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by Jay Angel

Red Fish get a lot of attention in the “Sportsman’s Paradise” state of Louisiana, but there is another fish that can fill a spring day with a lot of fun- the Speckled Trout. While spring is great for freshwater fishing for pre-spawn and spawning largemouth, fishing can be iffy in the salty, brackish backwaters due to the many cold fronts, storms and windy days that roll through. That’s when a guide can be just the ticket.

I love fishing for speckled trout, so when Capt. Tommy Adams of Fishing Tom’s Fishing Guide Service invited me to spend a day on the water I jumped at the chance. Capt. Tommy targets near shore waters of Lake Calcasieu- a brackish lake located in southwest Louisiana.

We were on the water at dawn, watching the sun rise as we zoomed across the lake enroute to his favorite spot.  I could not contain my excitement when we arrived at our destination, the entrance of a canal with a gate at the end of it. The current was heading toward the gate and the wind was blowing directly into the canal whose shoreline was lined with riprap.

 I could see bait popping on the surface of the water on a windblown point a cast length away from the boat.  I rigged a Mojo Shrimp under an Undertaker popping cork and cast toward the shoreline where I had seen the bait. On my second cast the popping cork disappeared. I reared back to set the hook and yelled out in excitement as my rod loaded up with the hooked fish. Specks have soft mouths, so the hookset is always tricky- you need to get it done, not overdone! The speck fought me all the way back to the boat- a nice 20-inch fish- not bad for the first of the trip.

We stayed at that spot catching fish using popping corks with both Mojo Shrimp and live shrimp. Most of the fish were caught casting up towards the riprap. To add to the excitement, there were reds and sheepshead mixed in with the trout, but in typical Lake Calcasieu fashion, it was the huge trout at the center of the action! I don’t think we caught one under 16 inches long. The school of fish that we found was so numerous we didn't need to move the boat for 2 hours.

There were two key elements to catching fish that day that serve are great fishing advice for specks:

1)      Keep the bait close to the shoreline. These fish were moving in from the lake and moving towards the gate using the shoreline as their highway.

2)      Keep the baits moving. This was easy because the current and wind were constantly moving the cork around. The hard part- but critical- was keeping a tight line in order to set hooks.

It took long casts and lots of popping the corks but adhering to these two “rules” allowed us to catch one trout after another despite the wind increasing from 10 to more than 30 mph finally chasing us off the lake. This was definitely one of those days where experience dealing with the variable weather conditions of spring made the difference between a frustrating day and a very memorable one.

Equipment Used

Jay Angel is the host of a weekly podcast- Let's Talk Fishing- interviewing the industry's biggest stars and brightest innovators. Jay loves to focus on southern inshore fishing as well as the freshwater scene. You can find the LIVE weekly podcasts and previous episodes on the Lets Talk Fishing Facebook page. Jay is an outdoor writer and lifelong angler with professional guiding experience. He has been writing, blogging and spreading the word about his passion since 1997 in many of your favorite fishing periodicals. Jay is an Illinois native who now makes his home in the Sportsman's Paradise of Louisiana.


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