Chalmette fishing action picks up in December

Joey Jeanfreau shows off a nice speckled trout, and said Chalmette locations typically get hot from October through about April.
Joey Jeanfreau shows off a nice speckled trout, and said Chalmette locations typically get hot from October through about April.

Some truly prime winter fishing waters are accessed by three Chalmette area launches, all located along Paris Road — and all three will play host to a bevy of boats throughout the upcoming colder months.

“This is when our area here really shines, when the weather turns cooler,” said lifelong ‘Chalmation’ and avid fisherman Joey Jeanfreau, owner of Jeanfreau’s Cafe, Meat Market and Supermarket, also located on Paris Road in Chalmette.

“It’s harder to find fish during the summer months since all the walls and dams were constructed, but thankfully from October through April we’ll catch trout and redfish and bass from Chalmette to Violet,” he said.

Jeanfreau said the cool weather action concentrates fish in three main areas.

“First, the Castle,” he said. “Falling tides in the morning have water pouring out of the MRGO and flowing into Lake Borgne all around the Castle. Find a spot along the deeper channel in Lake Borgne, and anchor up and fish the bottom with live shrimp or Matrix plastics in the lemonhead color. You can also try along the rock wall or over around the Castle itself (which is actually only a rockpile since Katrina). Always look for birds and be prepared to fish friendly around a lot of other boats, especially on weekends.

“Second, fish the drains and cuts and washouts along the Intracoastal Canal.”

Jeanfreau said he’ll fish the bottom in the deeper water of the ICW on colder days, and under a cork where it’s shallow along the washouts, around the Pumping Station or other shallow areas.

Third, Jeanfreau said as the December air and water temperatures cool, fish the bottom on the down-current side of the gate where The Wall crosses Bayou Bienvenue. He said you may have to use a heavy sinker to get to the bottom on days with a strong current, but that’s what you have to do to catch fish.

“And you’ll catch a variety of fish this month. That includes trout, reds, drum, sheepshead and some very respectable-sized bass,” he said.

Rusty Tardo
About Rusty Tardo 336 Articles
Rusty Tardo grew up in St. Bernard fishing the waters of Delacroix, Hopedale and Shell Beach. He and his wife, Diane, have been married over 40 years and live in Kenner.