Normally February is a month that absolutely nothing is going on when it comes to catching speckled trout, however this year is a exception to the rule. We have been catching some beautiful speckled trout on the north side of Barataria Bay in the shallow bays. Not really sure why the trout are still showing up on the inside waters but they are still here this late in the winter months. Might have something to do with the extremely mild winter we had this year. If you stop and think about it we only had two really cold spells this winter where it got down to the thirty’s.
I went trawling the other day to see if we had any live shrimp starting to show up and much to my surprise I caught about two hundred perfect fishing size shrimp. I think that will explain why we are catching speckled trout right now on the inside waters. We are having a early crop of live shrimp move in and as long as there is something for the trout to eat they don’t need to leave for the winter. I can’t ever remember catching the amounts of trout we have been catching around here in February for as long as I been living here. I am hoping that is a reflection of the kind of year we are going to have. As the month of March approaches and the water temperature begins to warm up a little more the shrimp will move in from the gulf and that is when things will get much better in regards to catching greater numbers of trout.
I can remember as a kid we had a camp on the east side of four-bayou-pass right on one of the barrier islands and I was young enough to not have to work with my dad as the camp was being built. Well of course I use to follow my day out to the camp with my little wooden flat boat with a nine and a half Johnson on the back of it. When we arrived at the camp site my dad and his friend would start unloading the big skiff he had with what ever lumber they were going to work with for that visit and I would venture off in my little wooden flat boat for the day. I would stay within the barrier islands in protected water in case some bad weather would pop up. Remember I was only around ten years old. Well little did I know that spending the day in that little flat boat learning my way around all the oyster reefs and different islands was paving the way for what I do today. Sometimes my customers ask me how do you know so much about where the oyster reefs are and why this bayou is shallow and that one is deep. Of course I tell them the story about how when I was a kid and spent countless hours messing about all over those islands learning how the water runs through them and where the channels were. I also told them how on many occasions I spent many hours pushing my boat off of sand bars and mud flats because I took a wrong turn. You see that is how we learn the waters, by going out and exploring the uncharted. I learned at a early age that if you don’t know where you are travailing in a boat to take it easy the first couple of times until you feel confident that you know it is safe. As a good friend of mind said a long time ago “If You Don’t Go… You Don’t Know”. There is something to be said about that statement that can apply to fishing and learning your way around the waters. As time went on I learned my way around the four-bayou-pass area very well and started to work my way to the west towards Grand Isle. By the time I was twelve I was island hoping my way from the one end of this area to the other with out even thinking about it. One of the best things I use to do as a kid was to light up the Coleman Lanterns and go gigging flounders at night. There is something about gigging flounders at night with a Coleman Lantern as a kid that you will never forget. It is a memory that you will never forget for as long as you live. Still today in the late summer I like to get on my jet sky and run out there with a LED light and gig a few for a good stuff flounder meal. I seems to bring back good memories from when I was a kid. Really if you stop for just a minuet and think about the whole fishing concept of spending time on the water, it really is about going back to a place that you had a good time as a kid and reliving those good times. That is why it is so important to spend time on the water with kids as you go through all the hectic times life can offer. You will sometimes never know what kind of seed you are planting in some young kids mind when you take him fishing, even if you don’t catch a box of speckled trout and red fish. Just the experience of being out there on the water can start the interest of a new generation of anglers. Don’t think for one minuet I caught a box of speckled trout every time I went out as a kid. To be truthful there were more times I didn’t catch then they were times I did, but you see it was the excitement of going out not knowing what to expect that made it all worth while. And to wrap this story up it is still the same today with having the same feelings of never knowing what to except while going on a fishing trip. Our boats are bigger and faster and we have lots of experience to apply but at the end of the day it is still fishing.