Striped bass converge at Seabrook in Lake Pontchartrain

Catch striped bass while fishing for speckled trout in Lake Pontchartrain.

Many anglers already know that the areas on the southern side of Lake Pontchartrain held some monster trout, but the lake seems to have more secrets than it lets on. Around the Seabrook bridge, Josh Hall has been taking the opportunity to catch what almost seems like an intruder, this far south.

Striped bass are a common saltwater fish on the east coast and many anglers fish them in the surf. But, while the fish swim in Louisiana’s coastal waters, not many anglers specifically target stripers.But Hall said there’s no special tactics required to catch them. According to Hall, stripers are ambush predators and attack bait fish similarly to speckled trout. They also stick to current lines to gobble up any bait helplessly caught in the moving water, just like trout.

“This is the first time we’ve caught pure striped bass,” Hall said. “I’m not sure why they’re here but they are; we used to catch specks, white trout and reds around Seabrook, but now all we catch is specks, hybrid stripers and pure-bred striped bass.”

Hall said that right when the tide begins to rise is the best time to catch stripers. Hall will usually average around three stripers a night — his biggest so far being 12 ½ pounds.

“Any structure around Seabrook that breaks up that moving current seems to be good,” Hall said. “We catch them along the shoreline around those bumpers in front of Seabrook, the new rocks and all along that shoreline. Just cast past the structure that you are fishing into the eddie that forms from the broken current; those fish are usually waiting.”

Hall believes stripers and trout are gathering around Seabrook because of the water temperature. It is not to cold because of the frequent warm spells between cold fronts, leading to average water temperatures of about 60 degrees. Consequentially, the fish aren’t moving around a whole lot but aren’t stuck on the bottom conserving energy, either, and are using structure around Seabrook as ambush points for easy meals.

“The stripers are pretty consistent at night,” Hall said, “We’ve been fishing them just like you would fish for a speckled trout — using a Matrix Shad or live shrimp, casting into that current line.”

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