Look in deeper water for the best bite; these six spots will be worth your time
Summer has arrived with all its sweltering heat and humidity, and the fish have largely left the shallow marshes for the cooler climes of bigger, deeper waters. It’s a cycle that repeats itself every year. Anglers know they have to shift gears from inside fishing to bigger-water fishing, and three things have to happen:
- You have to travel farther to get to the better bites;
- You have to get a wee-hours-of-the-morning start because the best bite starts and stops early;
- Live bait is essential, and keeping it alive is vital to success.
Breton Sound hotspots
Then, you still have to know where to go to give you the best chance to put some nice fish in the box, and that’s where our handy-dandy guide gives you an advantage.
Bay Eloi is loaded with a variety of structures — large, small and in-between. All potentially hold fish. Redfish, drum, sheepshead, trout, catfish and more lurk around the bottom of these wellheads and structure, and your live shrimp or live croaker fished on the bottom should put a huge bend in your rod. Give a spot 10 minutes, then bounce to another if nothing bites. You can do that all day and wind up with a really good box of fish. Just hop from one rig or structure to another, and don’t ignore the small wellheads, because they sometimes produce more fish than the bigger ones. Many of these structures are in 7 to 10 feet of water, and while bottom rigs and free-lining a live shrimp or croaker is usually more productive, you can try fishing your live bait under a cork.
When fishing these structures you can hook on to them with a rig hook and then fish out and away from them, you can anchor upcurrent and fish back toward them or you can troll around them in a wide circle looking for fish. Once you get into some action, anchor so you can fish that spot.
Comfort Island can be hit-and-miss. Some days, it yields some nice trout, and other days, the action is spotty to non-existent. The past year or two, it was inundated by river water and mostly unproductive, but this year the water is much better, much cleaner, and there’s much more salinity, so it should definitely be on your list of top places to try. For years, the trout have loved to hang out over the big reef on the southwest side of the island. Use your depthfinder, and when you see the bottom rise up from 6 feet to 3 or 4 feet, you are over the reef. Stop and fish live shrimp, Vudu shrimp or DOAs under a cork. Give the spot 10 to 15 minutes, and if nothing hits, move a hundred feet or so and try again. It’s a large reef and a popular hotspot. If other boats are anchored and catching, you will, too. If no other boats are there its probably because the fish aren’t there, either.
Little Central is actually a reference to a pretty large area, basically stretching between the large Block 18 rig just off the northeast side of the MRGO all the way to the Compressor Rig on the opposite side. Three larger platforms and numerous smaller satellite structures are in between, so it’s a pretty big area, and it produces some nice trout and big reds, even in the heat of summer. Most anglers concentrate on the larger structures, but all potentially hold fish. The water is deeper farther out, so fish live baits on bottom rigs and be prepared to snag and re-tie often due to debris on the bottom.
The Central Rig itself is a huge platform, but it is surrounded by several nearby satellite structures that many anglers find even more productive. Hook onto any of them and drop your bait to the bottom. The water is 18 to 20 feet deep, and it attracts boaters from both sides of the river. Many of the satellite rigs are tall but not very wide, and they accommodate only one boat in the prime fishing spot. An early start is essential, because obviously, its strictly first-come, first-served.
Come prepared to re-tie your terminal tackle quite a bit, because there are a lot of big toothy critters in these waters and bottom debris to snag on.
Gosier Island/Breton Island
Fish them while you can, because they are disappearing beneath the seas. The islands are a great summer place to fish, whether you climb out of the boat and wade or fish from the boat; either way is a blast. Breton Island still has actual sand to walk along, while Gosier has been reduced to only a shoal. But make no mistake, these islands do hold fish. Trout, reds, drum, flounder, sheepshead, ladyfish, spanish mackerel, cobia, jacks, sharks stingrays, catfish. It’s all out there, and you can fish them in any variety of ways: sliding-sinker rigs, under corks, topwaters or soft plastics.
A perennial hotspot and a worthwhile destination in its own right, the 8-mile “Long Rocks” have produced trout, reds, sheepshead, drum, jacks and just about everything else that swims in these shallow waters for decades. Anglers either anchor and fish or troll along them, and fish them with live shrimp or plastics under a cork. Some troll and cast topwaters and crankbaits when conditions are favorable, and you can always expect a few surprises like bull reds, drum and big jacks.
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