Trout tough – but still doable

Jeff Bruhl targets speckled trout this time of year in Bayous Liberty and Lacombe, and occasionally catches some hammers fishing grass beds on the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline.

Bayous Liberty and Lacombe offer specks a bait buffet

If you asked avid Louisiana trout anglers what their favorite month for targeting specks was, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single one that said September. However, that doesn’t mean trout can’t be caught — and after a long hot summer, one of the best places to catch during the transition is Bayous Liberty and Lacombe.

That’s something avid angler Jeff Bruhl does all month long. The fish get in these bayous that pour into Lake Pontchartrain because it’s a bait party, Bruhl said.

“Usually around the end of August, first of September, you’ll get a dual migration: You get the saltwater shad start leaving, going out in the lake, and you also have shrimp come in to the mouth of the bayous and up the bayous,” he said. “You have a trout buffet of food for them.”

Bruhl finds a lot of the hot action takes place in the mouths of bayous, and a couple bends up the bayou. He likes to look for bait on the surface.

“If you see shrimp jumping and shad flicking, that’s a good place to start,” he said.

Bruhl uses MirrOdine baits, as well as Matrix Shads on ¼-ounce jigheads.

“You want to fish it slow,” he said. “The fish are suspended, so you can just reel it back to the boat and catch them that way.”

Bruhl also fishes down the shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain just outside of the bayous. Although the speckled trout are smaller inside, Bruhl said some really nice trout hangout on the lake’s shoreline.

“Sometimes you can catch 3- or 4-pound trout out there —  it just depends on the year,” he said.

When fishing the lake, Bruhl focuses on grass beds a little bit off the shoreline.

“You use polarized glasses and you’re looking for the grass bed,” he said. “It’ll be just a dark patch out there. You need to figure out if you should fish it over the top or the edges of them.”

Bruhl throws either a topwater bait over the grass beds, or a MirrOdine on the edges.

“You’re fishing within 50 feet of the bank,” he said. “When you go out a little deeper than that, the (grass beds) disappear.”

About Joel Masson 177 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville and can be reached at