Find the bait in Cocodrie

The presence of shrimp means trout are there, too

Sometimes fishing holes are just like real estate: It’s all about location, location, location.

Even more specifically, prime real estate is wherever bait might be gathering.

So Cocodrie Capt. Tommy Pellegrin looks for bait this time of year, rather than heading to a certain location.

“Anywhere they’ll have shrimp, they’ll have fish,” he said. “That’s the time where you’re going to see a lot of birds diving.”

With that being said, Pellegrin does have specific areas that he likes to focus on, including Lake Pelto and Timbalier Bay.

Pellegrin, as a general rule, likes the transition areas where he can intercept the fish.

“The trout are just making their way out the marsh and going into the higher-salinity areas to start spawning,” he said.

When fishing in these places, Pellegrin focuses on the shell reefs and points for bigger fish, and falls back on diving birds when he has to because of a dead current.

“You can kind of catch fish on any (tide) except for when the tide’s extremely dead slack,” he said. “That’s when you’re going to have to find the birds diving in open water. Those fish don’t care; they’ll be out there no matter what — but they’re smaller fish.”

Pellegrin also said a raging tide isn’t good, either.

“The heavy, heavy current movement dirties the water up a bit and it makes the trout hunker down deeper on the bottom,” he said.

Because the fish are feeding on shrimp, Pellegrin likes live shrimp for bait.

However, live shrimp can get expensive, particularly when they’re being mauled by undesirable species, so instead of constantly putting them on his hook, Pellegrin saves them for productive areas. When testing new waters, he uses the Berkley Rattle Shrimp.

“That way you’re not wasting your live shrimp searching,” he said. “If you start getting little (takedowns) and bites, and you catch a trout or two but it’s not really fast — switch to live shrimp and see if it’s faster. Sometimes it is, and sometimes you can stick with the Rattle Shrimp and just wear them out.”

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About Joel Masson 166 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville and can be reached at

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