Watch the tide to find trout

Nine Mile Cut and Washout are your best bets in May

With buckets and buckets of rain falling in the region April 2, some saltwater fishermen who regularly fish Calcasieu Lake expected the upper end to freshen up considerably and, as a result, work their way to the southwest corner of the lake to catch speckled trout at Nine Mile Cut and Washout.

Boat captain Jeff Poe, who owns Big Lake Guide Service with his wife, Mary, and son Nick Poe, both boat captains, acknowledged the torrential downfall from the early April storm when he talked about prime places to fish in May.

“We just got a big rain, all north of here,” the veteran saltwater fishing guide said April 3. “Twenty miles up country, they got 9 inches. They got some water. It’ll be coming down. The south end will be the place to be, probably. If it doesn’t rain any more, it ought to get salty again.”

Until then, Poe is counting on two popular speckled trout fishing areas on the lower end of the waterbody to offer some fair to good speckled trout fishing in May.

“Nine Mile Cut and the Washout area, it can be good. But you’ve got to watch the tide. If it’s coming in real hard, Nine Mile Cut will be better off” because usually the Washout gets muddy, he said. However, if it’s a light incoming tide, water conditions and fishing prospects improve at the Washout.

The Washout (GPS coordinates N29.85870458 /W93.34038686) and Nine Mile Cut (GPS coordinates N29 52 650/W93 20 418) can be productive on an outgoing tide, Poe said. Generally, he said, speckled trout are positioned on or closer to the bottom on an incoming tide and throughout the water column, up and down, on an outgoing tide.

The key to catching fish is to use marine electronics to find the humps. If the tide’s low, ripples are tell-tale signs of many of those humps.

Those areas once were filled with oyster beds and real hotspots when Poe first started guiding. Big speckled trout hung around there.

Now, not so much, he said, noting the Port of Lake Charles went to work in a “spoil disposal” mode and all that is left are dead oysters and humps.

One perennial hotspot to this day is the “Old Engine” area, where speckled trout and redfish can be caught, he said. Redfish also are reeled in around other parts of Nine Mile Cut and Washout.

His favorite artificial lure there for speckled trout is a soft plastic. However, he’s caught many a speckled on topwaters in the shallow areas — 2- to 3-foot depths — and suspending baits like the Fat Boys, MirrOdines and SoftDines.

As far as soft plastics, Poe relies on avocado/red, opening night and chartreuse Lil Jones, which Poe said “have been the best bait the last several years.” He also throws H&H Sparkle Beetles and Salty Grubs.

He fishes with a 1/8-ounce leadhead most of the time, very occasionally with a ¼-ounce, noting, “It seems like lighter heads catch more fish.”

Expect company when you fish down there. It is crowded.

Poe, who had shoulder surgery earlier this year and was just about finished with rehab at the time of his report and rarin’ to get out on the water in May, said his son went there the first weekend of April and those areas were crowded.

“There was a ton of boats out there,” he said.

Still, he said, Nick Poe and his anglers caught beau coup speckled trout.

Many times, speckled trout can be as thick in the water as the boats on the water.

About Don Shoopman 567 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.