Trout await at mouth of Mississippi River

Murky water, stiff winds don’t slow down bite south of Venice

The Mississippi River was putrid as we headed out from Venice Marina this morning (April 21), and the winds were howling out of the southeast. On the surface, things didn’t seem too promising.

However, reports had come in that solid trout were waiting in the border bays along the mouth of the river, so I was cautiously optimistic as I settled in for the ride with Anthony Puglia and Timmy “The Tooth” Chin.

As Capt. Will Bradford pushed his boat out of Flatboat Pass, I wasn’t surprised to see rough seas in the bay. What did shock me was that the water really wasn’t that bad, especially considering the high winds that have been battering the coast for the past several weeks.

We eased into position, tucking in behind the edge of the marsh, and it didn’t take long for Puglia’s Sporting Goods’ Chin to hook up. A fat trout had fallen for his Shimano Waxwing, a strange-looking subsurface hard bait that wobbles seductively on the retrieve.

“You just reel it in,” Chin said. “I’m not working the bait at all.”

The lure basically looks like a lead jig, but has plastic fins protruding from its top and bottom. Those fins are the key to the lure’s action, Puglia said.

“The top fin gives the lure the action, while the bottom fin acts as a stabilizer,” he explained.

Puglia Sporting Goods’ Anthony “Catfish” Puglia shows off one of the bigger specks caught during a quick frenzy in Blind Bay.

One of the other boats in our group, made up of Shimano reps and dealers, quickly landed a red and another trout. I missed a couple of bites on a Waxwing, but it was apparent the fish weren’t thick in the bay.

Within an hour we were all headed to Blind Bay. The seas beat us up pretty well, but the water was decent in protected coves. By the time we reached the protected side of the bay, two other boats were waylaying the trout.

Bradford eased into the group, and all of us began picking up trout. Well, almost all of us.

After quick-releasing a couple of trout, Chin and I got in the game. We started pulling in beautiful specks, trading the Waxwings for cocahoes pretty much just retrieved steadily.

Puglia did manage to get a couple of trout to the boat (not in the boat), and then he picked up a cork – and proved that trout weren’t the only fish in the cove. Monster gafftops also were prowling about, and Puglia for some reason had their number.

When the bite died, our boat had 18 trout cooling in the box. Puglia had landed about five or six cats, earning him the nickname “Catfish” among the group.

Between the three Shimano boats tucked in the cove together, more than 100 trout had been caught in a little more than an hour – and dozens of keeper schoolies had been released.

The lesson of the trip was that, even though the river was still muddy and the wind is howling, trout are thick at the river’s mouth.

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About Andy Crawford 863 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.

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