West winds, dirty water could be to blame
by joe macaluso
Advocate Outdoors writer
September 05, 2012
There’s something happening along the Central Coast, and it isn’t exactly clear.
For the past 10 days or so, charter skippers and recreational anglers wondered what’s happened to the once-spectacular speckled trout run.
Trout have been hard to come by, and it didn’t seem to matter whether anglers were using live bait or artificials.
“We’re seeing lots of dirty water in places that have been clear,” Bobby Jeansonne said Monday. “We went out for the (Grand Isle Tarpon) rodeo and went to our favorite spots and didn’t find much. We heard that they were catching trout along Fourchon Beach, but we didn’t catch many there, and we had good bait, good live croakers we caught at night for the next day.
“We managed to catch a few (trout), but we gave up and went offshore to use the croaker to catch mangroves (snapper),” Jeansonne said. “We did OK on them.”
Veteran coastal fishermen lined up to blame the dirty water on days of westerly winds, a direction that usually pushes dirty water into near-coast waters from Raccoon Island southwest of Cocodrie all the way east to Four Bayous Pass.
Others blamed a slack period between July’s new moon and Wednesday’s full moon for the lack of action, while others mentioned that most of the brown shrimp are gone from coastal bays and white shrimp that migrate into the marshes are small and not the size that will congregate predator fish like trout and redfish.
Still, the catches of redfish are solid and there were enough flounder and sheepshead to keep lines stretched through last weekend.
“We’ll know more this week,” Jeansonne said. “If the full moon comes with a shift in wind direction, we should see better action on trout. During the summer, we always need south winds, or southeast winds to help push clear water and push lots of bait to the beaches.”
Fishermen like Breton Sound Marina guides Jonathan Sanchez and Kerry Audibert, along with recreational fisherman Tom LeBlanc are singing a different tune about speckled trout.
“You have to go early,” Sanchez said. “You can’t fool around at the launch. You have to get your bait into the live well and head out at first light.”
It’s a script Audibert has followed for weeks, and while the Central Coast guys and gals are having a hard time finding trout, Sanchez, Audibert and others who are fishing at sunrise are returning to the docks with limits or near limits daily from small platforms in Breton Sound.
Black Bay and Bay Eloi are holding trout, too, but are smaller than the Breton Sound catch.
LeBlanc reported that 27 Pass rigs are producing trout on plastics, three different H&H Cocahoe Minnows — limetreuse appears to be his favorite — and that the trout are solid 2-3 pounders.
Water movement is key and it looks like trout and redfish are keying on live bait on rising and falling tides around the platforms.