Grand Isle heats up for specks, reds

Cocahoe minnow under a cork makes catching reds easy this month

When March rolls around, Tommy Vidrine said anglers around Grand Isle have several solid options for trout and redfish in the area.

Vidrine, who targets specks almost year-round, typically splits his time this month between boat trips into the marshes north of the island and roadside action along Highway 1.

“Trout are in transition in March, so it’s a little difficult for some people,” he said. “If you want to catch redfish, the easiest thing to do is head to Golden Meadow or Bay Rambo and put a cocahoe minnow a foot and a half under a cork with a 3/0 hook. Hook the cocahoes through the bottom of the lip and throw it at every point they have: Points that go into channels, that go from shallow water to deep water and just points in the marsh if they’re in a foot-and-a-half or 2 feet of water.

“If the water is high on high tide, throw it right on the edge of the grass.”

But if you do venture into the marshes, Vidrine cautioned anglers to be aware of low tide.

“Look at that before you take off in a boat,” he said. “You don’t want to head to those marshes in the middle of the day if the tide is down all the way because you’ll be tearing up your boat, and you’ll get stuck and you’ll be frustrated.

“You have to plan your trip when the tide will be up in the marsh — that makes a big difference.”

For speckled trout in March, two of Vidrine’s favorite lures are a sinking MirrOdine pogie imitation jerkbait and a Tsunami swim minnow swimbait.

“The MirrOdine has ‘sinking’ written on it,” Vidrine said. “I’ll count it down and let it sink about 8 seconds, then just retrieve it steady, and give it a little twitch every once in a while.

“You can use whatever your favorite sinking bait in your box is. If you don’t have one, you need to add one. And if you go anywhere with deep water on a cool day, they’ll be in that 8 to 10 feet of water and that bait works awesome because it gets down there.

“That hard bait is going to work for about the next two months.”

If you use the Tsunami swimbait in the marsh, Vidrine advised to be mindful of the weight of the lure you’re using.

“Some of those Tsunami Swim Shad have a ⅜-ounce lead head, but the Swim Minnow is ¼-ounce,” he said. “If you’re casting in the marsh in 2 feet of water, that big one is going to rub the bottom and you have to reel it too fast.

“But the swim minnow is just the right weight to reel in at a medium speed with your rod tip up. It just seems like it works better and you catch a lot more fish. A ¼-ounce is about the most I use, and even ⅛-ounce is good in 2 feet of water over oysters.”

Water temperature is a key Vidrine uses in developing potential spots to target for specks.

“On warmer days, I’m going to look for a flat with some oyster shells that’s close to a deeper channel,” he said. “They may be in the channel if the tide is low. If the tide is high, they’ll most likely be in 2 feet of water over those oyster beds just sunning themselves.”

Trout action is typically earlier in the day, so Vidrine said to plan your trip accordingly.

“Target trout from daybreak to about 8,” he said. “Then have some cocahoe minnows and hit those points in the marsh for redfish.”

About Patrick Bonin 1315 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and