There’s a big northwest wind in the forecast for this weekend, and that means water levels will likely plummet across the Louisiana coast. That’s great news for any Dularge angler who doesn’t suffer from a speckled trout obsession, according to veteran guide Capt. Travis Miller.
The owner of Millertime Fishing Charters has been catching good numbers of speckled trout when waters are up, but redfish and sheepshead have been going bananas when winds dump the water out.
On a recent trip, Miller took out underprivileged teens who were the guests of Blue Wave Boats, and they boated 30 redfish and 43 sheepshead.
“When I say the sheepshead were big, they were hammer sheepshead for what you normally catch in the marsh,” Miller said.
The trip was immediately following a cold front, and water temperatures had declined to 67 degrees, which definitely inspired the fish to feed. The real catalyst, though, was the low water.
“The water came back up the next day,” Miller said. “I went back there and only caught one redfish in that spot.
“When the water gets low, that’s when you want to focus on those drains out of the ponds.”
That should definitely be the case this weekend.
Next week, though, things are supposed to settle down, and that’s when the trout will come out to play. Miller said winds have been up, but the fish haven’t been hard to find.
“You’ve got a couple of options: You’ve got the birds, and they will work in 25 mph winds, as I noticed (Wednesday),” he said. “Now, they’re moving fast. So you pull up, catch a couple of fish and if you’re lucky, they’re keepers.
“But you’re not going to be able to sit on them and work them for 15-20 minutes. It’s really just a couple-of-minute bite. You have to jam into them and catch a couple, and then roll on to the next flock. “
“Most of those are small fish, but there are some keepers. If you get on the right flock, you can pull five to seven (keepers) off of it.”
But the better option, in Miller’s view, is to work reefs, points and cuts that don’t necessarily have birds.
“That’s where the bigger fish are,” he said, adding that Lake Mechant and Sister Lake have been hotspots.
Although water clarity will likely be an issue this weekend with the northwest winds, it hasn’t been lately, Miller said.
“The wind has made the water high and really helped with the clarity of the water,” he said. “You still have to fish the calm side of the lake, but at least you can find clean water.
“I’ve been letting the wind dictate where I fish. You can catch them under the birds in the middle of Lake Mechant, but you’ll be doing it in 2-foot seas.”
Miller said the best bait, by far, for speckled trout has been a shrimp creole-colored Matrix Shad about 2 feet under a cork.
“I’ve been trying to throw tight-line, but they really just want that cork, and they want it worked really slowly,” he said. “A lot of our fish are coming when you’re not looking. If you’re gazing off, that’s when you get bit.”
The sheepshead and redfish, however, have been biting dead shrimp on 1/4-ounce jigheads fished under corks.
“You can use a soft-plastic or not,” Miller said. “It doesn’t really matter.”