Robert Perilloux has been fishing Lake Borgne and the surrounding marshes for quite some time but has never fished the iconic trout fishing destination known simply as “The Wall.” On his latest fishing trip he decided to venture down the ICW to fish the structure that is on most trout anglers top-5 list of places to catch specks in December. He started his day at 6:00 a.m. with 25 live shrimp and when he arrived at the wall he quickly learned how important it is to arrive early. “There were a lot of boats lined up on the wall and down the rocks. I found a spot between a couple of boats and decided to try my luck there,” the Mandeville angler says. Robert started with a live shrimp on a drop-shot rig and on his first cast caught a 13” speckled trout. The action slowed afterwards so he decided to switch over to a 1/4 oz. jig-head with live shrimp. Robert says that was the ticket! “They wanted the bait on the bottom and moving slowly. The bite was very soft. Not much more than a light pressure as if it was caught on something. When I felt that I just eased back on the rod and set the hook,” Perilloux says. For the next 25 minutes Robert caught 7 more trout before he ran out of shrimp. “It was almost time for me to head back so I decided to try a hard bait but the only one I could find on the boat was a chrome Rat-L-Trap. I caught two more on the Rat-L-Trap and lost a third before I had to head back,” he says. Robert ended the day with 10 trout but more importantly, a much needed speckled trout fishing destination to add to his wintertime list.
Ross Harmon made a trip across Lake borgne to the Biloxi Marsh to try and catch some big sheepshead and redfish. He wanted to put his friend, who just moved back to Louisiana, on some big fish. The friends were using live shrimp on a Carolina rig and found plenty of action. “We found them in water in the 12’- 20′ depths associated with sharp corners, intersections, and drains,” Harmon says. They were using 17 lb. leaders but Ross says it wasn’t enough as some of the fish were breaking their lines. “The Fish were deep and giant! We definitely needed some heavier leader line because we broke off almost as much as we caught. They were some real freight trains!” Ross says. The big fish even tested the hooks themselves. “Twice the sheepshead bit the 1/0 hooks flat, pinching the point to the shank,” he says. Ross warns others about the low water that has recently plagued the area. “If you take the Baker’s Canal Route to the South side of the Rocks, beware in Half Moon Bay. It’s really low. I have a little aluminum boat and skipped over it like a stone, but one wrong turn had me mudding,” Ross says.
The North Shore is a popular destination for Baton Rouge fly fisherman John Zeringue. John fishes Bayou Lacombe and Bayou Cane almost exclusively but in December he has made it a tradition to fish the ponds in Baton Rouge that BREC operates. That day before work he put his fly rod and backpack in his work truck so he could stop and try his luck onto the way home. “I finished up my work right before lunch so decided to stop at the pond by the Burbank Sports Complex. It took a few minutes, a few different spots, and a few fly choices, but eventually I found the trout,” John says. Zeringue was using a Beadhead Hares Ear Nymph under an indicator. “In about an hour and a half from the time I parked, to the time I left, I caught 8 trout and lost 3 more at the bank,” John says.
This is the 11th year that BREC and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have brought in the rainbow trout and stocked the local ponds. The fish can survive water temperatures under 75 degrees so BREC urges anglers to take advantage of the opportunity to catch the trout before spring arrives.
Pearl River Team Trails is holding its next tournament at the East Pearl River on January 13th. For more information please contact Charles Duazat at 985-960-6936.
(Keith Lusher Jr. writes a weekly column. For more info, visit NorthshoreFishingReport.com.Contact Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org.)