Reggie Legendre, a veteran angler who targets speckled trout and redfish, had a fishing rod in his hand at an early age.
“Growing up in lower Lafourche Parish, I believe that people learn how to fish before they learn to walk,” said Legendre, a manager for the Rouses Markets grocery store chain in Golden Meadow, who proves on a regular basis that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a boat or carry a mini-tackle store along to catch fish.
“Basically, I’m a bank fisherman,” he said. “That’s what I love to do. And when I can’t get to them from the bank, I take out my little 8-food Pelican boat and find them that way. I can actually go places and catch a limit of trout this time of year in the same amount it takes some fishermen to launch their boat, park their truck and motor to their fishing spots.
“And that reminds me that fishing is fun, not a competition. It’s about having fun in nature, and if you keep your energy up and stay positive, you can catch fish down here.”
Keys to success
Legendre said that if you follow a few simple steps, you can catch a bunch of speckled trout almost anywhere down Highway 1 from Golden Meadow to Grand Isle. Years of experience have taught him where and how to catch them on the bank or in a small boat.
“It’s pretty simple, really,” he said. “The main thing you want to do is find moving water. When you (do), you find the areas where they fish are setting up and you can catch one right after the other. I love the falling tide best. You can’t beat that. The second thing that is a 99% sure thing is watching the birds. If the birds are diving and feeding, you can bet there are trout up under there.”
That sounds simple enough. Kind of like his approach to tackle.
“Look, I’ll load up four or five jigheads, a couple of 3-inch Four Horseman popping corks and three or four packs of Matrix plastic tails, grab a couple of rods and head out,” he said. “I don’t need a whole tackle store — and I love to help support our Louisiana bait companies.”
Legendre likes to fish a Charleigh’s Cajun Cocahoe in Matrix’s cookies-and-cream color, a Matrix Shad in pink champagne and a Captain Lane Ghost Minnow.
When the tide isn’t falling, Legendre takes his small boat into deeper water to find trout. They are a little less concentrated, but when he finds them, it’s on. It just often takes a little more time.
Legendre sticks with two simple techniques to land limits of specks into March. He loves to fish a popping cork when fish are in moving water. He casts it, lets it sit, then gives it a “pop….pop…sit” action. A fish will usually nail it after he’s done that once or twice. If fish are not as active and are deeper, he puts on a heavier jighead and fishes without the cork. His retrieve here is a “jerk…jerk…sit” cadence; he never just reels the bait back in.
Legendre tags and releases a lot of fish as part of a Matrix Shad promotion. When anglers catch one of the tagged fish, photograph it and go to the Matrix Shad Facebook page, they can win prizes. He also has a sweet deal with his father, who will clean the specks he catches, and what he can’t eat himself, he’ll give to other people.
If you are ever at Rouse’s in Golden Meadow, he says stop by and talk fishing. He’ll share his latest tips and also make sure you don’t go home without some good groceries.
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