Perfecting Pontchartrain – Making the most of your fishing days on this hard-to-master lake

Lake Pontchartrain fishing will drive the average angler nuts. Follow these tips to make yourself more than just an average angler.

It’s often hard for anglers to believe the fishing reports they hear coming from Lake Pontchartrain. The problem is that their eyes rarely see what their ears hear.

Lake Pontchartrain is a tough place to fish, and it often confounds the residents of Southeast Louisiana.

This contradiction between reports and reality hit me very strongly last year. I was out on the lake with Capt. Greg Schlumbrecht with To Fish Charters on a warm April afternoon. He had just provided information for a fishing report, and he wanted to prove to me that his report had merit.

My first clue that something wasn’t quite right came as we began chunking blue moon Deadly Dudleys toward the pilings. We had basically the same equipment, the same lures and were fishing the same place. For some reason, though, the trout didn’t like my Dudley nearly as much as they did Schlumbrecht’s.

I called my nephew that evening after I finished cleaning all those trout to see if he wanted to go back the next day to load up on fish again. We hit the water early the next morning, and headed right for the Trestle.

About three hours and three fish later, Schlumbrecht moved his boat in front of mine as I was leaving a piling I had just unsuccessfully fished. Not recognizing me in my bass boat, he made a cast to the piling I had just left, and caught a trout.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I hollered out to him. “I can’t believe you just did that right in front of me. I thought you taught me everything you knew about Lake Pontchartrain yesterday.”

“Not everything,” he shot back, suddenly realizing it was me. “We didn’t even scratch the surface.”

Scratching the surface is what most of us do when we try to catch trout at Lake Pontchartrain. We hit the Trestles, catch a couple trout and spend the rest of the night complaining about how there aren’t any fish in the lake.

However, there are quite a few anglers who have dug a little deeper. They are the ones who show up at CCA banquets with ice chests full of giant trout they caught that day. They are the ones who make a living guiding other anglers on this tough lake. And they are the ones who have built successful fishing tackle companies based on baits that work well on the lake.

Dudley Vandenborre, Greg Schlumbrecht, Eric Dumas, Terry Googins and Chas Champagne are all known for catching lots of Lake Pontchartrain trout and the largest Lake Pontchartrain trout. Whether they’ve been at it 30 years or three, these guys know how to fish the lake, and they all do things that most of us don’t.

Click here to read tips from each of these Pontchartrain experts, which first appeared in the April 2008 edition of Louisiana Sportsman magazine.

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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

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