Speckled trout, shrimp arriving now in Little Lake, Manila Village near Lafitte

Crazy April weather hindered fishing opportunities, Bourgeois said

Speckled trout and shrimp are just now starting to arrive near Lafitte, but the weather has made it tough to get in a good trip, according to a local fishing guide.

“Lafitte’s been good with lots of redfish and lots of black drum. The ponds are doing well, and Barataria Bay and the whole estuary system in Lafitte has been real productive,” said Capt. Theophile Bourgeois, with Bourgeois Fishing Charters.  “The problem is the weather has been really iffy.

“As far as trout, they’re just starting to show up in Little Lake and Manila Village. Size seems to be pretty decent this year.”

If you can make a trip when the weather cooperates, Bourgeois recommended fishing over oyster reefs with Bomber Mud Minnows in disco minnow for specks, and black-and-chartreuse if you’re targeting reds.

Next month, he said to watch closely for birds diving to get on the speck bite.

“It’s not on yet. The shrimp are just showing up now,” he said. “In the next two or three weeks, things are going to change. But right now it’s mostly redfish.”

Bourgeois also conducts charter sea plane trips to the Chandeleur Islands to wade-fish for trophy specks, but Mother Nature hasn’t helped out there, either.

“Finally the water temperature has warmed up. The bait is really coming heavy and the pogey planes are flying, so that’s letting you know things are changing. There’s a lot of bait in the area,” he said. “It’s mainly been trying to get the weather right. It’s been so bad. We’re sensitive to the wind and the weather with the sea plane.”

It’s about a 30 minute flight from Lafitte to the 55-mile long, horsehoe-shaped island chain that stretches all the way from almost Venice to North Island, which is south of Biloxi near the Mississippi coast.

When wade-fishing, Bourgeois throws Bomber Badonk-A-Donks (bone is his favorite color) to land big trout.

“I concentrate on big fish with topwater bait,” he said. “My thing is, I’d rather catch one on topwater that’s 6 or 7 pounds versus 100 that are 2 pounds.”

So far this spring, his biggest trout wade-fishing on the islands is about 4 1/2 pounds.

“No 6s, 7s or 8s yet, but they’re coming,” he said. “From right now to June, I’m actually expecting from 3- to 7-pound fish out there. That’s what I’m looking for.”

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.