For the first few weeks of September, before speckled trout head north into the marsh from the Gulf of Mexico, some of the best fishing for them is in the coastal waters of south central Louisiana.
No one knows that more than Bill Lake of Houma, a veteran charter boat captain who runs Bayou Guide Service.
“We do a little bit of speckled trout fishing in September but mostly redfishing in early September,” Lake said. “There are still good trout to be caught along the coastline, a place called Pelican Pass. Trout fishing can be very good early there. There are a lot of trout there right now and usually stay there until mid-September.”
The area’s huge shell reefs, deep passes and beaucoup bayous harbor plenty of shrimp and baitfish to hold speckled trout, he said. The shrimp were there in large numbers heading into August and should be there in early September, according to Lake.
The average size of speckled trout in the early September hotspot is 12 to 15 inches long, unless you get into a school of them that are as long as 18 inches.
Try plastic shrimp
Those fish typically bite imitation shrimp soft plastics under a popping cork. Specifically, Lake uses either a Vudu Rattle Shrimp or Four Horsemen Boom Boom Shrimp. About the latter, he said, “It’s a real good bait, a tough little bait. It’s doing real good.”
Top colors for the soft plastics include glow and glow/chartreuse.
Launch at Jug’s Landing on Bayou Dularge Road in Theriot, then run the length (an estimated 10-12 miles) of the bayou down to Pelican Pass.
Pelican Pass, Lake has said before, is one of the first coastal areas speckled trout show up along the coast every year. Conversely, it’s one of the last locations to tap speckled trout on the coast before fall in south central Louisiana. He and so many others target and enjoy success fishing 2- to 5-foot depths in the middle of the pass.
“Just fish the middle of the pass, the whole pass anywhere from 2- to 5-feet,” he said. “Trout get on top of the oyster reefs.
“Actually, they can work the whole coastline down to Oyster Bay.”
Look for birds diving over the water on the way, the veteran saltwater fisherman added, because it’s a telltale sign schools of redfish, bull reds, are around.
On the way to Pelican Pass, anglers also can stop and wet a line to see if the redfish are biting in Grand Pass. More often than not, they won’t be disappointed.