Saltwater Series: Little Lake

Four months ago, I was wondering if the waters around Lafitte would ever be the same. As the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster crept through the passes down to the east of Grand Isle, it looked like one of the most fertile estuaries in the world had finally met its match.

However, if the early part of this fall is any indication, the only thing folks around Lafitte are going to have to worry about this winter is whether they’re going to fish Little Lake, Turtle Bay, Bayou Perot, Bayou Rigolets or The Pen.

Capt. Scott Poche has spent more time on the water helping to clean oil out of the marshes farther south most of the summer and early fall, but he was gracious enough to give me a first-hand look at just how clean the water is from Bayou Perot to Little Lake and down into Turtle Bay a few weeks ago.

My flummoxed descriptions ranged from gin clear to “looks like a swimming pool out here,” and we saw three or four times more redfish following the ones we were fighting than we wound up putting in the box, which was 10.

Do the math, and you can see that the combination of shallow, clean water and cruising redfish adds up to some awesome days on the water this autumn as long as you’re not expecting many trout.

“I imagine we’re going to have very few trout because of the salinity levels being so low,” Poche predicted. “We’ve had so much fresh water pushing through here that the water hasn’t been salty enough for them. Things could change, but it looks like redfish are going to be the main draw.”

There’s surely not anything wrong with that, but there could be something wrong if the wind blows hard from the north. Lafitte is notorious for getting messed up after a strong cold front, and that’s why Poche pointed out the deeper bays like Bayou Perot, Little Lake and Turtle Bay.

“In November, we’ve got the likelihood of the water getting pushed out,” he said. “If it does get blown out, all you’ve got to do in these three spots is move out deeper where you can still fish decent water. Leaving from Lafitte Harbor (Marina), you can make a little run of these 10 spots no matter what the weather or water is doing.”

• No. 1: Bayou Perot North Points
N29 39’05” x W90 08’45”

Heading down the eastern shoreline of Bayou Perot, this is the first of three similar spots where Poche routinely finds pods of cruising redfish not so subtly sneaking down the bank. This spot in particular has a couple pockets inside the marsh and several points that stick out into the open water of Bayou Perot.

“I like to key on the points with a falling tide and move into the pockets when the water is rising,” Poche said. “When the water is pulling out, reds stack on the points to eat all the minnows and crabs that wash around the points. When it’s rising, they move back to feed around the grass.”

When the tide is falling, the water will run north to south, so it’s a good idea to get on the downcurrent side of the points, the south side, and cast north into the current. However, Poche says that the points are so small that anglers could set up off the points in such a away as to cover both sides of the points.

“Typically, they’re on the downcurrent sides of the points where the eddies are,” Poche added, “but I’ve seen them pressed up against the upcurrent side, too. As for the pockets, they’re about 1 1/2 feet deep, so you can get in them except when the tide is falling; then they get too shallow.”

• No. 2: Bernstein Cut
N29 38’05” x W90 08’57”

Moving a few hundred yards to the south of Bayou Perot’s eastern shoreline, Poche stops at the mouth of Bernstein Cut. There’s a little island here that is the key to this spot, and Poche specifically targets the points to the east or west depending on where the combination of tide and land congregates the bait.

“The tide hits this island and runs off both sides, and the reds just kind of run back and forth depending on where the bait is,” Poche explained. “Any tide is a good tide, so the only bad day to fish here would be when we’ve got a slack tide. The only difference between an incoming and a falling tide is fishing a different side of the island.”

If the salinity is high enough to support speckled trout, Poche says the current line coming off of either point will stack them up out as far as 40 to 50 yards off the island.

However, the reds typically stack up against the shoreline.

“This cut goes from Bayou Perot to Bayou Rigolets, and you can pass through it,” Poche said. “It can be good, too, when there is tide moving through it. And you can also fish the smaller bayous that come out of the duck ponds around here. Fish up in them if you can, but stick with the mouths if the water’s too shallow.”

Editor’s Note: To learn about all 10 fishing hotspots in Little Lake, be sure and pick up your copy of the November issue of Louisiana Sportsman. To ensure you don’t miss any information-packed issues in the future, click here to have each magazine delivered right to your mail box.

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