Saltwater Series: Lake Borgne

To say that Lake Borgne and Rodney Dangerfield have a lot in common might be a little too strong. At least everybody knew who Rodney Dangerfield was even if they didn’t respect him.

Aaron Brooks is a better comparison. The former New Orleans Saints quarterback didn’t get a lot of respect either, but he was hardly known outside the Louisiana Superdome.

Whether he was smiling after throwing an interception, leaving the field early or throwing a backward pass, Brooks was a walking contradiction. He had all the talent in the world, but he had a hard time trying to figure out what to do with it.

In the same way, Lake Borgne has all the fish in the world, but hardly anybody knows what to do with it. More often seen as a vast obstacle to navigate on the way to the Biloxi Marsh, Lake Borgne just “don’t get no respect.”

However, Brooks could put it all together every now and then to have the kind of performance that Saints fans are now used to seeing Sunday after Sunday. In other words, Brooks wasn’t good all the time, but when he was on, he made us think he was a real NFL quarterback.

Lake Borgne is on. And a few anglers have put it all together to have the kind of fishing trips that would make one think they were fishing “real” saltwater fisheries like Breton Sound, Venice or Calcasieu Lake.

Capt. John Falterman Jr. is one of the few who have figured out how to give Lake Borgne its props. The first thing one notices when Falterman posts pictures of his catches at is the floor of his 24-foot Triton bay boat is covered with fish.

125, 87, 75, 90 — it’s a good thing his fish-counter clicker has three digits on it. Falterman routinely breaks the triple-digit barrier or gets mighty close to it during the summer. A model of consistency, Falterman owes most of his success to where he fishes rather than what he fishes.

“You can come to Lake Borgne with all kinds of soft plastics, topwaters, spinner blades — whatever,” he said. “But you better not leave the marina without a baitwell full of live shrimp this time of year. If you get on them good, you can switch to soft plastics, but in the meantime, stick with shrimp.”

• No. 1: Chef Pass Cut N30 03.107 x W89 46.680

Right before Chef Pass enters Lake Borgne, there is a canal that intersects it to the north and south. This cut is basically just a little marsh line with some shallow grass, which makes it good for redfish. But there is also a little drop about 30 yards off the bank that makes it good for trout.

“The water is really protected in here,” Falterman said. “That makes it good for spotting redfish cruising down the grass lines. If you have a small boat, this is the spot for you if you don’t want to go out in Borgne. Cast shrimp or cocahoes under a cork.”

Falterman hits the reds by positioning his boat about 20 to 30 yards away from the bank and casting toward the shoreline. However, if he’s after speckled trout, he backs off a little, and fishes the drop and deeper water out toward the middle of the cut.

“You can stay with the shrimp under the cork on the trout if you want to,” Falterman added, “but you could also try fishing shrimp on a Carolina rig to keep them closer to the bottom. I’ve also caught some good trout in here fishing shrimp on a 1/8- or 1/4-ounce jighead just freelining them on the drop.”

For nine more Lake Borgne hot spots, be sure and pick up your copy of the August issue of Louisiana Sportsman now on newsstands. To ensure you don’t miss any information-packed issues of the magazine, click here to have each issue delivered right to your mail box.

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About Chris Ginn 778 Articles
Chris Ginn has been covering hunting and fishing in Louisiana since 1998. He lives with his wife Jennifer and children Matthew and Rebecca along the Bogue Chitto River in rural Washington Parish. His blog can be found at

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