With bulls reds thrown in for lagniappe
For fifty years Mike White has fished Grand Isle, pursuing his passion not just to catch speckled trout, but to catch big speckled trout.
“And bull reds,” he said, “which are already showing up in the passes.”
And now that he’s retired from the marine industry he spends his time doing just that. And he has a routine that he’s honed to a science that he’ll adhere to from now through mid-October.
1. “In the mornings I fish along the rocks just out of Caminada Pass,” he said. “I’ll fish a sliding sinker rig with a live croaker using a ½ or ¾ ounce weight, and I drop it right along the edge of the rocks where the big trout like to swim. Yes, I do lose a lot of tackle because you will snag the rocks. But it’s the price you pay to catch the bigger fish.”
White says live shrimp and cork rigs might produce more numbers of fish, but he’s not out just for quantity of fish but for quality.
“I’ll almost always have the bigger trout,” he said.
2. “Also in the mornings, when the winds and seas allow it, I’ll fish the beaches for big trout,” he said.
White says the trout always bite best on an incoming tide, and he uses the same sliding sinker rig and bait on the beach as he does on the rocks.
“The key to success on the beach is to find a rip current coming out away from the beach,” he said. “The big fish like to hang out along that current inhaling whatever bait flows out in their direction. Sometimes I have to run all the way to Fouchon to find the right current, but when I find it, I find the fish.”
3. “Next, I’ll fish the seed oyster reefs on the east side of the bridge,” he said. “I catch a lot of fish along those seed reefs, and I fish them the exact same way, Carolina rig on the bottom using live croakers.
“This is the method I’ll follow from now through mid October, when I’ll put down the rods and pick up the rifles and shotguns.”
Bull red bonus
Mike says in the afternoons when the tide is falling, he’ll fish the passes for Bull reds.
“Yesterday afternoon I caught a 30-pound red on a whole crab, Carolina rigged using a 8/0 hook and a 4-ounce sinker,” he said. “I use whole crabs for bait. I cut off their claws and cut the sharp points off their shell and fish them on the bottom.
“I used to cut the crabs in half and fish with half a crab, but the hardheads will suck all the meat out of them in no time, so I switched to whole crabs. And the method works in all four of the passes, Barataria, Coup Abel, Barataria and Four Bayou.”