Deeper holes, channels hold redfish during annual stop before heading offshore
Bill Lake, who recently celebrated his 30th year as a full-time fishing guide, said he will focus all his efforts this month targeting redfish in deeper holes and channels around Dularge.
“We see this cycle repeat itself every year,” said Lake, who runs Bayou Guide Service. “The water temperatures and the weather are hot as blazes, and the trout bite slows down both due to the heat and that inner instinct that sends them into transition mode. We just switch gears and go after the reds that start showing up in big sizes and big numbers in mid-August; they’ll hang here usually until mid-October, then they head back offshore until the same time next year.”
Lake (985-637-3712) said the best places to try are any of the deeper holes and channels that are 15 to 30 feet deep.
“I like to fish Bayou Raccourci between Raccourci Bay and Lake Mechant, at any of the turns in the bayou and at the old structures,” he said. “We catch a lot of big, bull reds in there, from 5 to 20 pounds and more, fishing either cracked crab or live minnows on a sliding sinker rig, with a ¾- or 1-ounce sinker, a No. 4 or No. 5 Kahle hook and an 18- to 24-inch leader. We also catch big blue catfish and black drum, in all sizes.
“We catch a lot of slot-sized reds in Bayou DeCade and at the mouth of Voss Canal and the mouth of Jug Lake, and in Buckskin Bayou off Blue Hammock Bayou. (They’re) all fished the same way: deeper water, cracked crab or live minnows on the bottom.”
According to Lake, wind speed and direction aren’t much of a factor when fishing these waters, but tide certainly is.
“I definitely want to fish an incoming tide,” he said. “I actually consider it the single most-important factor. I will do my best to arrange a trip to catch that incoming tide, which I find more productive in this kind of fishing. We catch on falling tides too, we just find the rising tide produces best. So, I prefer a rising tide with a range of .5 or .6 of a foot, up to a 1-foot range. Anything over a foot makes the current too strong.”
Lake will use his fish finder to look for the fish on the bottom, then spot-locks right on top of them with his trolling motor. He considers the spot-lock feature essential equipment on any boat nowadays. Then, he just drops the bait straight down off the side of the boat, no casting necessary.
“Anybody, even a first time fisherman can catch fish in Dularge this month this way, and big fish,” he said, “easily.”