Tackle late winter specks and reds

This huge redfish seems to prove Brent Taylor’s point that when you look good, you fish good.
This huge redfish seems to prove Brent Taylor’s point that when you look good, you fish good.

And look good while you are doing it!

There are two things Brent Taylor of Gretna wants you to know about fishing in his stomping grounds around Bayou Bienvenue, Shell Beach and Hopedale. One, it’s a good time to start targeting speckled trout and redfish in transition. Two, when you look good, you play good. And that translates into when you look good, you fish good. More on that later.

As a weekend warrior on the fishing just for fun circuit and CEO of Nauti By Nature apparel, he knows quite a bit about both.

“This time of year the fish are in transition and you have to time your trips to take advantage of warming water,” he said. “You don’t have to get an early start on the specks or reds because they really won’t get moving until the sun starts warming up that shallower water.”

Even if you target shallow water, Taylor makes a point that you have to work every level of the water column with different presentations to make sure you aren’t skipping over fish.

“They may not be as aggressive as they will be in another month or so, so make sure you try different presentations,” he said. “If it’s slick, I’ll start out with a topwater, then go to baits that sink slow, then put on a jig that gets the bait all the way to the bottom. Find the fish. Catch the fish. When you find what works, stick with it. But be aware as the water warms, they may move up higher or into more shallow, warmer water.”

Taylor’s top picks

Believe it or not, when Taylor talks his favorite fishing gear, he doesn’t start with the bait. He starts with the cork.

“I’m a  VersaMaxx guy,” he said. “I love fishing their corks because they are designed to give you maximum versatility. You can make the transition from 12 inches to three feet or anything in between in a matter of seconds. The most popular models of corks in this series are the Hybrids for redfish and the Bolts, Regular and Pro Series for trout.”

And, oh yes, the bait is important, too. He loves a Deadly Dudley in Salt and Pepper with a chartreuse tail and in Limetreuse. He caught his personal best trout, a 23-incher, on the solid Limetreuse. When he catches a big trout, he quickly measures it and gets it back in the water, not even taking time to weigh it.

“An important tip is to keep your eye on the water,” Taylor said. “If it’s moving, use a heavier jig to hold your lure down. When they are aggressive, it isn’t a problem, but when they are lethargic, you want to get that bait down in their face.

“The areas that I usually fish at Bayou Bienvenue, Shell Beach and Hopedale aren’t known for monster trout, but they will really stack up this time of year. If it’s cold, they’ll stay near deeper holes and move up to feed. If it’s warm, you can just work the shallower water.

“The best news is that I can leave my house and in 40 minutes, be catching fish just for fun.”

Speckled trout like this one are just moving up into shallower water and by structures that hold heat from the sun and warm up quickly.
Speckled trout like this one are just moving up into shallower water and by structures that hold heat from the sun and warm up quickly.

A new venture

Taylor has always liked to look sharp while he’s fishing, and the pandemic birthed Nauti By Nature early in 2020. As a worker in the oil and gas industry, he found himself without work for a time and he started up the line of jerseys, hats and other gear to keep himself busy and make a few extra bucks. It’s taken off even better than he had anticipated.

“We have some very unique designs and the apparel is geared to make you look good and have more confidence. When you have more confidence, you catch more fish,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of neat stuff now and even more new spring 2021 gear coming. I’m excited.”

You can find out more about Brent and his apparel line on Instagram at instagram.com/bignautifishing or on his website at nautibynatureapparelandbaitco.com

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About Kinny Haddox 494 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, lakedarbonnelife.com and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.

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