Hunt-and-peck fishing east of the Mississippi River produces plenty of fish

The east side of the Mississippi River has been all over the radio and TV recently for being one of the best places to fish right now. Whether outside, inside or somewhere in between, saltwater anglers can find hungry speckled trout, redfish and flounder.

Plastics can work if you really get in the fish, but live shrimp has been the best bait.

Wanting to see a little of this action for myself, I jumped in with Destrehan angler Allen Dupont, Metairie angler Bobby Chandler and LaPlace angler Chris Vincent last week. After leaving Breton Sound Marina at 4:30 in the morning, we arrived at Battledore Reef just as the sun was breaking the horizon.

The three long-time fishing partners acknowledged that the run to Battledore would have been a lot shorter from Point a La Hache, but they made the argument that they would rather launch at Breton Sound Marina and run as far as they wanted to go and then work their way back.

There were already a couple boats on the Battledore structure the trio had so successfully fished only days before, but Vincent was able to ease his bay boat into place where the incoming tide would sweep their offerings across the front of what looked to be a giant pile of concrete rubble.

Although the bite wasn’t as fast as they had hoped it would be, Dupont, Chandler and Vincent were able to pick off some trout from the structure by fishing live shrimp anywhere from two to four feet under popping corks.

Word must have gotten out about this particular spot because there were soon 14 more boats that had pulled in and were jockeyed for a spot around the nearby platform. And since the bite wasn’t what they had expected, the crew I was with pulled off to an underwater reef close by that Vincent had marked on his GPS.

The actively feeding fish on top of the reef turned out to be bull reds, and the three anglers landed and released a few of them before deciding it was time to move. Vincent had some school-trout spots back inside toward Point a La Hache, but Stone Island and Mozambique Point were also on his mental radar.

Hunt-and-peck wound up being our fishing pattern for the day, as we never could find a school of fish large enough to sit on for more than 30 minutes. However, as it seems to always be around Breton Sound, hunt-and-peck isn’t that bad of an option with so many places to fish.

About Chris Ginn 778 Articles
Chris Ginn has been covering hunting and fishing in Louisiana since 1998. He lives with his wife Jennifer and children Matthew and Rebecca along the Bogue Chitto River in rural Washington Parish. His blog can be found at