Grand Isle — Still hot in September

Capt. Keith “Herk” Bergeron said free-lining live croakers is a good way to catch trout deep.

Trout moved out of shallows to deeper, cooler water

My old friend Capt. Keith “Herk” Bergeron said there’s still plenty nice trout to catch this month, but you’ll have to fish deeper for them.

“The trout have moved out of the shallow water and retreated to deeper, cooler haunts,” he said. “That means I’m fishing in water anywhere from 6 feet to 30 feet deep, and finding some really nice sized specks in the process.”

Bergeron said water temperatures just got so warm it pushed the bigger trout off the shallows into deeper water.

“I’m fishing structures in Bay March in 30 feet of water,” he said. “The trout aren’t directly on the bottom, but suspended at around 6 to 8 feet in the water column. So for bait, I’m mostly free-lining live croakers — that is, just put a hook under their top fin and cast it out and let them swim — no cork, no weight. The trout find them and smack them hard, and these are nice sized fish.

“I’m reluctant to say it, but I’m also catching some real nice trout around the East Timbalier Rocks, fishing the same way, free-lining live croakers or just casting H&H smoke-colored Beetles on a plain ¼- or 3/8-ounce jig head. Don’t bounce it on the bottom or you’ll snag the rocks: Just cast and swim it, and the trout and reds are hitting them hard.”

The trouble is, every other kind of toothy critter is out there competing for your bait, he said.

“We’re catching a lot of redfish, ladyfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and sharks, and hooks are consistently snagging up in the rocks, so we’re constantly having to re-tie our tackle,” he said. “Bring plenty extra tackle.”

Bergeron’s reluctance in mentioning the East Timbalier Rocks stems not only from the mere loss of tackle — but the submerged dangers posed by the treacherous rocks there.

“Those unfamiliar with the area don’t realize the danger just below the surface,” he said. “More boats have crunched hulls and damaged props and lost lower units than you can count. I advise you to fish with someone experienced with the area before you run out there, or somebody might have to tow you home.”

Capt. Herk can be reached at 985-860-7855.

About Rusty Tardo 370 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.