Live shrimp 4 to 5 feet under a popping cork is the ticket, guide says
Speckled trout action has been consistent in Breton Sound this summer, but don’t expect to pull up to one wellhead and knock out a quick limit — be prepared to move around to fill up your box.
“It’s not a one-stop shop deal. It’s kind of been like that for the most of the summer,” said Capt. Jacques “Jakamo” Laboureur, with Jakamo South Fishing Adventures in Shell Beach. “Basically we’re either hitting the (MRGO) rocks if we see some action like birds or a bunch of bait, or we’ll go out into the sound.
“Breton Sound hasn’t really been on fire, but it’s been good enough to pick up 40 or 50 at your first stop, and then you move and pick up another 20 — that kind of deal.”
Laboureur said he’s mostly been fishing 4 or 5 feet under a popping cork out at the wellheads, but if he does switch things up and moves a Carolina rig, he tries to use the lightest weight he can get away with.
“I try to use a ¼- or ⅜-ounce, depending on current and conditions,” said Laboureur, explaining the smaller weight gets snagged less — and keeps the live bait in the strike zone longer. “I feel a lot of times when I’m fishing Carolinas or on the bottom, they’re not necessarily on the bottom.
“The fish hit them on the way down, so I want to give it as much time as possible on the way down.”
Live shrimp from Campo’s Marina is a must, and he said to take along some croakers as well if they’re available the morning of your trip.
“If you get there early enough, grab a couple,” Laboureur said with a laugh. “What I’ve learned is that croakers bite best when I don’t have them in my bait well.”
Out in the sound, Laboureur said he likes to thoroughly work over a rig before moving to another spot.
“Everybody’s got their favorite side or favorite corner. What I tell people is if you’re catching a few on one corner but they won’t quite get going, maybe try a different corner with different setups before you get out of there and head to your next fishing hole,” he said. “If you’re catching a few, it’s worth making a few adjustments instead of spot fishing.”
Most of the specks on the wellheads are solid 2- and 3-pounders, he said.
“We have some 5s thrown in, too,” Laboureur said. “I had one the other day that went 5-14, just under 6 pounds. It was 26 ½ inches long, but it was kind of skinny.”
If you’re not too familiar with the Breton Sound area, he recommended targeting the MRGO rocks.
“My advice to anybody who doesn’t have much experience here is to go to the rocks. Even on an off day, you’re probably going to catch 30 if you work it,” he said. “Look for the presence of bait, points and low-lying rocks where the water is pushing over.”
Action in the area’s coastal bays has been more hit-and-miss, he said.
“You can catch some fish in (Bay) Eloi, but it’s been a lot of small fish so you have to work through them,” Laboureur said. “(Bay) Machias hasn’t been very good and Black Bay has been super spotty — there’s so much freshwater over there now from Mardi Gras Pass ….
“In the fall the trout won’t mind, but when they’re trying to spawn they need that saltwater.”
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