Targeting specks in Catfish Lake

Topwater lure over oyster reefs effective for nice trout, guide says

If you’re not spending all of your spare time this month in a deer stand or a duck blind, November is a cool, comfortable month to target speckled trout — and Catfish Lake out of Golden Meadow is a prime spot for yellow mouths.

“By November, you can trout fish in the duck ponds off Catfish Lake, Bayou Blue and Grand Bayou,” said Capt. Eddie Berthelot Jr., with Specks & Spots Charters. “In some of the deeper ponds, you can troll along the banks and fish for redfish, and the trout will start biting in the middle of the ponds.”

If Mother Nature finally cooperates and ends the stubborn summertime pattern of heat and humidity that held on well into October, Berthelot said that would make the bite even better.

“If we can get a couple of cool fronts to come, it will excite the fish,” he said. “They’ll start getting colder, so they’ll start feeding to gain a little strength to be able to ride out when it gets really cold.”

Berthelot said anglers targeting specks have several options: chasing ever-present birds, tight-lining plastics like Matrix Shad or fishing with cocahoe minnows under a popping cork.

“The good news is lots of small trout that appeared in September and early October are now big enough to keep,” he said. “They’re still schoolies, but the ratio definitely gets better.”

If you’re interested in targeting larger fish, Berthelot said oyster reefs in Catfish Lake typically hold bigger specks.

“You have the potential there to catch some nice 3-, 4- and 5-pound trout,” he said. “They do sit on top of the oyster beds. I throw topwater baits early in the morning and catch some hammers.”

But bigger fish aren’t always easy to locate, he said.

“For bigger trout, you have to go out to the north side of the bigger lakes in November. The big ones are in, and you’ll also catch them in ponds and deep channels — it’s just to find them,” Berthelot said. “Schooling big trout also will hang out around structure and wellheads in (Lakes) Raccourci and Barre.”

If you’re after redfish, Berthelot said November is a great sight-fishing month in area marshes.

“Get yourself some polarized sunglasses,” he suggested. “I like the green lens in the marsh. You can literally see the fish eat your bait.”

Spinnerbaits, spoons, cocahoe minnows under a cork or tight-lined Matrix Shad on a jighead are all good bets to get in on the redfish bite.

“It’s only going to get better the next couple of months,” Berthelot said. “All the way into February, when it typically starts to get really cold.

“Target points, pockets and coves — and always make one cast to the middle of the pond …. You never know when a big boy is sitting in the middle just sunning.”

About Patrick Bonin 1315 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and

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