Specks hitting big pogeys near jetties
Trey Ourso and Aaron Pierce are close-enough friends to know when each other has a problem.
And with a two-day weather window of opportunity and Pierce without a boat — it was in the shop to get ready for his next months of full-blown guided coastal trips — Ourso was faced with only one option.
“I had to use my boat,” Ourso said, which meant trailering it to the southern reaches of Lafourche Parish, making sure he had all the right equipment and was ready for a trip to Belle Pass.
“With the high winds forecast for the weekend, it was obvious that Thursday and Friday were the days to go,” Ourso said. “We decided to target big trout, and left the dock early so Aaron could throw his cast net for some pogies (menhaden).”
But not just any pogeys, big pogeys, the six-inch-long size that sends big trout into a frenzy.
At this time of year, and lasting into the early days of summer, a top spot is the rock jetty on the east side of Belle Pass.
“(We) flipped the pogies into the rocks free-lined on a No. 1 hook,” Ourso said. “We didn’t catch our limit, but we had three fish over five pounds and our top five weighed in at 22 pounds (total).
“The large pogies were the key to the large fish as they naturally culled out the strikes from the smaller trout.”
Free-lining means there’s no weight on the line, just a hook and the live bait. It allows pogeys and whatever larger live bait is used (finger mullets, croaker, large shrimp) to swim more freely.
There are other free-lining tricks to know.
First, flourocarbon line up to 30-pound test is a must. Braided and heavy monofilament work, but not as good as FC line.
Next, Kahle hooks are good in the No. 1 and 1/0 sizes. Other veteran anglers prefer No. 2 or No. 4 treble hooks.
Finally, the first “bump” you feel on the end of the line usually isn’t a big trout eating the bait. The trout is killing the bait and trying to ingest this live lure head first. You must wait for the trout to get the bait in its mouth, which means you must give the trout line then feel for the weight of the trout on the end of the line before setting the hook, which, for a trout, means easing back on the rod so as not to pull the hook out.
Another long run
David Cavell said seven of the top 10 stringers in Sunday’s Media Bass tournament came from the Venice area, a long run from the Bayou Segnette State Park launch made longer by 25-35 knot winds. Cavell said the conditions cut the catch.
“The Number 1 tool last weekend was a Power Pole or a Cajun anchor just to be able to fish,” Cavell said. “Most fish were caught flipping canes and throwing Humdinger or Delta Lure spinnerbaits around the grass in the Red Pass area.”
Alex Bergeron and Ronnie Eschete won with 16.73 pounds, a stringer anchored by the day’s big 5.63-pound largemouth, and veterans Bill England and Roger Hudnall came next at 15.94.
The winds made the ride rough, but there were 47 limits among the 66 teams.