Go shallow for reds, deep for trout
If you live in Southeast Louisiana and want to catch quick limits of reds and specks, you should point your truck toward Delacroix.
But where you fish is going to determine which species you catch this month — because one will be shallow while the other will be in deeper water.
Redfish are prowling shallow flats from one end of the system to the other, according to Louisiana Fishing Charters’ Capt. Austin Plaisance said.
“They’re pretty much keying on shrimp and crabs right now,” Plaisance explained. “Find clear water, find bait and you’ll find redfish.”
Narrowing down your choices of target waters in any particular area is a matter of playing the wind to maximize your efforts.
“Fish the windward side,” Plaisance said. “That way, the bait will be pushed onto the flats.”
And you can pretty much disregard any of the deeper water — if reds are your target.
“With the water temperature where it is right now, the fish are in less than 2 feet of water,” Plaisance said.
Best baits depend upon your temperament: You can put fish in the boat with artificials or dead shrimp.
“You want something with a lot of vibration to trigger bites,” Plaisance said of how to choose artificials.
Lures like Z-Man ChatterBaits are perfect tools for this work.
If dead shrimp are more your style, be sure and hang them beneath a popping cork.
“They want noise right now,” Plaisance said.
Ponds off Lake John and the Twin Pipelines are producing, but don’t be limited to those areas.
“It’s not really an area: The best thing to do is come off main channels with moving water and get in the ponds and shallow flats,” Plaisance explained.
For speckled trout, anglers need to leave the shallows and focus in the 5- to 8-foot-deep range.
“They’re starting to push into interior cuts and bayous that go through all the lakes and bays,” Plaisance said.
He said current is key, with success being a matter of targeting points and bends in these waters. However, it’s also dictated by positioning yourself properly.
“Push onto the point and throw into the deep water,” the guide said.
Plastics work well, but fish will be tight to the bottom — so it’s vital your lure gets down quickly.
“You don’t want it to fall too slow because of the current,” Plaisance said. “So 3/8- or 1/2-ounce jigs are better than 1/4-ounce (jigheads).”
He said to just bump the lure along the bottom, working up the ledge and paying close attention to the end of your line.
Oak River is a perrenial producer — and boats already were lining the waterway this week — but Plaisance pointed toward the whole Skippy Lake area.
“You can catch fish in Skippy Lake and all the bayous off the Pencil Canal,” he said.
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