Learn everything you need to catch fish at the bridges in Lake Pontchartrain in this three part series. In Part One we cover the best tackle for jigging speckled trout.
It's no secret the Trestles can be difficult to fish. Nor is it the only bridge in Lake Pontchartrain posing difficult fishing.
The Causeway, Twin Span and Hwy 11 bridges have all skunked anglers, despite there being plenty of hungry trout!
You've probably seen it: one angler yanks trout after trout out the water while the other sits there empty-handed.
The difference is that one understands geometry of the water and the other does not.
I know it sounds fancy, but it's really an easy concept that allows one to achieve a good presentation of the lure to speckled trout.
What is Geometry of Water?
I already wrote an article detailing this concept. You can read more about it by hitting the button below.
Best Tackle for Jigging Speckled Trout
That blog post explains why an angler needs to adapt in order to catch fish.
This is done by adopting the best tackle for jigging speckled trout, as well as the skills and knowledge to implement that tackle.
This blog post delves into the best tackle, but will leave lures, skills & knowledge for the next two.
Baitcasting Rods, Reels & Fishing Line
If you're not already doing so, you really need to start using a baitcasting rod and reel.
A baitcaster offers you more power and control over the lure. With this, you can achieve good presentations in tough spots, like the Trestles and Highway 11 bridge.
A good angler will adapt...
Baitcasters are sometimes met with resistance from inshore anglers and, when you look closer as to the reason why, it's because they don't know how to use one.
Rather than demonstrate a little humility and take time to learn, they instead argue and invent excuses before painting themselves into a corner.
I have fished side-by-side with these anglers and caught more fish every time, because it really is the best tackle for jigging speckled trout.
They watched me sling trout in the boat with a baitcaster while they cast at the same spot with spinning tackle and caught nothing.
At the end of the day, a baitcaster is just another tool in the toolbox, offering capabilities spinning tackle does not possess.
Simultaneously, spinning tackle can do things casting tackle cannot.
Expert inshore anglers use both.
When you are fishing the bridges, or similar bottom structure, you are doing a lot of casting, jigging and retrieving...not cork-watching.
This can be tough on your wrists! You want a setup that is lightweight so it does not fatigue your hands.
Watch the video below to get an idea as to what I am talking about (and enjoy "getting the skunk out of the boat" at 2:01).
What you watched above is one video from a Fishing Trip Review for April 10th, 2019.
The entire fishing trip is recorded so you can see where fish are biting and how to catch them.
The whole thing is made available to members at this link.
The best tackle for jigging speckled trout includes a good casting reel, something with these features:
A good example would be a Daiwa Tatula 100. A bad example would be an Abu Garcia Revo Inshore.
I used the 13 Fishing Concept A and Concept C a bunch, but with time and experience have discovered the Daiwa Tatula 100 to be a better choice.
This reel comes with a lightning fast 8.1:1 gear ratio, reeling in 34 inches per turn of the handle.
(If that number is unfamiliar to you, then click here to learn more about baitcaster selection.)
You need to be jigging with a rod no longer than 6' 6", with a medium-light or medium power and extra-fast or fast action.
The lighter power is fitting for speckled trout, and the fast tip is great for taking up slack!
Plus, the shorter the rod, the lighter it weighs, and the easier it is on your hands.
I use a 6' 4" rod. This is because I am 5' 9" and a shorter rod is easier to roll cast with.
Rods this short are a niche application and few anglers buy them, so they can be harder to come by.
However, St. Croix and Daiwa do make them:
- Avid X AXC64MXF (6' 4" Medium X-Fast)
- Tatula TTU631 (6'3" Medium Fast)
To make the best rod-buying decision, you should really take the time to understand these fishing rod specifications.
The big three of fishing line are:
Experience has shown me that monofilament and fluorocarbon work best, with braid being best set aside for other applications.
Just like baitcasting and spinning tackle, one line isn't better than the other when it comes to the best tackle for jigging speckled trout.
All three have different characteristics and therefore different applications.
Monofilament and fluorocarbon have different characteristics that influence a jig to move differently through the water.
Monofilament is neutral buoyant, being less prone to sinking into snags and getting you hung up.
Fluorocarbon is heavier, causing your jig to track closer to the bottom of the water column.
I've found myself using everything from ten to fifteen pound test, mono or fluoro.
Obviously, stronger line is more forgiving with larger fish and abrasive snags, but lighter line imparts more action unto the jig, making it the best tackle for jigging speckled trout.
Trust me, you will get by just fine with 10lb fishing line, even for accidental big redfish and drum (remember we are using this tackle to target speckled trout).
It can be a shift in how you are accustomed to fishing, but I promise the rewards are worth the effort.
The confidence gained from mastering new tackle and techniques is a huge boost to one's angling abilities!