December 19

Speckled Trout Winter Pattern in Biloxi Marsh

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The trip I had planned would be one of epic proportions.

Fishing the Winter Pattern

Ben, his father and his little brother wanted to go fishing so we made plans for Wednesday.

I grew up fishing with Ben and often he will take me fishing in his boat and then he goes with me in mine. It was good to get out on the water because I have been working so much that I hardly get time to do any fishing.

We left for the boat slip after eating at Penny's in Chalmette. After launching the boat from Campo's Marina we headed straight for the Biloxi Marsh. I had thought it would be a good idea to start off closer, like Fort Proctor or even the MRGO outside Shell Beach, but me and Ben decided to begin fishing the Biloxi.

With the wind having laid down Monday and Tuesday I thought for sure all the water would have came back up to above MLLW levels, but it did not. However, the clarity wasn't bad and that encouraged me.

Winter Fishing for Specks

Begin the Louisiana Hustle

First stop, nothing. Second stop, nothing. Third stop, not even a bite.

I kept pushing.

It was good to have the people I had in the boat. They were there to fish, not jaw jack and screw around.

When it was time to leave, rods were put away and they were hanging on as the boat got up on plane. We were to quickly locate and close with hungry speckled trout!

The next stop started giving up fish. Trout were hitting the deck, but a lot of them were throwbacks and this didn't sit well with me.

Probably every fourth or third trout we were keeping. Believe it or not, I left that spot for another one. Yes, that is something we do in Louisiana and something I definitely do if I feel it is appropriate: leave fish to find fish.

quick fast speckled trout action bite

The next spot didn't yield much of anything, just more throwbacks with some keepers.

I moved on to one of my favorite spots that I talked about in Why Trout Seek Deep Holes  and started to box fish.

After fishing for about 15 minutes I had noticed we weren't casting at the right spot because we were so far away from the drop-off the fish were holding to.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to move or not because we were catching some fish, just not at the cyclic rate.

I ended up anchoring the boat in a more suitable position and that is when we really started to slam the trout. They would come in waves with lulls inbetween, giving me time to process the fish we were just tossing on the deck of the boat. I was tossing a double rig and would catch two fish at once.

With double and triple hookups we were filling the cooler at a steady rate and this made me a happy man!

An Unexpected Call

We showed up to the dropoff with 23 trout and had 84 when, believe it or not, Ben wanted to call it quits.

Quite frankly, I don't blame him.

This may be hard for some people to process (and I don't blame them either) but cleaning all those fish, squaring the boat away, etc. takes time.

Ben wanted to be home in a timely manner so we left fish that were biting. Though I understand, a little part of me died that day...

Anyways, watch this short vid and see how quickly Ben catches the trout and then casts back out. He doesn't play! He gets the trout off the hook and the bait back into the water.

Moving with a purpose is key when keeping the bite going.

So what made this fishing trip successful?

In a respect you are gambling when you go fishing. I am betting that trout will be there, though I rarely know for sure.

I have to make good bets or risk not catching a respectable box of fish. With the water so low I knew all the water would have drained out into the main arteries of the marsh, like Bayou LaLoutre, Bayou St. Malo and others.

And that is what I fished! Some places I fished were places I had never fished before. In fact, two of them were just spots that had nothing special about them. They were just straight parts of the bayou!

So that is what I fished and I didn't strike out. In fact, I think the fishing would have became better in those spots as the day progressively got warmer due to the clear blue skies. We were really smoking the trout at about 12:30 PM. 

speckled trout dock shot box shot

Some Sound Advice

A word about fishing the main arteries of the marsh: It is a sound strategy during conditions of cold and low water, but understand that those are the same areas that everybody uses to navigate from Point A to Point B.

Oystermen, shrimpers, and crabbers are out there working, not having fun.

It is a huge pain in the butt when someone is parked in the middle of the bayou. I think it's better to park closer to the shore as you can cover more water when you cast.

That and you're not in the way of other recreational fishermen also looking for a good bite. At the end of the day, it's all about being courteous to those around you.

Remember this, too: more bait in the water is a good thing. If you see someone looking for fish and you're on them then you should call them over! I've done it and it has never been a bad decision.

The best lure I used was a jighead with a plastic (Matrix Shad). Color didn't seem to matter as I was using a double rig with a dark and light color. The trout were hitting both.

Take this information and use it Fish Smarter. I hope you have nearly as much a good time as we did!

Want more fishing reports?

Then head on over to Louisiana Fishing Reports and read more just like this one.


Tags

artificial lures, fish behavior, IF201, nofront, noindex, Oysters, speckled trout, winter


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