The speckled trout bite in Lake Pontchartrain can be finicky. Anglers who target these fish know that it’s all about timing. There’s one fishing destination that saltwater anglers depend on that is tried and true. The 5-mile train bridge known simply as the Trestles is, and probably will be for years to come, the #1 destination for North Shore anglers who are looking to catch big specks.
I recently took a trip with Taylor Valois of Slidell to the iconic hot-spot and found that not much has changed at the bridge. It’s still a challenge to pick up on a specific pattern but the fish we caught were all quality fish. We started our day bright and early and found ourselves plowing through the fog to get to the drawbridge. We knew we were in for a tough day when we didn’t get a hit for the first 1/2 hour of the trip. We were using Shu-Shu Marsh Minnows and I decided to think outside the box and switch over to something that mimicked the shrimp in the water. I started throwing a Shu-Shu Marsh Craw on a 3/8 oz. jig head and within 5 minutes the first speck was flopping in the ice chest. We worked our way south on the west side of the bridge and earned 2 more before sliding under the bridge to cast along the east side. Their boat traffic was less dense and the tide was starting to fall. Taylor guided the boat back towards the North Shore but all we could manage was a 15” trout just as a train passed over the bridge. We finished our day fishing the west side of the bridge north of the drawbridge and picked up two more.
All fish were caught on the Marsh Craw in Gunmetal. It was a tough day but was expected with the warmer temps. Taylor says that he believes the trout will group up better with the falling water temperatures. “When we see those temps in the 60’s – that’s usually when you’ll see those specks in more of a pattern,” Valois says.
Cool fronts can pose a problem to anglers especially those who fish on the day after a front. Ray Miller and his friend, Neil Landry, know this all too well but decided to make a trip to the Tchefuncte River anyway. On top of the bluebird skies Ray says the conditions were windy. “All my spots are on the river, so windy conditions make fishing rather tough,” he says. The friends started jigging the main river in 18’-20’ of water but were catching them 9’ down along the tree-tops from fallen trees. The bite was tough with many small fish but the team put some heavy fish in the boat. “We caught several throwbacks, but my partner caught a couple of real hammers,” Ray says. The team caught all their fish on micro-jigs in Electric Chicken and black, green, and chartreuse.
Specks and Bass
Roger Sissac of Pearl River fishes the Eden Isles canals often. He made a trip in search of some bass and specks which are common for the canals around this time. He started throwing a buzz-bait along the shoreline in the canals. “It was a small gold bladed clacker with a white skirt,” Sissac says. Roger was able to manage 4 keeper bass but no trout. He then decided to make a run to the Trestles in search of trout where he was able to put 12 keepers in the box using a tandem Shu-Shu Slug rig in the Victory Red Color.
Pearl Rivers Singles Circuit held its end of the year 2-day Classic at Poole’s Bluff and Crawford’s Landing. Terry Jones rallied on the second day to come out on top by bringing in a total of 5 fish that weighed 14.12 lbs. Jones finished with a 2-day total weight of 24.8 lbs. In second place was Bobby Dampier who brought in a two-day total weight of 21.5 lbs. Daniel Schommer took third place with a total of 20.14 lbs.
The final tournament of the 2017 season for Bass Assassins was held at the Tchefuncte River and it was Jimmy Dorris who came out on top with a 5-fish tournament limit weighing 9 lbs. 2 oz. In second place was Josh Endman who caught 5 fish that weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz. Richard Bennett managed 3 fish but it was enough to place third with a weight of 5 lbs. 12 oz. Alex Duggan brought in a beautiful 4 lb. 10 oz. largemouth bass to win the big fish division.
(Keith Lusher Jr. writes a weekly column. For more info, visit NorthshoreFishingReport.com.Contact Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org.)