Live limits — Tips for live-bait fishing for trout and redfish

Late summer is the time to put up artificial lures and stock up on live bait. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your time on the water.

The August morning was warm and sticky. The wisp of the faint breeze only seemed to move the stifling hot air around, giving no real relief.

The water around the wellhead was slick, broken only by the sound of thick schools of mullets that swarmed in one direction, then the next as predator fish crashed into them from below.

The lone angler in the bay boat reached down into the livewell and snatched out a frisky croaker that was quickly threaded on his kahle hook and sent skyward, plopping down about a foot from the well. The tide quickly caught the free-lined batifish, sending it downcurrent.

Midway through the drift, the line paused and began moving sideways. The angler was in no hurry; he simply began to leisurely reel in the slack as the line began to move erratically.

Finally, the line was taut, and the angler steadily pulled the rod back as it bowed under the weight of the hefty speck. Soon the still water was broken by the thrashing of the surfacing yellow-mouth trout.

The battle was intense but brief, as the angler slipped the net under the fish that soon hit the deck with a thud.

In the late-summer incubator of the Louisiana coast, the waters teem with life, as most marine species have flourished in the warm and fertile summer waters and have replenished their stocks as the onset of fall and winter approach.

Successful anglers who pursue game fish in these waters know this is the time of the year when live bait is often the best choice at a time when there is so much natural bait available on which fish can gorge themselves.

Even if you are an artificial bait purest, you might want to consider live bait during this time of the year.

Live bait experts have agreed to share how they get their bait, how they keep it alive and frisky, how they rig it and the techniques they use to haul in beautiful stringers of trout and redfish during late summer when getting fish to bite can be a challenge.

About Capt. Steve Himel 70 Articles
Capt. Steve Himel has hunted and fished in Southeast Louisiana for over 45 years. He operates Marshland Adventures, LLC and has been a freelance outdoor writer for the past 16 years. He is a member of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association.

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