Strong incoming tides move clean water and speckled trout back to the coast.
After a 3-day absence, Sportsman field reporter Tommy Vidrine finds speckled trout have moved back to the Fourchon Barges in large numbers. Dense sea fog on Superbowl Sunday couldn’t keep Vidrine away from taking the 30-minute boat ride from his second home in Grand Isle and his decision paid off with non-stop action.
The good day was a welcome relief to Vidrine who had not caught a fish in 3 days. He credits his success to patience, waiting until noon to go fishing to give Sunday’s 1.2 foot incoming tide time to move warmer, saltier gulf waters into the shore. “This time I waited on the strong incoming tide because for the past few days I had been trying to fish earlier and getting skunked.”
Having spent most of the winter on Louisiana’s only inhabited island, the avid angler says he is beginning to pattern his favorite fish. He believes coastal specks move in and offshore all winter long — following their comfort zone and the bait. At least this winter, that has been the case with coastal waters holding an all-you-can-eat buffet of bait fish and shrimp.
“They are pushed out to the rigs by cold, muddy water. The Gulf waters are about 10 degrees warmer than in the bays right now.” After a cold front with strong northerly winds, it takes about 30 hours for the water to start clearing up, he observed.
On this warm, foggy day, he stopped first at his favored Caminada Pass rock jetty which yielded only a few sheepshead and red fish.
Vidrine says he then headed to Fourchon, using his GPS to navigate because he could hardly see through the sea fog. Once there caught a fish every cast free-lining live shrimp. “I moved to the next barge because I wanted to see if they were there and I caught even bigger ones.”
He also tried fishing his preferred artificial lure, a salt-n-peppa colored plastic minnow made by Overcast Lure Co. threaded on a 1/8 ounce jig head. “I would catch a few on that after I got them going but they really wanted the live shrimp today — they are spoiled by all the bait in the water.”