Redfish plentiful out of Dularge

Carolina-rigged cracked crab deters bait stealers, guide says

When September rolls around, speckled trout are just starting to get the itch to head back to inside waters where they’ll ride out the fall and winter.

So in Dularge, Capt. Ricky Brondum plans accordingly — and loves to target redfish this month.

“Typically in September trout get kind of scarce because they’re in between moving back inshore, “ said Brondum, with Speck Chaser Charters. “They haven’t quite grouped up yet — by late October you can start hitting them again on the inside waters. But it’s usually over with in September as far as the outside: the Pickets and the Mardi Gras and all those rigs out that way.”

Not to worry though, because Brondum said line-stripping reds are plentiful now throughout the area.

“The redfish move inside thick in August, September and early October. They’re in all the deep holes,” he said. “Bayou Raccourci is real good, some of the bayous around Lost Lake are real good and Bayou Carencro is real good — almost any of the bayous that you can think of that have deep cuts and deep curves.”

Brondum uses fresh cracked crab on a Carolina rig when targeting reds, and when he says deep holes, he’s typically talking 14 to 16 feet deep.

“It seems to be real important if you can find the ledge where it drops off. Some of these bayous it’s like a wall — it will go from 20 feet up to 8 feet in a matter of 30 feet or so,” he said. “If you can get on the ledge right on the edge of that drop off, that’s where the fish seem to be holding.”

His preference is a falling tide, but he’s not particular.

“As long as it’s moving, I’m good — but it can’t be ripping through,” Brondum said. “A moving tide is good, but it can’t be so hard that you can’t get a bait on the bottom. You have to have bait on the bottom.”

And as previously mentioned, that bait is always cracked crab — never dead shrimp.

“Shrimp seems to bring in a whole lot more catfish,” he said. “We only fish with fresh crab, and pop it into quarters. We pop off the top shell and we actually have big utility scissors like you’d buy from Lowe’s or Home Depot to cut the claws and legs off. We trim all that stuff and end up with 50-cent piece sizes of crabmeat.”

Brondum noted that fresh crabs are important — you don’t want to use older ones, if at all possible.

“We buy live crabs every morning when we head out. We’ll ice them to slow them down, because they’re pretty feisty when you’re ripping their shell off. But if you ice them up, you’re OK,” he said. “Just don’t try to keep them to the next day. Because if they die, they get mushy, and when you throw the bait in the water, the little fish will just scoop all the meat out and you’ll come up with a shell and nothing left in it.”

Trout-wise this month, Brondum said he loves a Vudu shrimp paired with a popping cork, or double-rigged Bayou Chubs in chicken-on-a-chain and LSU.

“I’d be looking for birds. I would probably be looking around coastlines and maybe some of the inside bays, but particularly around the Pelican Pass area where Bayou Dularge meets the Gulf,” he said. “Because the fish are starting to move on their way in, and they’re finished spawning.”

Capt. Ricky Brondum with Speck Chaser Charters can be reached at 985-537-5022.

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and