These bridges humble many anglers. This is why.
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.
But this technique is no good when fishing the bridges of Lake Pontchartrain.
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 in Lake Pontchartrain are like any other specks, especially since we know the majority of them leave the lake to spawn with “ordinary” trout, sharing their genetic material to create new stock.
It’s obvious an angler not possessing this knowledge will have a tough time.
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 bridges, especially the ones in Lake Pontchartrain.
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.
On the 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!
You’ll discover the good ol’ spinning reel and popping cork need to be put away and replaced with baitcasting tackle.
Anyways, I cover these things in three upcoming articles. You can read the first one here.
And one last thing, if you have questions or comments, please post them below.
Tight lines, y’all!
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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