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For Trout, Go No Further Than Lafitte, Y'All!
| Barataria Fishing Hotspots |
Thursday, January 13th, 2000.
Depending upon what the frontal systems do between now and Sunday, you could very well find all the fishing opportunity you could hope for this weekend no further away than Lafitte.
Bayou St. Dennis, Bayou Dupont, The Rigolettes, Bay Laurier, Airplane Bay, Turtle Bay, Little Lake and about a dozen other popular Barataria fishing hotspots are holding some really nice wintertime populations of speckled trout. Most of the fish are averaging between 12 and 14 inches, and each of these spots support a sizeable quantity of throwbacks. Catching them, however, won't happen unless you know all the rules, follow the regulations, and fish by the numbers because that's the time of year it is.
So here are the mandates:
Of course, all I've just told you could change over the next 24 to 48 hours depending upon what the weather does. But you're versatile, huh, and you can make the right adaptations, can't you?
- Try Bayou St. Dennis or the Rigolets first. Most of the fish will be in open water as opposed to along the shoreline. Watch for clues like bait on the surface, seagulls and pelicans diving, or other fishermen clustered in groups around one particular place (just be courteous persuing the latter). If you have little success here, then move on to the other spots I've suggested.
- Use a popping cork. Thursday we got a few fish to strike tight-line, but we could not establish any definable pattern based on cast and retrieve. The most consistent action we had was all effected by fishing under a popping or a chugging cork.
- Fish with a glow in the dark beetle set 14 inches deep. This is "first choice," obviously, and you might find that a smoke color or even plain white split tail will work for you this weekend. One thing to keep in mind--don't pop it as vigorously as you might do in spring or summer. Even though it doesn't seem like it, it really is still winter and fish are responding to the winter patterns. All of us agreed today that just a straight, slow, steady retrieve is what it will take to do the job.
- Don't drop anchor! Keep drifting. Use the tide or the wind or even your trolling motor, but you need to continually move if you intend to catch fish at Lafitte this next two weeks. The reason for this is simple--you will not find a mass of fish in any one place. There may be as many as three to five trout hunkered together, but you'll find nothing even resembling a "school" this time of the year. Catch them, and the action is over. So because it's a certainty that the fish are constantly moving, you should be moving with them.
- Fish the period of most active tide. This should be obvious, of course, but we sometimes forget how important tidal movement is to fish populations. Basically, when the tide moves, fish feed. To them it's like opening the doors of the cafeteria.
- And finally, use the "buddy system". If your buddy catches a fish, quickly reel in and cast to that spot while his fish is still in the water. That way, if there's more than one fish at a particular location, you'll get both or most of them. Bottom line is, if you don't fish 'em hard you'll need to decide whether you want a two-piece or three-piece chicken dinner!
Next week, we head due South and make our first trip of the new century with Johnny Glover at Cocodrie. Talk with you right after we get back to the dock! In the meantime, wear the life jacket and play nice on the water!!
P.S. Before you start calling and writing and e-mailing, there are no GPS numbers this week because there isn't one particular spot I want you to stop at and fish. Remember I said to "drift?" Well pick out one of these prime hotspots I mentioned earlier and "drift" over the whole thing! You won't catch anything sitting in one place.
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