reached by kayak or a small boat,” he said.

Editor’s Note: Captain Aaron Pierce charters inshore trips in South Central Louisiana.

 

 

 

 

Joel Masson
About Joel Masson 151 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville. Sammy Romano is a lifelong hunter who has worked in the archery industry for more than 24 years. His expertise includes compounds and crossbows. He can be reached at samboka31@aol.com.