Traditionally, October is one of the best fishing months. The biggest threat of a major tropical system is basically over, the weather is cooling, humidity falls, shrimp show up in inside waters and fishing explodes for both redfish and trout.
Every coastal fisherman looks forward to October, and it gets even better in November and continues until the real cold arrives in December or January — if it arrives at all.
But these days are anything but traditional. A muddy river of freshwater pouring incessantly through the Mardi Gras Cut has changed everything in the area.
Long-time charter captain Chad Dufrene (985-637-6357) summed it up when he said, “When you’re catching largemouth bass at Stone Island, you know just how much things have changed.”
“The super low-salinity water means the trout look elsewhere to spawn, and the redfish have been affected also,” he said. “But I have hopes that the storms have pushed up some good water and plenty good fish along with it. I know the marsh is full of white shrimp, because you can see them jumping everywhere. If the fish were pushed in with the storms then there’s plenty shrimp to hold them here on the inside and the fishing should be great.”
Dufrene reminds anglers to exercise real caution when traversing the marshes, because Hurricane Ida has silted in areas that were deeper passes, and there are numerous potential submerged hazards in the water, including a car submerged around the Lost Lake pipeline.
“If we get some semblance of normal, the bigger lakes should hold reds. Lake John, Shrimp Lagoon, Lake Ponton, Bakers Bay — all that area should be good fishing,” Dufrene said. “You’ll want to fish points, cuts and coves with market shrimp under a cork. I like to keep dead shrimp in a ice bucket slush. It keeps them firm, and the reds will devour them.”
For specks, Dufrene suggests fishing the outside edges of the big fringe bays, like Lake Campo, Oak River Bay, Bay Lafourche, Lake Robin and Pato Cabello, on over to Four Horse Lake.
“I’d also try over towards Lake Coquille and Lake Calabasse, where trout usually show up this time of year,” he said.
The best baits are live shrimp under a popping cork, and shrimp imitation lures.
“Naturally, you want to look for clean, moving water in any of these mid-area lakes and fringe bays. Look for some good prominent points with current lines around it, look for shrimp jumping and look for birds diving. Wherever you find any of that, fish right there,” he said.
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