In the experience of Capt. Jacques “Jakamo” Laboureur, speckled trout season always starts up at the Rocks at the end of the MRGO, and this month is when it happens.
“If you need reasons to fish the rocks this month, here’s a handful” he said. “It’s easy to get there even in a smaller boat. To fish the Sound you really need a big boat, but almost anybody with an outboard motor on a decent flatboat can fish the rocks. It provides a long stretch of fishable area and you are protected on just about everything but a southeast wind; you won’t burn a whole lot of fuel, and there should be reds and specks to greet you so it’s a no-brainer this month.”
Laboureur (504-303-1494) said you usually don’t have to run all the way to the rocks to find fish, especially early in the month.
Seven Rock success
“The action actually starts anywhere along the MRGO on the Breton Sound side of the dam, and we often have our fish before we get as far as the rocks,” he said.
His tips for May success:
- Fish the flats on the south side of the MRGO.
Patrol the shoreline from the other side of the dam heading towards the outside waters, and wherever you see a good shallow flat, you want to investigate. Go in very slow so you don’t spook the fish.
- Look for bait in the water.
Stop and fish wherever you see baitfish activity, especially if you see shrimp jumping. Make sure you have a baitwell stocked with some healthy, live shrimp, and fish them under a popping cork. Put your Power Pole down when you find fish and see if you can put some numbers in the boat. When the action ends, move.
- Don’t rush off and leave a productive area.
Sometimes just a short move using your trolling motor will put you back in the action.
- Fish your way towards the MRGO Rocks.
Try several of the flats, repeat what worked. You should pick up trout and reds along the way.
- Once you get to the rocks, fish both towards them and out into the channel.
Here you want to fish your live shrimp 4 to 5 feet deep under a cork.
- You can fish bottom, or just above it, but not with a sliding sinker rig, which will snag up every cast.
Instead, try a couple of split-shots a few inches above your hook, cast it out and let it sink. You can also try a drop shot rig if you use no more than a ¼-ounce sinker, but be prepared to lose some tackle.
- Fish the gaps in the rocks, the Cut and the places where water washes over the partially submerged rocks.
You can also try tossing a topwater bait for some explosive action if the conditions allow it, or tight-lining some plastic if you can keep it from snagging in the rocks, but the best and most productive bait is going to be live shrimp under a cork.
Laboureur said any moving current will produce, whether rising or falling, and as for best and worst wind conditions, he says the worst case scenario is to have strong winds blowing in from either the southeast or from the northwest, either of which blows straight down the MRGO and makes for very rough conditions.