This blog post reveals the painfully obvious reasons why catching fish on Lake Pontchartrain bridges isn't nearly as easy as catching fish in the marsh.
Our inshore waters are fairly uniform across Louisiana's coast.
It's all flat and there are no overhead obstructions impeding an angler's cast, such as trees or low-hanging wires.
Because of this, we become comfortable casting in one way: an overhead cast.
An overhead cast is easy to execute. Best of all, it enables unskilled anglers to put a lot of power into their cast.
But this technique is no good when fishing Lake Pontchartrain bridges.
Many anglers mistakenly believe they are good at fishing until they go to the spring and fall runs in Lake Pontchartrain...and are proven otherwise.
People say it's the snags you lose your lures on. Others believe "Lake P" speckled trout are a "different breed", being finicky and harder to catch.
I don't agree with this.
Snags exist across Louisiana's inshore waters. We handle all of them the same.
I'm pretty sure the specks feeding on Lake Pontchartrain bridges are like any other speckled trout, especially since we know the majority of them leave the lake to spawn with "ordinary" trout, sharing their genetic material to create new stock.
I believe the real difficulty anglers face is the difference between geometries of water at Lake Pontchartrain bridges and the marsh.
I am telling you from experience that an angler not possessing this knowledge will have a tough time.
It's the distance between these things in the water into which you are casting your lure:
You simply cannot cast to where you think trout are eating.
Trout feed when the water is moving, and this moving water acts upon our sinking lures, moving them horizontally.
It does this in the same way wind moves a rising balloon.
To compensate for the current, you have to cast upstream of the trout.
In the marsh you have lots of room to make this big, overhead cast ahead of speckled trout.
This gives the lure plenty of horizontal distance to get down to the fish.
This view from above is a good example.
The same example, but this time viewing it sideways.
You do not have the luxury of a long "runway" when fishing Lake Pontchartrain bridges.
The "runway" for the lure to reach the fish is much shorter, because the bridge impedes a long-distance, overhead cast.
With a shorter runway the lure flies over and past speckled trout.
The trout will never see the lure. If they can't see it, they cannot possibly bite it!
In the marsh, your lure has plenty of horizontal distance to descend the vertical distance to biting fish.
On Lake Pontchartrain bridges, your lure has far less horizontal distance to cover the same vertical distance.
We adapt by using the tackle, skills and knowledge of deepwater jigging.
Deepwater jigging is what Chas Champagne talks about in Episode 63 of Inshore Interviews. Few are better at it than him, so be sure to listen to the advice he offers!
Anyways, I cover these in three blog posts, and you can read the first one here.
Tight lines, y'all!
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Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.
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