Playing the wind for solid Cocodrie trout

Action is steady, but guide says big specks get lockjaw in windy conditions

The fishing out of Cocodrie has been on fire every single day, according to Capt. Tommy Pellegrin. The only thing that changes is the size of the fish, and that’s contingent on one key variable.

“When it gets windy, the big (trout) just sit on the bottom and don’t feed,” said Pellegrin, with Custom Charters out of Houma. “The little ones are just too stupid (not to feed).”

Pellegrin fished on Thursday when it was calm, and he noticed a distinct increase in the size of the trout.

“They were really nice,” he said. “We didn’t throw any back.”

However, Pellegrin fished over the weekend, and the little fish came out to play, but the action was still fast.

“In the wind (Friday and Saturday), we probably had to catch 150 fish to keep 60,” he said.

One of the keys right now, Pellegrin said, is to fish with live bait. Specks have shown a definite preference for the real stuff in the past few weeks.

“I threw plastic (Thursday) just to see, and they wouldn’t grab it like they were eating the live bait,” he said.

Pellegrin has been rigging live shrimp on a sliding cork, which is more work to rig initially — but saves a ton of time in the long run.

“You don’t have to adjust anything (with a sliding cork,)” he said. “You go from shallower water, which without a slide is fine, but if you go fish 8 feet of water, you’re subject to (the bait) being on the surface, and you can’t do anything about it.

“With a slide, I can put it to the depth I want.”

When rigging his sliding cork, Pellegrin employs a unique method to stop the cork. Traditionally, anglers use a string stop, but the veteran guide doesn’t like those because he feels like they move too easily.

“I use a single uni-knot out of 30-pound monofilament, which is my leader material,” he said.

Pellegrin recommends anglers use the lightest egg sinker below the cork they can get away with.

“Most people I take can’t easily cast well, so a ½-ounce sinker lets them cast farther than they normally could,” he said. “I prefer a 3/8-ounce because it lets the shrimp swim a lot better.”

Where Pellegrin has fished lately has depended on the wind.

“On good weather days, anything from the Pickets to East Timbailer is good,” he said. “The whole entire area is covered in trout.

“On bad weather days (like Saturday) with the wind, you have to stay protected behind the islands, which gets really crowded.”

Pellegrin has been focusing on shell reefs and points with current, but on super-windy days, he stays on the interior.

“There are still some fish in the marsh,” he said.

He recommended places like North Barre and North Pelto.

About Joel Masson 177 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville and can be reached at