It’s islands, rigs and rocks for August big water trout and reds
My old friend Capt. George Ricks of Get-Away Charters (985- 630-2923) said if you want to catch fish this month, you’ll need to burn some fuel and head out to the bigger waters of Black Bay, Bay Eloi and Breton Sound.
“This month I’ll hope for good weather and whenever the winds allow it, I’ll head out to fish the same Black Bay islands and structures that have produced trout for decades,” Ricks said. “Stone Island, Lonesome Island, the Wreck and Iron Banks are just a few of the old hotspots that consistently produced trout in the deep summer months, year after year.
“Unfortunately, those areas haven’t produced much over the past several years because the river has been running high, which floods that whole area with muddy, fresh river water. But this year the river is low and the trout are back, they’re hungry, they’re numerous and they’re good sized.”
A stellar summer
Ricks, who’s been guiding since 1999, said this summer has shaped up to be the best he’s had in years.
“Hands down, I’ve caught more trout and better trout already this summer than I have over the past several summers, which I attribute to the low river,” he said. “The trout need that saltier water to survive and spawn, and that deluge of river water we’ve had since the Mardi Gras Cut broke through has affected the trout population more than any other single factor.”
Ricks said he prefers to fish the side of the islands where the wind is pushing against the shore, especially against points. He fishes live shrimp or soft plastics about 2 ½ feet under a regular, oval adjustable clip-on cork, and a small split shot about 8-10 inches above his hook.
“I don’t use the expensive corks simply because I want to be able to quickly change the depth I’m fishing at without retying,” he said.
When he fishes the rigs, he prefers to fish the lee side of the structure and then cast towards it, and slowly work the bait back towards him. He adjusts his cork to fish deeper, about 3-4 feet under the cork, and said live shrimp has been by far the best bait all summer. And when the current is strong he’ll switch to a bottom rig with live shrimp.
“When you fish the outside waters you need a day when the winds aren’t over 15 mph,” he said. “Even 15 makes for tough fishing because you’re in open water. And west winds are always the worst for fishing this area. Tides don’t matter much, whether rising or falling, as long as its moving.”
Ricks said the rocks at the end of the MRGO are also usually productive in August, and this year should be no exception.
“I’ve had some good catches of specks, sheepshead and big reds along the long rocks this summer,” he said. “You can just pick a spot and anchor up to within casting distance of the rocks and fish 2 ½ to 3 feet under a cork with live shrimp or plastic.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of shrimp jumping along the rocks so we know the bait is plentiful and that attracts the trout, reds, sheepshead, drum and a variety of other fish. The best bet is to troll along the rocks casting live shrimp under a cork, although they will also hit plastics, and when you catch a fish, hit the spot-lock on your trolling motor and see if you can catch a few more. That’s the process that has been working. When the bite stops, resume trolling.”