As endless as the shallow-water trout fishing options are to the east of the Houma Navigation Canal are, those choosing to fish bigger — though just as accessible — water in the same general area shouldn’t feel left out.
Oil and gas tank batteries and smaller structures dot the landscape in open water just west and south of the protected islands and reefs of Lake Barre and Terrebonne Bay.
Access to these structures takes a little more tolerance for chop and a keen eye to developing thunderstorms, but a little faith can pay dividends.
“You can look out at the open water when clearing Seabreeze (Pass) and count a whole bunch of structures,” Capt. Olden Rodrigue said. “There’s plenty of options for people who want to fish a little deeper.”
Rodrigue said the most-difficult part — for beginners and area vets alike — is choosing which locations to fish and giving each a good try before moving on.
Trout in the area this time of year do two things that make them a challenge for any but the most fortunate and regular anglers.
First, they move constantly, presumably to spawn effectively and to fuel their bodies to keep in top condition for the spawn.
And, secondly, they frequently position themselves on a specific part on a platform that might or might not concur with generally accepted hypotheses.
So there’ are lots of areas to cover, a finite period of ideal fishing time and a need to probe thoroughly. Rodrigue said there are historically better spots, but offered a tip for those not as wise about area.
“A lot of times with the newer platforms, they lay limestone pads and boulders on the edge. That can attract bait pretty quickly,” Rodrigue said. “You’ll lose some tackle pretty quickly when you find them, but they’re the best spots on a structure a lot of times.”
Predators such as speckled trout follow in kind and can provide fast action to those who put in the work to locate these attractants.
“I prefer to stay shallow as much as possible, but the deeper structure can be really, really good when it’s not happening closer in,” Rodrique said.