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Speckled Trout Armada Invades
Capt. Kenny Kreeger, WWL-TV Cameraman John
Fritzinger, Cardiologist Patrick Breaux, and myself--all true kindred
fishermen--met early this morning at the Seabrook Boat Launch on Lakeshore Drive
in New Orleans, just as the sun began to peek over the top of the control tower
at Lakefront Airport. Within 15 minutes of our arrival we had launched and
drifted no more than 200 yards off the bridge stanchions and out into the lake.
It's was as far as we really had to go--it's where monster speckled trout
upwards of 8 pounds (and the entire sportsfishing armada out after them) have
been hanging out for the past two to three weeks.
For well over a month now, as you well know, our efforts in Lake Pontchartrain
have been targeted at the trestle, the Twin Spans, and the old Five Mile Bridge.
And we could very well have gone there again today and loaded up again. But just
about everyone I've spoken to lately at the bait shops, marinas, and sporting
goods store have been shouting the praises of "the Seabrook," boasting
of the monster five-and-six-pound trout coming out of the Industrial Canal every
morning. So today, Kenny stopped at Tite's Place for 100 live shrimp and headed
across the lake to meet me and the guys at Seabrook. The change-up proved to be
a good decision well worth the extra effort.
We joined the ranks (and the conversation) with the fishermen in the 42 boats
already sitting on the fishing rip by the time we arrived and quickly found out
that "the trout strike ferociously at that spot so long as the tide falls
out of the Industrial Canal and produces a rip in the lake." Their advice
to us proved to be correct and the circumstances today were no different than
they had been in the past.
So what does all this promise to add to your chances for catching trout this
Everybody you talk with agrees that the big trout should be at "the
'brook" for at least another two weeks. Get out there and have a great
- 1. Make no mistake about it--the fish are there and will continue to be
there Saturday and Sunday. But they are unbelieveably finicky! Leave the
artificials home. Don't waste your money on Cocahoe minnows. And market bait
will do you no good whatsoever. They want live shrimp and only live shrimp
which are "lively." Once the bait is struck at and killed, once
the bait ceases to move frantically, you can lift it off the hook and toss
it. The big trout won't take it under any circumstances!
- All the big trout are down deep, holding tightly to the bottom. This means
that you can also leave your popping and rattling corks home. A Carolina rig
is the recommended terminal tackle and, in just the normal flow of the tide,
it will probably take at least three-quarters ounce to a full one ounce lead
egg sinker to get you to the bottom (the tide roars and
rumbles out of the canal at this spot!). And quite candidly, if you're not
fishing on the bottom you won't even get a bite.
- Speaking of bites, even though these guys are heavyweights, capable of
snapping braided Power-Pro line like limp spaghetti, they don't take a bait
like "manly-man" kind of fish. Oh, sure, there will be one or two
who will strike at it, as if they intend to break your wrist, but most of
them will just "mouth" the shrimp, almost as if they were tasting
it for flavor. Based on that information, may I suggest that whenever you
feel as if you've hooked a "snag" you set the hook real hard. You
could be pleasantly surprised what a "snag" might turn out to be.
- The best advice I can give you this week is to tell you to get to Seabrook
early to take advantage of peak tidal periods, as well as to select a prime
anchor spot, which by 7:30 a.m. is at a premium. I'm thinking that we
thought Seabrook to be crowded today, but after this week's "Fishin'
Game Report" airs on television all night long tonight there could very
well be over 100 boats clustered in that one little spot this weekend! If
you want a shot at these big trout, you will have to promise yourself that
you won't lose your temper and your "cool" when the fishermen next
to you get so close you'll expect them to tie up to your boat. In other
words, if you want to fish Seabrook right now you'll need to "play
- Finally, besides live bait and a good anchor with a long rope (the water
is about 20 feet in the main outfall), you'll need a few other things--a
wide-brim hat, Polarized sunglasses, a tube ofsunscreen rated at SPF 30 (at
least), and lots and lots of cold water--not soft drinks, not iced tea, not
frosted brewskies! Cold water! And if you do feel the heat and the sun
getting to you, haul anchor and head back to the launch for a bit to cool
down. You can always go back out.
P.S. Just for the record, just in case you don't have a boat, the Frank Davis
Fishing Pier is right there under Seabrook Bridge and is open 24 hours a day,
with lights for night-fishing and even a handicapped ramp. For the past two
weeks or so, fishermen there, too, have been catching their share of big three
and four pound speckled trout right off the pier.
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