Upper Mud Lake is a September redfish hotspot

Jessica H. Huval of Breaux Bridge holds a nice-sized redfish she caught in Upper Mud Lake with Vince Theriot of Coastal Guide Service in Grand Chenier.

Overlooked water gets little fishing pressure

Editor’s Note: This story was written before Hurricane Laura.

For most of his life, Vince Theriot has headed upriver from his home near the Mermentau River bridge to catch redfish and speckled trout, mostly redfish, in a place that rarely lets him down, water and weather conditions permitting.

The personable all-around outdoorsman from Grand Chenier, who has been a guide since 1997, cites Upper Mud Lake along the Mermentau River as his hot spot for September. It covers between 200 and 300 acres along the river where it meets with Little Pecan Bayou coming in from the eastern shoreline in Cameron Parish.

“Right there, it makes a lake. It’s not a very big lake,” Theriot said.

“August is when it starts firing up. It goes all the way into October. September’s kind of a transition period,” he said.

 One of the best things about fishing for redfish then is there is little fishing pressure.

“You will seldom see other boats,” he said.

Theriot said water clarity is the key to catching speckled trout, if they’re up far enough to be in Upper Mud Lake. Redfish action can be fair to good most of the time, even in dirtier water conditions.

The best spots

Some of the best fishing is on and around several oyster reefs on the south side that once were islands; only one of them is visible now; three are underwater.

Guide Vince Theriot clutches a redfish he caught in Upper Mud Lake on the Mermentau River. (Photos courtesy Vince Theriot)

“When the tide’s moving, redfish get on there,” he said. “It’s easy to see the one island. Besides the shell islands and the reefs, there are a lot of hard, sand bottoms along the bank. If they aren’t on the flats, fish the channel edge where it drops off. Whenever you see oyster shells on the banks, ease along and throw a swimbait around and pick up some real nice redfish, 16-inch legal size up to 30- to 40-inch redfish.”

Some top areas include where the river enters the lake, especially the west and northwest side.

Early in the morning when the water’s calm, anglers often can see schools of redfish chasing mullet. Those fish can be caught on Carolina-rigged live mullet fished on a Kahle hook. Theriot catches mullet with a cast net when he sees they are traveling upriver.

The artificial lure he’ll have in his hand most of the time during September is a Vudu Mullet, either a black/chartreuse or a mullet-colored, grayish model, Theriot said. 

He expects the Lake to give up more and more redfish this month.

“Water color means a lot on the river, and at that time of year, it’s got clean water,” he said. “Find clean water. Barring big floods or a hurricane or big, heavy rains where they have to open the Catfish Locks, you can still catch redfish.”

About Don Shoopman 563 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.