September 18, 2014

Excellent Tips for the Fall Fishing Pattern


Enjoy these tips to fish the best season of the year.Enter your text here...

Fall is some of the best inshore fishing of the year

In this article I give you fishing spots, techniques and tools to make your fall fishing trips successful.

Spotted Sea Trout

Anyone who knows about fall fishing is surely as excited as I am.

But what makes fall fishing so special and why should it be important to you? Read on to learn more!

Running from Storms

Fall Fishing means more stable weather. Plus you can fish protected water and not get beat up by storms like in this picture!

Speckled Trout Come Home

Speckled trout don't stay in the marsh year round like slot redfish do.

Virtually all trout move into the sounds and bays bordering the Gulf of Mexico to spawn for the summer. During this time they are difficult to access as the larger bodies of water are more prone to rough seas.

It is during the fall time speckled trout come back inside the marsh and are much easier to catch. We start to see speckled trout move inside around September.

September is a "transition" month and every year the transition can begin later or sooner.

During the fall speckled trout are closer to the marina and are eating as much as they can. They eat a lot to fatten themselves up for the tough winter temperatures that lay ahead.

Watch the Water Temps

So what triggers the transition? Water temperature. Once the water hits about 74 degrees the fall bite goes into effect.

You can find the current water temperature using local buoys. A quick look at data from the Shell Beach Buoy reveals the current water temperature in Lake Borgne.

Quick Note

If you are unfamiliar with using data like this, then I recommend reading Why Tide Charts Don't Work Anymore so you can understand how these graphs shed light on what is really happening in the marsh. 

Where to Locate Biting Fish

Summer isn't going to give up without a fight and if you live in Louisiana you know it can be cold one day and hot the next.

One Step Backward, Then One Step Forward

So know that when the temperature rises the trout will take a step backward towards the open bays. When the temperature drops they will move forward inside the marsh.

Moving Water Cold Front

This is satellite imagery taken the day after a strong cold front. Note how the muddy water shows you how water flows on a falling tide. Fish these tidelines to catch trout!

In fact, not all cold fronts are the same and it's important to know this. Some cold fronts are really weak and others can be really powerful!

Read Quick and Obvious Lesson on Cold Fronts to gain an understanding of where you can find clean water after a strong cold front hits. Also read Not all Cold Fronts are Created Equal.

Have you ever heard that old rule?

One must wait three days to go fishing after a cold front passes.

While this is generally true, you can go fishing the day after a weak cold front. This is because a weak cold front is not strong enough to drop water levels and muddy the water clarity.

Tidelines are Key

In previous articles and fishing reports I have mentioned the use of "tidelines."

This is age-old fishing advice but is still true today. I recommend fishing tidelines to catch speckled trout. If seeing is believing, then watch this video of what a good tideline looks like.

Locating tidelines is what I teach in Inshore Fishing 101.

More Locations

Sharp bends in a bayou are another terrain feature you want to check out. But why?

Because water making the turn in a sharp bend digs out the bottom of the bayou and creates a deep hole that trout like to use when cold fronts pass.

Bayou St. Malo

Any sharp bend with a deep hole will probably have shrimp blown through it on a regular basis, giving speckled trout yet another reason to be there.

I explain this further in Why Trout Seek Deep Holes.

If catching hordes of speckled trout is important then it would behoove you to pay attention to the marsh around you. At first glance it seems like it is just saltwater and oyster grass, but it's really not.

There is a lot going on and it is easy to motor past one of the best catching opportunities out there: birds diving on shrimp.

But not all diving birds hold speckled trout underneath them!

If you have not had success with fishing birds then it is suggested you go over When You Should Fish the Birds.

But be careful!

There is a phenomena known as "liar birds" or birds that do not have any speckled trout underneath them. Watch this video to see what they look like so you know to avoid them.

White Trout Come Around

For some people the fall season is an excellent time to make a meat haul for their freezer.

It's not unusual to get on ferocious white trout bites deep inside  the marsh during the fall pattern. In fact, it's common to catch a hundred or more white trout along with specks.

Only the most die-hard speck anglers throw them back.

Just be sure you keep them on ice and freeze your fillets the right away!

White trout do not keep as well as specks and need the extra maintenance.

It's not a bad idea to make a slush inside your cooler by mixing some water in with the ice.

This way the fish sink down into the ice and don't just stack up on top.

Box full of speckled and white trout

There are over 150 specks and whites combined in this cooler! Fall fishing is the best.

Gotta Have the Right Tackle

trout two at a time double rig speckled matrix shad colors

Note the two different colors.

In this day and age I feel that lures are designed to catch fishermen more so than they are designed to catch fish, so I like to keep things pretty simple when it comes to tackle.

There are two rigs anglers venture into the marsh with:

The Double Rig allows you to offer soft plastics to trout when they prefer that. Plus, you can catch two trout at a time if there is a strong bite going.

The Inshore Rig allows you to fish the top of the water column with live shrimp or you can quickly take the cork off to fish the bottom of the water.

If you still feel like you are at a loss on where to start, then try cutting your teeth on these fishing spots. You can download the .kml file at the Featured Fishing Spots page.

If you are not familiar with using .kml files for your GPS then you should definitely read How to Create Your own Custom GPS Routes Using Google Earth.

Last but not least, you should keep up on Louisiana Fishing Reports. You will know where to start looking for trout and redfish!

As fall progresses cold fronts will come and go and the fish will move. By staying in touch with other anglers you will be able to find biting fish.

Speckled Trout Fishing Reports for Louisiana

Get the Latest Intel

When you put some trout in the cooler be sure to post a report on LAFB Inshore on Facebook.

It's a public group you can visit here.

LAFB Inshore has nurtured a culture of posting quality fishing reports that help anglers find where the fish are at.

It's not overrun by advertisers, trolls or off-topic conversations.

LAFB Inshore has what you want: the best fishing reports!

I hope this article will be helpful to you.

Other anglers have and found success!

Danny had a limit of reds first thing in the morning!

Successful Fisherman


Fall fishing is great, but you still have to locate speckled trout and redfish to catch them.

That's why I put this article together, so you know how to find your own spots, and not rely on community holes.

Have a question or comment? Post it up below.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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