If you wanna catch some really nice speckled trout--really close to
home--I'll relent and give up one of my favorite fishin' spots to you! All you
have to do is go no further than the north side of Lake Pontchartrain.
Frank takes a look at
the catch of one of his crew members.
Now just so you'll know, "the lake fishin' right now is kinda slow, but
the fish that are being caught are really nice!"
"I'm talking about both speckled trout and flounders," Capt. Kenny
Kreeger of Pontchartrain Charters explained to my TV cameras Thursday morning on
the dock at Tite's Marina while waiting for the overnight rains to quit.
"What you do is fish the train trestle between the rocks on the north shore
out to the north drawbridge, working either direction from trestle marker 173.
The way it's been happening is. . .if you fish the east side you'll pick up
trout; if you fish the west side you'll catch mostly flounders--I don't know why
but it works out that way! Don't go lookin' no gift horse in the mouth--just
play by the rules. And them's the rules this week"
Kreeger noted that while we hung out huddled on the dock today until almost
10 o'clock, waiting for a break in the weather, and while even after it broke we
got to fish for only about three hours total, make no mistake about it we caught
some beautiful speckled trout. What worked best for us was the avocado colored
Hybrid rigged with a full half-ounce unpainted jighead, fished dead slow on the
bottom, flush against the trestle pilings.
"But you see tomorrow (Friday), Saturday, and Sunday, they're gonna make
today seem like nothin'!" he continued. The next three days are supposed to
be absolutely gorgeous-- winds light and variable, lots of sunshine, good tidal
range, and crystal clear water. In other words, ideal conditions for fishin' on
Lake Pontchartrain. I can tell you I'll be out there the whole time!"
Of course, you will have to comply with a couple of prerequisites:
1--Do most of your fishing during the time of the most active tidal movement,
whether it be outgoing or incoming. That's when they bite best!
2--If the tide is incoming, fish the western side of the trestle (that means
you fish with the tide--it will be coming at you). If the tide is outgoing, fish
the eastern side of the trestle (again the tide will be coming toward you). Fish
against the tide only if you're fishing for redfish or sheepshead or using live
bait or market shrimp on the bottom (which means the tide is moving away from
you). Don't question it--the pros tell us it's marine biology.
3--Make long casts and allow the lure to settle all the way to the floor of
the lake before you even move it ever so slightly (I'd say count to 10). Then
briskly whip the rod tip upward about 6 inches, freeze it in its spot, and hold
it there for about 3 seconds or so, waiting and almost listening for the bite to
come. See, it's when the rod tip stops moving and the lure flutters back down to
the bottom that the fish--both trout and flounder--will nail it. Concentrate on
this. Focus on it. Even the biggest fish can sometimes feed so delicately and
gently that it's almost impossible to feel them, even with braided line. Repeat
this technique until the lure gets back to the boat, then start it all over
4--Don't sit in one spot--use your trolling motor and cover as much water
along the trestle as you can. Keep in mind though that you're not technically
trolling--you're using the motor to move you from place to place while you cast
and retrieve the lure "tightline." Of course, there's nothing wrong
with trolling for these big trout. If you don't have a trolling motor, it's okay
to use your primary outboard engine, but you'll have to run it at "dead
idle speed." To troll in the lake, tie on the jighead (again a half-ounce),
rig it with the Hybrid or a black-and-chartreuse Queen Cocahoe or a saltwater
Rat-L-Trap, and let it out about 30 yards behind the boat. One note of warning:
don't just lay the rod and reel down on the floor of the boat! I know of no
better way to lose it overboard to a crusing fish!
Now speaking of the lake, Tite's Marina at North Shore (it's at the foot of
the Five Mile Bridge) has a number of skiffs and outboards for daily rentals,
but it's always on a first come first served basis. The trestle and the fishing
spots I refer to in this report are but a stone's throw from Tite's. But suppose
you don't know your way around Pontchartrain, how to fish it, when to fish which
spot, and all of the Tite boats have already been rented? As our Australian
neighbors down under are fond of saying, "No worrries, Mate" You can
just call Capt. Kenny and fish with him on his boat, just as I do for TV. Simply
call him at 985-643-9244 and make your arrangements. Just don't wait until the
last minute--trout fishin' is mighty popular on Pontchartrain from this month on
Next week, my fishing team packs up for another road trip. . .back to
Cocodrie! Johnny Glover and his krewe are patiently waiting for the
"transition trout" to move in down there. I'll let you know how that's
shaping up the minute I get back to the dock! Until then, be careful and
courteous out there. . .