Mississippi River level dictates June trout bite out of Buras

Action on beaches, mid-bays should pick up as month progresses — if river cooperates

With the Mississippi forecasted to still be up around 12 feet by the beginning of June, Capt. Curtis LeNormand said anglers will have to pay close attention to the river stage to get on a trout bite on the west side out of Buras.

“That’s going to be a big part of the pattern,” said LeNormand, with Curt’s Fishing Charters (504-616-2064). “At 12 (feet), that’s still pretty high. Typically by now it would be around 8 or 9.

“So as far as fishing the Empire Jetties on a south wind, that’s going to be difficult because any kind of south or southwest wind is going to blow all the jetties out and be full of river water. All the river water coming out of Red Pass flows into the jetties and messes up Bay Coquette and Scofield Bay and the jetties, so we’ve been having to move a little further north when we have a south wind with this high river.”

That means spots like over toward Grand Isle, Four Bayous and even up to Myrtle Grove have been more productive for trout. LeNormand has had some success with plastics bounced off the bottom or under a cork, but said live shrimp are tough to beat.

“I imagine in June the birds ought to start kicking off around No Man’s Land, Lake Washington and Bayou Cook, in that general area,” he said. “But look for clean water to start with.

“If you don’t see clean water, you pretty much ought to just keep on going. And tide-wise, it’s been better on an incoming for the trout. On the fall, usually later in the afternoon is when birds will start diving.”

Redfish are abundant on the west side of the river, but not particularly big.

“There’s tons of little rat reds on the west side right now, and I heard the east side, also,” LeNormand said. “So you’re going to have to weed through a lot of little ones to get to get your limit of decent-sized reds.”

LeNormand said market or live shrimp under a cork is effective, as are spinnerbaits or gold spoons.

“Some points and leeward pockets have been pretty clean where you could actually sight-fish or throw spinnerbaits or spoons,” he said.

What happens to the trout bite as the month progresses is dependent on how the Mighty Mississippi behaves, LeNormand said.

“That’s when the trout ought to start moving out toward the Gulf a little more. They should have just spawned this past full moon in May and dropped their first batch of eggs,” he said. “Usually the summer pattern will have them moving further out toward the Gulf, or out in the mid-bays as June progresses.

“That’s when you want to try to fish the beaches — if the river drops. The main thing is if the river drops.”

Trout have also been scarce on the east side of the river, but LeNormand said that could changes as well if the river cooperates.

“The Iron Banks and Stone Island are usually awesome this time of year, but it’s full of river water right now,” he said. “But into June, if the river keeps dropping, it might not be too bad out there.”

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.