The Louisiana Hustle: Efficiently Catch Speckled Trout and Redfish
This is a strategy to improve your odds of catching limits of speckled trout and redfish.
This strategy is called the “Louisiana Hustle”
It is named this because it’s commonly used to succeed in Louisiana’s inshore waters.
More importantly, this technique is identified as a hustle because that is what we do when we are looking for speckled trout and redfish.
The conventional wisdom of sitting in one spot and being patient does not apply here!
What is the Louisiana Hustle?
The Louisiana Hustle is a means to reduce odds of failure and increase chances of success.
The idea is to cover as much water as possible in the shortest amount of time in order to find where fish are biting.
On any given fishing trip I will have a multitude of fishing spots lined up for the day and will hit all of them until I find an excellent bite.
These spots are in the same area and I give each spot about five minutes of fishing time. The actions I take at each spot are an important part of the Louisiana Hustle.
How is the Louisiana Hustle done?
Proper execution of the Louisiana Hustle almost looks something like a Chinese fire drill.
As I pull up to the spot, I am gauging where to position the boat.
Not a second later the boat is positioned lines start being cast out.
Effectively fish each spot
Different lures and presentations are thrown if there is more than one angler in the boat. This is done so we can find what the fish want and how they want it.
The top and bottom of the water column should be fished and casts should be made in every direction.
An Inshore Rig is excellent tackle for doing this because it is designed to fish the entire water column. It is important the correct weight is used so the bait reaches the bottom.
In about five minutes the determination is made to stay or leave.
Obviously if we are catching the kind of fish we want we will stay. If nothing happened or we caught undesirable fish we leave.
Leaving is the most important part of this strategy.
Teamwork helps a lot
If the boat was anchored off using a Danforth anchor or rig hook the captain is not left to get it by himself.
The Louisiana Hustle is a team effort and one of the other anglers will get it while he mans the helm.
Everybody in the boat knows it is coming so they secure their rod and sit down as the boat gets on plane.
There is no screwing around, there is no wasting time.
However, it is important to note you should not get stressed over moving fast. Some of us are guilty of this. I know I am.
Remember that you are still fishing and you should enjoy doing so!
The key component is not moving fast so much as it is leaving when it’s clear there are no fish, so you can go somewhere else there are fish.
The Louisiana Hustle and Google Earth
You don’t want to run ten miles between spots. That is bad execution of this strategy.
If your line isn’t in the water, you can’t catch fish. And when that boat is blasting full throttle down the bayou, your line isn’t in the water! Makes sense right?
In fact, I have an article about making your own custom GPS routes and it serves as a primer to this.
You should go over it if you have not already.
Go ahead and open Google Earth.
I will use some of my old summer fishing spots and the route I ran as an example. This is waaaay before I started Fishing Smarter, so try not to laugh so hard.
In this example I am fishing in Hopedale, Louisiana and launching out of Hopedale Marina.
As you can see, that route is a total of 40.4 miles for only five fishing spots.
Several of them are pretty close to one another and “on the way”, but consider that I was running a distance-to-spot ratio of 8.08 miles to one spot or 8.08:1.
I was adding roughly 14 minutes to each run between spots. This is not efficient at all. I was burning way too much time and gas when I should have been fishing.
So what can one do? A couple things:
First off, you can find more spots along your route.
This requires scouting and is outside the scope of this article. Refer to Scouting: Finding Reefs & Eroded Points and Scouting: Locating Tidelines that Hold Fish once you are done reading this article.
You want to find more fishing spots. It is tedious, but will be worth it.
Secondly, you can start fishing closer to the launch.
This will also require scouting, but again, it is worth it.
I am telling you the best feeling in the world is finding a new fishing spot on your own. I prefer that over catching at someone else’s spot!
I took these two things into consideration and began running a shorter route after scouting the Biloxi marsh.
Granted, the route you see below is geared towards fall fishing, but the same principles apply.
You can see more spots are closer to each other, despite the route terminating at 33.2 miles.
It ends in Biloxi Lagoon, so know that you would still have to drive back to Breton Sound Marina, which would be an additional 20 miles.
So you are running 53 miles round-trip and have 20 fishing spots to hit on the way. We’re looking at a distance-to-spot ratio of 2.65:1.
This is way better than what I had before!
Yes, it’s longer than the previous route, but I am fishing more water and putting less run time between fishing spots. When I am catching good boxes of fish, the run is worth it!
Use the Louisiana Hustle to effectively fish throughout the day. Move with a purpose and go to your next spot when you don’t catch fish!
Those two things will improve your fishing trips.