Editor’s Note: The recreational red snapper season closed on Aug. 13. LDWF will continue to monitor red snapper landings through the LA Creel survey and consider options if any quota remains.
Just about everywhere you turn around Grand Isle in August, the fishing can be excellent, according to Owen Belknap, who runs the Michi offshore charterboat.
“One thing I love about August is that it is more opportunities to sight-fish redfish in the marsh. It’s a good way to test new skills and try new lures. It’s also what I really enjoy doing,” said Belknap. “It seems like each week, there is cleaner and cleaner water. August could be really good for inshore.
“Redfish will be cruising the marsh edges, chasing pogies and shrimp as they enter prespawn behavior. They will be feeding more frequently, and the bite should pick up — as long as it doesn’t get too hot and the wind dies down.”
The trout bite has been consistent this year, and this should continue through August.
“It’s been my experience that two people can catch 30 to 35 pretty regularly,” he said. “The East Timbalier Island and the beachfront in Grand Isle will be very productive.”
“August always brings about the hottest temperatures of the year. As the water temperature really warms up, it can negatively impact the bite during the day,” Belknap said. “The tuna will be more active at night and early morning. It’s a better use of your time to fish through the night rather than the day. Marlin, mahi, and wahoo will be more dependent on finding cool temperature breaks in the water. That’s what you will need to look for.
“When it comes to bottom-fishing, the snapper, grouper, deep-drop guys, nothing should really change. The grouper and barrelfish bite will be good.
“Since it’s later in the 2020 snapper season, the fish are being more pressured. The good, quality fish will be thinned out closer. The end of the Grand Isle Blocks and South Timberland 135 have been hit pretty hard. Don’t be afraid to push closer to the shelf if you have the boat to do so. The snapper will be pushed a bit deeper as the weather gets hotter, too.”
“Better and better bait will begin to show up, and as long as no hurricanes show up, the tuna bite will be consistent,” Belknap said. “Live bait is my go-to for red snapper fishing, but dead squid and cut bait will work the same.”
“It’s important to remember that we are getting summer afternoon storms. I know anglers will be pushing further and further, offshore chasing the quality fish. Keep in mind that it can go from slick to 3 to 5 feet in a second. There is no reason to kill yourselves over fish. Just go again in the morning and forgo the afternoon, if the weather is looking spotty.
“I strongly recommend leaving the beer at the house and just bring water on your day trips. You can have beers back at the camp. In August, it’s important to stay hydrated. I see a lot of guys drinking all day and becoming dehydrated and not being able to fish. It isn’t a situation anyone wants to find themselves in.”
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