Swimbaits effective now
When it’s time to go fishing for speckled trout in December, Capt. Bill Lake of Houma knows where to go.
So do dozens of other anglers who want to catch speckled trout during the last month of the year.
The destination for many will be the northeast corner of Lake Mechant, where there are not one but two bayous that year after year consistently give up speckled trout in December.
Lake, a veteran charter boat captain who owns Dularge-based Bayou Guide Service, warmed up to the subject of December fishing while recounting a recent successful trip when his clients limited out on speckled trout and redfish in Lost Lake.
“We’re smashing the trout in a few places. It’s starting off good,” Lake said about the onset of winter fishing.
The uptick was welcomed after a fairly frustrating speckled trout run this summer. He’s expecting to catch more and more trout as the calendar turns to December.
There’s a reason anglers shift their attention from open waters of the marsh to more confined areas, he said.
“In December we pretty much fish the bayous and pipeline canals. Usually, the cold weather forces the fish out of the lakes and bays,” Lake said.
Two of those bayous are Deer Bayou and Fred Bayou, both within a short boat ride of each other in the northeast part of Lake Mechant. The average depth in those bayous is 6 to 8 feet, which is plenty enough for that time of year, he said.
Speckled trout fishing there and in other popular bayous and pipeline canals will be good, weather permitting, until the water temperature drops below 48 degrees. After that, redfish will bite until the water temp gets to around 42 degrees, he said.
To catch speckled trout in those two bayous, tie on Vudu Vixen swimbaits, or use a Vudu Shrimp under a popping cork for the days when the speckled trout are suspended 2 to 3 feet below the surface. Top colors are bunker, shrimp dip and blueback, according to Lake.
Swimbaits are effective because by this time of year most of the shrimp have vamoosed and the speckled trout’s diet is mostly baitfish.
Other places to try this time of year are Bayou Raccourci and Lake Decade.
The best time to fish the former is when the current isn’t so swift, when the tide range isn’t that far apart or at the end or beginning of low tide and high tide, he said.
The best way to fish Lake Decade this month is to drift. Keep moving, the veteran fishing guide said. When you put one in the boat, you can drop the anchor or Power Poles, fish some more and then move on again.