Capt. Mike Guidry, of Rippin Lip Guide Service said he’ll fish the Sulphur Mine and Catfish Lake this month until the trout make their annual transition from the inside waters into the bigger, outside bays.
“March and April are the two best months for fishing inside, in both Catfish Lake and the Sulphur Mine,” he said. “I get as many trips in as I can until mid-to-late April, when the action really slows down. Once it slows, then I know the transition has begun, and the trout are headed out into Lake Chien and Lake Raccourci, where I’ll be fishing by May.”
Guidry (985-637-4292) said the key in April is to plan to fish about three days after a front blows through, when the winds turn around and blow from the south.
“The north winds mean high pressure, and that really turns the bite off,” he said. “Wait for a south wind which means low pressure, and that’s when the bite turns on. Tide movement is also important, but it doesn’t matter as much whether its rising or falling, as long as you have water movement. You want to find decent water, moving water, and maybe some bait activity on the surface. In the Sulphur Mine I fish off points and around submerged islands, and any of the places I know has a shell bottom. For bait, I use live shrimp or live minnows if they’re available, under a cork, or the Matrix Shad plastics in the shrimp creole color either under a cork or just cast and retrieve on a ¼-ounce jig head.”
Birds won’t help this month
Guidry said he pretty much ignores the flocks of diving birds in the spring, considering them a waste of time because the majority of the time he finds either schools of tiny trout or gaff-top catfish under them.
“In Catfish Lake I’ll target the numerous oyster reefs on both the north and south sides of the lake,” he said. “They’re clearly marked by lines of white PVC poles, so just get up in there and drift or troll, casting those same baits. I find we do better when the boat is moving, but as soon as you get some action you want to stick your Power Pole or Cajun anchor down and see if you can put some numbers in the box. You usually have to cull through the undersize trout, but there should also be some nice keeper sizes in the mix.”
Guidry said if you want to take home some redfish, you can specifically target them by parking off a point or cut or cove where there’s moving water, and soaking a live minnow or dead bait under a cork. He also likes to troll and cast gold spoons or Rapala Skitterwalk topwaters (in chartreuse/white) for some really explosive action on both specks and reds this month.