The Lake Pontchartrain Trestles becomes a boat parade in November, and with good reason.
It’s arguably the best month of the year to fish the place, and many locals point their boat in its direction to target speckled trout this month.
But, with more boats comes a great amount of pressure — and that can certainly shut the fish down, according to Lake Pontchartrain fishing guide Capt. Matt McCabe.
“You’ve got guys trolling, you got guys throwing live bait, you got people running in and out throwing anchors,” he said. “It screws them up.”
One way to keep catching is to alter your presentation from what everyone else is doing.
“These fish get lure shy,” McCabe said. “There are so many people fishing for them, so you have to do something just a little bit different. A little subtle change will get you more bites than everybody else.”
McCabe changes both jighead weight and line size to coax the fish into biting.
“I’ll go down as far as 8-pound fluorocarbon and maybe a 5/16-ounce jighead just to give it a different fall and a different look,” he said.
McCabe said he keeps a couple spinning and baitcasting rods on the deck of his boat with different jighead weights and lure colors so swapping isn’t a big deal.
The veteran guide’s favorite baits and colors are midnight mullet and ultra violet from Matrix Shad.
Whenever possible, McCabe likes to plan his trips to the Trestles around an incoming tide.
“These fish like to set up on that west side of the bridge,” he said. “That’s what they prefer, and I think it’s because you don’t have that other bridge that’s right there. They can just kind of set up far enough off. You’ve got nothing all the way to Mandeville.”
McCabe also likes to time his trips on either side of November cold fronts.
“Usually the day or two before is really good,” he said. “They’ll realize the pressure is changing and if you can target the best tide time during the day, you can have a pretty good day if the wind allows. A couple days after is really good.”