Wintertime is no time to sit at home, Lafitte fishing guide says

Trout, reds and bass await in dead-end canals as water temperatures fall.

As is the norm across South Louisiana, fishing tends to slow down in Lafitte when the weather turns cooler. But Capt. Mike Daigle knows there are fish to be caught throughout the area for anglers who aren’t frightened by cooler climes.

Daigle spent most of what was a mild October catching specks in The Pen, Little Lake, Mud Lake and the Bruxelles area. At the same time, Lake Salvador was “chock full” of redfish, Daigle said. On a recent trip with two other anglers to Mud Lake, they boated 300 specks by 9 a.m., and only four of them were throwbacks.“It was a calm day and the birds were working,” said the owner of Cast-It Charters, a supporting member. “Everything was just right.”

He said his boat, and the others around that almost limited, threw glow/chartreuse plastics under corks.

“But it really didn’t matter,” Daigle said. “I mean, they were eating the glow and chartreuse H&H beetles — just about anything glow and chartreuse was working.”

In the past few weeks, however, wind has made fishing conditions a bit tougher. And Daigle is prepared to change spots in coming months, as cold fronts hang around longer.

“You look for (fish) in the open water when it’s warmer, but when it’s cold the back of the canals — that’s where you want to be,” he said. “I smack them in January and in February when there aren’t many people out there.”

If the next two weeks or so, Daigle suggested following the pogie or mullet lines in Lake Salvador for reds. He throws gold spoons or black/chartreuse spinners.

He also said shrimp boats have been busy in the area, which means dead shrimp are a must on windy days. Fish the lee shorelines and look for big schools to find the bigger fish.

Bayou Rigolets is a good place to fish on an east wind, and the nearby rocks are good on a west wind. Also, try Bayou Perot.

Many anglers stay onshore after Christmas until the early spring, but Daigle heads for the dead-end canals.

“The water temperature has been dropping, but we really haven’t had one of those ‘stay fronts’ that drops things down for a while,” he explained. “When it starts staying mostly in the 50s, the fish will leave the open lakes, and they’ll head into the canals.

“The Texaco Canals, Cloverleaf Canals, those are going to fill up.”

Daigle said it’s then that he sees a mix of fish in the dead-ends — providing enough action to urge any angler into taking a winter trip.

“There’s bass in there, and some freshwater catfish, too,” he said. “But it’s mostly trout. If you get a redfish, you can pretty much guarantee there won’t be a trout in there, though. They’ll scare them out.”

To book a trip with Cast-It Charters, call 985.331.8548 or send an email to

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