Cocodrie trout, reds move to deeper water

Cold weather pushes fish out of lakes and into winter patterns, Bayou Fishing Charters guide says.

This fall has gotten off to a tremendous start, with anglers all over the marshes of South Louisiana filling their ice chests with limits of specks and reds.

But Capt. Bill Lake said the recent cold front has changed the game, at least to an extent.”The water temperature has dropped about 10 to 12 degrees, and wind has blown all of the water out of the marshes,” the owner of with Bayou Guide Service & Charters said. “As it gets colder, the fish will continue to go into more of a deepwater pattern.”

Lake said the larger specks are already out of the lakes and in the deeper pipeline canals and natural bayous like Bayou Seveur. These are areas to which all of the trout will move eventually.

“A lot of the fish in the lakes are smaller under the birds, and you may catch 10 small trout before you get a keeper. The 2-pound trout are in the bayous and canals under schools of mullet, and are eating fish,” Lake said.

This feeding pattern means anglers should choose lures that mimic the natural forage.

“This is why I prefer the Tsunami swim baits, because they mimic the fish that trout eat in the winter,” he said. “The trout, redfish and drum have all been slamming the swim baits.”

Bunker Baits in glow chartreuse and blue back are Lake’s favorite colors of swim baits when bumping off of the bottom for large trout in the marsh.

He also has preferred winter colors for his regular plastics, such as the Bayou Chub in LSU, chicken on a chain and Cajun pepper.

And he said corks aren’t even necessary for success.

“I always prefer tight-lining instead of using a cork,” Lake explained. “Unless the water is very cold the fish tend to stay suspended, and keeping the bat off of the floor while retrieving is important.”

As water temperatures continue to fall, this veteran captain makes location adjustments to keep on the fish.

“As it gets colder, I start fishing more toward Dulac and Dularge in places like Lake De Cade and the surrounding canals and bayous,” Lake said. “Those baits that I mentioned are the only thing you will need in the boat.

“I think we are going to have a fantastic winter there is no shortage of trout, redfish or drum.”

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