Use corks to fish beneath river’s fresh water

The Mississippi River swelled in March, causing the opening of the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway and sending dirty water throughout the marshes surrounding Plaquemines Parish.

So can trout anglers still catch trout in areas like Buras? You bet you can.

Capt. Ryan Lambert said it’s all about understanding that dirty, freshwater doesn’t easily mix with clean, high-salinity water.

“You have to watch your prop wash,” the owner of Cajun Fishing Adventures said. “You’ll see that pretty water boil up from underneath the river water.”

When you see that and spot bait, it’s on — and Lambert said there’s one tool that allows you to be certain you’re fishing below the river water.

“I don’t like to use a cork, but in April it’s really important,” he explained. “You can use a cork to keep your bait down in that clean water.”

Sure, you can do the same by tight-lining a jig, but corks are better in this situation.

“You can make sure your bait stays in the strike zone all the way back to the boat,” Lambert said.

His likes H&H corks featuring concave tops and premium titanium wires.

“It makes a good ‘plunk’ like a mullet,” Lambert said. “And that titanium wire doesn’t get tangled as much as the corks with the stiff wire.”

He said he normally fishes with about a 24-inch leader because of the prevailing water depths in his area.

“We don’t have that deep water,” Lambert said.

The only exception is when the trout pull into deep water around structures out in Black Bay.

“At the rigs, you have to find out where that clean water is — how deep you need to go,” Lambert said. “If you’re out at Battledore, you might have to get 3, 3 ½ feet deep to find clean water.”

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Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.