Tons of boats will compete this month for top-notch trout
If you want to outfish the hundreds of boats on the Lake Pontchartrain Trestles this month, you need to fish every level of the water column, according to Capt. Matt McCabe.
Once the successful guide finds fish, he never leaves the area without fishing a Carolina rig, drop-shot rig and cork.
“Some days, they’re a little higher in the water column, and they want to bite a drop-shot,” he said. “Some days, they’re roaming around and want a Carolina rig.”
McCabe said he’s also seen days when the fish will hit only a sliding cork, or even a fixed cork.
Where he casts any of his rigs depends on atmospheric conditions.
On sunny days, he said, the fish seek the shelter of the shade. On cloudy days, however, they’ll get off the bridge a bit and generally be 2 to 3 feet off the bottom.
When he finds feeding speckled trout, he’ll work them over, often spending two or three hours within the same quarter-mile stretch.
“If you find fish that will bite, don’t leave them,” he advised. “It’s not like the old days, when we only had 20 boats out on the bridge. Now, with live shrimp being available year-round, there are 200 boats when the fish are biting.”
McCabe said an incoming tide that brings clean water into the lake is better than a falling tide. The fish get excited and feed better on a rising tide, he said.
The bridges of eastern Lake Pontchartrain are easily accessible from Bayou Liberty Marina, Dockside Marina and Rigolets Marina in Slidell, as well as Del Lago’s Marina in New Orleans.
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