Tommy Vidrine arrived in Grand Isle last weekend to find the water a weird tea color. It was a slow day on the water and he only caught three trout at the Caminada jetties.
“I caught them on little bitty pogies,” he said. “There’s a lot of little baby pogies about an inch and a half. There’s millions of them coming through on the island right now right behind Queen Bess where I live. It was full of them in the morning; an inch and a half long.”
Vidrine said the trout wouldn’t touch plastic at all. His second day fishing wasn’t much better, but he decided to give it one more shot on March 17 before heading back to Baton Rouge.
The best for last
“The wind was calm and I went out to the same place to catch pogies. I was able to catch six bigger ones, 4 inches long, and I said ‘boy, these will get their attention in that dirty water.’ So I went straight to the jetties with those and the tide was coming in. I caught two 3-pounders on the first two pogies, very quick. I had one or two stolen. They snatched it off of there, probably some smaller trout. And then I had two or three big pogies left. I caught two 25-inch fish back to back.”
After measuring the fish, Vidrine took a picture with one of them then released them both. He headed home at 10:30 for lunch, but decided to give it one more try at around 1. He decided to just go back with plastics.
“I went back and I parked in the same spot and the tide was much higher. The tide was about a foot higher coming over those rocks. So the current is coming in real strong and when it’s like that it’s hard to fish with live bait anyway so I put a ¼-ounce DeathGrip jighead on and I started throwing that Overcast swimbait into the current and let the current take it back and reel it slow and I started catching them on plastic like every four or five casts,” he said.
Vidrine caught 20 fish in the 18- to 20-inch range in about an hour and a half.
“I left them biting,” he said. “The glass minnows were coming in. You could see they were scattered on the top like spring time. So basically it went from famine to feast during the three days I was there.”
A good sign
Vidrine recognizes he’s fortunate to be able to be in Grand Isle for long periods of time.
“Most people go there for one or two days and if the trout aren’t there or the conditions aren’t right they have a bad trip,” he said. “It’s not just going in there like gangbusters where you’re just going to wear them out. You have to be at the right place at the right time. But they are coming to the island. I proved that yesterday. I had three keepers in the morning and 15 to 20 in the afternoon on plastic.”
Vidrine says that’s a good sign for what’s to come.
“Last year it was April 15 when I started catching them like that, one after another,” he said. “So it’s about a month early I believe. I think it’s a month early because of the temperature. The water was probably 70. At 70 degrees the trout love it. In my experience, that’s their favorite temperature. It’s perfect for them.”
Vidrine also noted he was seeing eggs in the females.
“All the females I’m cleaning, they already have the thick roe in there,” he said. “Three days ago that was the first trout I’ve seen with eggs this year.”
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