Wind foiling anglers more than fish on Lake Pontchartrain

Speckled trout still hungry on train trestle

Anglers across coastal Louisiana who have not let the wind cause them too much worry have found some excellent inshore saltwater fishing despite the sustained blow. Case in point was a quick trip I made to fish the train trestle in Lake Pontchartrain on yesterday morning (April 25) with Capt. Travis Miller and Danny Templet.

We believed we were going to be able to get in a few hours of fishing before the wind really started to howl, but the rolling waves that greeted us as we rounded the corner by The Dock just after departing Dockside Bait and Tackle made it clear that, even at daylight, we were already too late.

As the captain of the ship, LouisianaSportsman.com user Miller (of Millertime Fishing Charters) pointed his 24-foot Blazer Bay toward trestle marker 175 rather than to the south, where he knew we would find calmer water.

“I think we’re going to try to get what we can off the north side of the bridge before the wind gets too bad,” Miller pointed out as we idled under the Highway 11 Bridge. “If we can pick up a few here, I’ll feel a lot better fishing around the crowd down on the south side a little later. Anyway, it looks like we’ve got this side all to ourselves.”

Indeed we did. Save for a few passing boats that were headed to the south side of the trestle, we had no company on the north side of the bridge. We stayed on the east side of the trestle where the southeast wind pushed us almost parallel to the bridge.

Almost immediately, Miller’s decision was proved out to be the right call. Speckled trout up to 4 pounds started hitting the deck and, except for an occasional barrage of rollers, the wind wasn’t bad enough to make us leave biting fish just for the comfortable confines of the protected south side.

All three of us began our morning throwing Lemon Drop Hybrid minnows on 3/8-ounce lead-head jigs. Miller reminded Templet (aka Choppa2909)and me that he had caught most of his trout just a few days before on subtle short hops rather than violently popping his bait off the bottom. That same retrieve was exactly what the fish wanted again this morning.

While we were pitching and casting our baits to the pilings beneath the trestle, nearly all of our bites came about 15 yards away from the bridge out in open water. Whether the fish were following our baits or simply positioned away from the structure, we couldn’t tell, but we made sure to work our baits all the way back to the boat.

As the bite slowed a little, I switched to a Blue Moon Deadly Dudley Terror Tail plastic with a chartreuse tail, and the bite picked up again. Only now, as the wind began to blow harder and harder, I thought a more noticeable retrieve was in order.

I started popping my bait up really hard for two pops before letting it fall back to the bottom. Most of the bites from then on were from fish that were just sitting on our baits as we moved to pop them again.

Before we finally decided the wind was getting to be too much for us to stay on the trout on the north side of the bridge, Miller, Templet and I decided to try out some prototype soft plastics that Chas Champagne had hand poured for us earlier in the morning back at Dockside Bait and Tackle.

Since they weren’t fully cured, he had super-glued them onto some 3/8-ounce jig heads and tossed them into Miller’s ice chest. These particular prototypes were clear with black flake. However, we all noticed that they had a subtle green tint to them when held in the sunlight.

As it turned out, the trout loved them, and a 4-pound trout, our largest of the day, fell for one of Champagne’s hand-poured plastics.

Before wrapping up our day, Miller, Templet and I tried the south side of the old Twin Span and the south side of the trestle, but the only place we could get bit was on the north side of the trestle. That’s where we concluded our day by adding a few more fish to our tally of 34.

Not too bad of a day considering the wind was howling.

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About Chris Ginn 778 Articles
Chris Ginn has been covering hunting and fishing in Louisiana since 1998. He lives with his wife Jennifer and children Matthew and Rebecca along the Bogue Chitto River in rural Washington Parish. His blog can be found at chrisginn.com.

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