Soak a dead shrimp or live crawfish on the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain, and you’ll be surprised what you pull up.
Captain Chris Pike with Bourgeois Charters (504-341-5614) doesn’t play around when he’s fishing birds. Rather than make the slow troll up to the action, he runs right in, slams his trolling motor down and picks up a few fish. Then he does it all over again.
Pike has been able to put his new bird-fishing technique to work during the last week or so around the Bayou Dupoint area just to the southeast of Lafitte. Millions of tiny shrimp have started evacuating the marsh, and the trout have strategically set up shop around the many cuts and drains.
“It’s just starting,” Pike projected as he raced up to the first flock of diving birds. “They’ve been working the shrimp for a couple weeks now, but they aren’t staying put very long. You’ve got to get in on them, get your few fish and move on to another group.”
His thinking is that if he can catch three or four trout under each group of birds, all he has to do is hit 10 different groups to get 30 or 40 trout. The quicker he hits the different groups of birds the quicker he can fill his box with trout.
Pike’s projection of three or four trout under each group of birds was right on the money at our first stop. Although it probably didn’t matter one bit, Pike was fishing an avocado/chartreuse Old Bayside Speck Grub under his popping cork while I tried out the new MirrOlure 3-inch Soft Sardine in motor oil/chartreuse. Three trout in the box, and we made our next move.
“Keep your eyes open,” Pike instructed as he pushed his big Champion bay boat back up on plane. “The birds seem to be more scattered today than they have been… maybe they’re confused because the wind isn’t blowing 20 knots. Hasn’t been this calm all spring.”
The water around Bayou Dupont was exceptionally clean considering how hard the wind has been blowing lately. In fact, Pike said it was the best he had seen it in quite a while. And as the winds continue to diminish (hopefully) and the shrimp and trout begin making their way south, the bird action below Lafitte will only improve in the coming weeks.
“I wouldn’t waste too much time on one flock of birds right now,” Pike concluded as he maneuvered his boat back into his boat hoist at Bourgeois Charters. “You’ll be able to catch 10 maybe 15 under a flock in the next few weeks. And just remember that birds on the water are fat, full and happy. Don’t pass them up because they probably just got full right where they’re sitting.”
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