Locating speckled trout in September can be difficult, so where are successful anglers finding them? Read on to find out.
It's that time of year, the trout are done spawning and fall is not quite here.
This makes catching limits of speckled trout tough, because they're transitioning from the "outside" of the marsh to the "inside".
This can spread them out, so finding a school of trout ready to eat up isn't exactly easy.
But, every year is different and 2018 is no exception!
Finding Speckled Trout in September
I've covered a lot of water this month, from Chandeleur Sound to Lake Pontchartrain.
Some trips I only caught a few, but others saw limits of specks hit the deck.
This is great! And I've found the key is focusing on what they really want.
What do speckled trout want?
It's simple. They want two things:
- to be comfortable
- have something to eat
What makes trout uncomfortable?
We already know they do fine in relatively cold or hot water, but they don't care for extremes and certainly don't enjoy rapid changes in water temperature.
Remember: Speckled trout are cold-blooded and must change chemical processes in their body to match the ambient temperature.
If there's a rapid change in water temps, up or down, trout will need a "timeout" to adjust.
During this timeout, they're not actively feeding en masse, they're literally chilling out.
So where is "comfortable" water found?
The answer is "deeper water".
Deeper water isn't affected as easily as shallow water is.
Shallower water dirties more easily, and can be quickly cooled down, or heated up.
Cold fronts have this effect, but so do a string of bright and sunny days during hot weather, or even a lingering hurricane, like what we saw last year with Harvey.
What will speckled trout be eating?
Anything that fits in their mouth, but for the most part you can depend on them to concentrate on the most widely available forage at the time.
And right now, that forage is white shrimp.
Where can we find a lot of white shrimp?
Let's gloss over the life cycle of white shrimp to answer this question:
- adults spawn in the Gulf of Mexico
- fertilized eggs enter the marsh
- eggs hatch and shrimp larvae grow to sub-adults
- sub-adult leave the marsh to spawn in the Gulf
It's this time of year white shrimp begin migrating to spawn in saltier waters "outside" of the marsh.
Now, if you've ever seen a swimming shrimp, you know they are not powerful swimmers.
Simply put, they can't cover as much water or resist current like a trout or dolphin.
They'd wear themselves out if they tried, so instead they use the tide to take them out.
White shrimp will ride the tide, letting it take them out, like a conveyor belt.
There's one more concept to make all of this clear.
Not all "conveyor belts" are the same size
A trenasse, or small cut, will not yield as many shrimp as say, a dominant bayou connecting a bunch of lagoons and ponds.
Taking it a step further, such a bayou will not transport as much water as a large pass.
Does this make sense?
The Passes Have It all
Passes tend to be deeper, because all the water moving through scours the bottom.
Because they're deeper and tend to have more moving water, they are cooler and oxygenated, being a great place for speckled trout to be comfortable.
The icing on the cake is that these passes move the most white shrimp of all the types of water bodies in the marsh.
Here are some examples of these kinds of passes.
The Chef drains a whole lot of water, and you can expect to see diving birds at its mouth in Lake Borgne when shrimp really begin pumping through there.
Crooked Bayou at Lake Eugene
Technically not a pass, I am still using this as an example because the mouth is deep and it drains a lot of marsh.
Be sure to read fishing reports!
By staying up with fishing reports, you can get an idea as to where folks are catching speckled trout and, just as important, not catching.
There are many websites out there, but the best has to be our Facebook group, LAFB Inshore.
Watch My Fishing Trips
I do three things for my fishing trips:
These videos are made available inside LAFB Elite, my exclusive membership.
In fact, I've already uploaded the latest trip, where I caught 52 keeper specks by myself, using the information in this article.
This is key, because when you see where and how I fish successfully, you will spend less time fishing unproductive water and more time going straight to biting fish.
I cover a wide range of water, so members know exactly where to go, and NOT to go.