Last weekend’s perfect conditions create great fishing
There were lessons to be learned from last weekend’s explosion of action on speckled trout along the Central Coast.
The rare early May convergence went like this:
- It started several months ago with a warmer-than-normal winter and a lower-than-usual springtime Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers flows;
- Several weeks of southeast winds that pushed salt-laden waters into the coastal bays and lakes. Reading upwards of 17 parts per thousands salt in the water around Grand Isle (sea water is slightly more than 30 parts per thousand) helped brown shrimp to grow rapidly;
- Saturday’s full moon (the closest the moon’s been to Earth in four years) made for extra-strong tides;
- And, relatively calm weather and sea conditions.
Folks like charterboat guide Frank Dreher and recreational anglers Drew Bernard and Brad Fife were joined by dozens of others reporting limits of speckled trout in the boat as early as 8 a.m. Friday-Monday.
Dreher, Bernard and Fife used artificials. There was a brisk run on live shrimp at all marinas and bait shops.
Topwater baits produced enough trout up to five pounds to tag them as the big-trout lure for the weekend, but large soft-plastics under a work or on jigheads as light at 1⁄16 ounce worked over reefs and rafts of feeding-on-the-surface mullets.
The trick was to get there early, if for no other reason than to beat the fleet of boats leaving marinas and camps.
Rougher conditions in the Pontchartrain Basin, and possibly because tides have been moving late in waters east of the Mississippi River, showed Louisiana Saltwater Series anglers had a tougher time than those along the Central Coast.
Marcus Rieffel and James Tumey teamed for a two-trout catch weighing 6.09 pounds to win the $900 first-place prize. They had the big trout, a 3.24 pounder. Chas Champagne and Kristi Mayeux were second at 5.78 pounds.
State biologists tagged and released 45 trout, some for a new telemetry study in the lake.