Grand time at Grand Isle

Capt. Mark Scardino caught this nice trout on a live croaker fished on the bottom along the beach at Grand Terre Island.

The trout are plentiful and anglers are enjoying themselves

My old friend, Capt. Mark Scardino of Hard Times Charters (504-382-5286) in Grand Isle, said the trout fishing right now is absolutely on fire!

“This year has been phenomenal,” he said. “The trout action started up early this year. April was excellent, and now in May the trout are just tearing up bait all over. You almost can’t miss.”

Scardino said some of his fellow charter captains had expressed concern about the trout season because last year the action wasn’t as good as anticipated, which added to concerns about a dwindling trout population. Add to that the new regulations increasing the minimum size to 13 inches and the new creel limit of 15 trout per person per day. They just weren’t sure how that would sit with their clientele.

“But all our concerns were laid to rest when the trout action just exploded,” Scardino said. “We’re catching fish all over the island, on the beaches, in the back, and the 13-inch minimum hasn’t been a problem at all. If anything, the trout are bigger than usual, and 15 trout this size, per person, is a lot of fish. All the signs I see are pointing to a fantastic summer.”

The trout are plentiful

Scardino said the trout are plentiful in the surf all along Grand Terre, from Caminada all the way to Fourchon. He said boats are lined up along the beaches and everybody seems to be catching fish.

“They’re also catching fish around the islands and the old Hotel Sid area, all the way over towards Lafitte around Manilla Village and around the various wellheads and structures,” he said. “The action is good all over.

“Our biggest challenge is the winds. You know April and May tend to be windy, and strong winds and open water make for rough conditions. But whenever the winds lay down, it’s on! And believe it or not, we’re still catching fish even in the wind.”

Scardino said live shrimp and live croakers have been the best baits, fished under popping corks or on bottom.

“I love to throw the MirrOlure topwater baits in the early mornings along the beaches when it’s calm,” he said. “There’s nothing like the rush of a big trout or redfish exploding on your topwater bait. 

“My regret is that I don’t get to fish them as often as I’d like, but it’s just not possible when you have a boat full of people. But right now, if you get a calmer day, fish your topwater along the beach anywhere from Caminada to Fourchon, and experience it for yourself. Just remember not to jerk your rod like you’re setting a hook the way you do using plastic or live bait, or you’re liable to have a face full of treble hooks, hurting yourself or somebody else.”

Live or artificial

Scardino said while live baits are performing best, anglers are also catching fish on shrimp imitation lures fished under a popping cork. The H&H sparkle beetles in clear, chartreuse and root beer colors have also produced well either tightlined or under corks.

For reds, Scardino said anglers can fish the marsh in the back with live or dead shrimp under a cork, and bulls are still hanging in the passes and in front of the island, and at Four Bayou Pass. Cracked crab and mullet are the best baits, fished on the bottom.

Capt. Mark Scardino’s Hard Times Charters can be reached at 504-382-5286 or 985-787-3529. 

About Rusty Tardo 371 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.