When I asked Capt. Mike Gallo (504-259-3474) where the fishing will be hot this month, his answer was immediate. “In July? It’ll be hot everywhere! This is Louisiana!”
And of course, Gallo was right. It’ll be hot. It’ll be that sweltering, humid, clothes-stick-to-your-back kind of hot that won’t leave until late September, so we fishermen just have to make the best of it.
But if you pick your days and timing, Gallo said the fishing action will be hot as well.
“Leave the dock early and quit early,” Gallo said. “Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and lotsa liquids are essential equipment this month and next.
“And knowing a little bit about the species you’re targeting will help you decide where to fish.”
For instance, if you’re hoping to catch trout, then you should know they’ll be in full spawn mode in July. That means they will be seeking water with higher salinities to spawn in and that will instinctively move them closer to the coastline.
“Any areas nearer to the coast, those outer lakes and bays that get a good influx of salty water should hold fish,” Gallo said. “And lakes that are closer to the interior and farther from the coast will have lower salinities and will be less likely to produce.”
East side picks
Gallo said he especially likes to fish the area on the east side of the Biloxi Marsh, where there are numerous islands and reefs and where the salinities are high.
“Lawson Bay, Fishing Smack Bay and Drum Bay have numerous islands, points, cuts, coves, reefs… it’s a great area to fish when the winds cooperate,” he said. “I look for birds and when I see them diving on bait, I’ll go give it a few casts just to see what’s under them. This time of year it’s frequently catfish or undersized trout, but occasionally I’ll get into a mess of keeper size specks. It happens enough to keep me trying.
“The key this month is to fish moving water, so a good tide range is important, and look for any kind of life in the area — anything! Baitfish, minnows, shrimp, crabs… and wherever you find bait, you’ll probably find trout.”
Best trout baits this month: Live shrimp under a 4-Horsemen Cork, or Berkley Gulps or Matrix Shads in the glow color, he said.
For reds, Gallo said he’ll target the Northeast Lake Borgne shoreline.
“Reds don’t require as high salinities, but they do require oxygen in the water,” he said. “High heat dissipates oxygen and still water, like in smaller ponds, with little influx of water will have the least amount of oxygen in these hot summer days.
“The point being, fish move in water which is oxygenated water, preferably on days with at least a ¾ foot tide range. I’ll focus on points with current around it, areas with grass, coves and cuts, as long as you have moving water. And you can fish reds with a variety of baits. I like to toss silver spoons, or in grassy areas, a Texas rigged weedless Matrix craw, or the tried-and-true live or dead shrimp under a popping cork.”
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