Chalmette’s fall Smorgasbord

In October, the long trout drought finally ends in Chalmette waters and the freckled fish start showing up again in good sizes and quantities, according to Joey Jeanfreau, over at Jeanfreau’s Super Market on Paris Road in Chalmette.

Jeanfreau is an avid year-round angler and Chalmette’s waters are his favorite haunt.

“This is really the beginning of our prime time for trout, and it’ll last from now throughout the winter,” he said. “I have a general routine I follow each trip, but I’ll vary it depending on the winds and tides. I like to start at the floodgates in the ICW, and what side of the wall I fish will depend on the tide. I fish the downcurrent side where all the bait is flowing out. There will likely be other boats around but motor considerately, find a spot to anchor and fish a live shrimp on a drop-shot rig. The water is between 20-25 feet deep out there along the wall so you need at least a ½ ounce sinker, and up to 1 ounce depending on the current. Jig your bait up and down a little bit if you don’t get a bite right away. The trout usually hit it as it falls.”

Jeanfreau also likes to fish Lake Borgne at the mouths of the various bayous when conditions are right.

“Part of my usual routine is to fish Lake Borgne around the mouth of Bayou Bienvenue or Third Island Bayou when there’s a falling tide,” he said. “I look for birds, and when you find them, fish there — either under a cork with live shrimp or soft plastics, or you can try just cast-and-retreive with plastics. When you catch it just right you’ll put some good numbers in the box real quick.”

The Violet area is another of his favorite targets, and the ruins of the old Martello Castle are a fish magnet this time of year.

“Troll and drift around the general castle area, always look for birds, fish plastics or live shrimp under a cork, and stick the Cajun anchor when you bump into fish” he said.

Jeanfreau said the fish are not always right around the fallen ruins of the Castle, but can be 30 to 40 yards off or more.

“And the nearby bulkhead wall is also a good place to try a live shrimp on a sliding cork rig to keep your bait off the rocks and debris on the bottom,” he said. “You can also fish with your dropshot rig, but be prepared to lose tackle in the rocks on the bottom.

“Generally we pick up a redfish or two in the process, along with sheepshead, black drum and occasional flounder, all in the same areas and all on the same baits, so its a genuine fall smorgasbord.”

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About Rusty Tardo 359 Articles
Rusty Tardo grew up in St. Bernard fishing the waters of Delacroix, Hopedale and Shell Beach. He and his wife, Diane, have been married over 40 years and live in Kenner.

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