That’s right here we are in the middle of December and we are still catching limits of beautiful speckled trout here in Lake Hermitage. Bayou Log Cabins fishing lodge is located about thirty five miles south of New Orleans Louisiana and is nested in the middle of a old Louisiana fishing village. We have around one hundred and twenty five camps along side of a bayou called Lake Hermitage Bayou. It is in the middle of some of the best speckled trout and red fish fishing anywhere in southeast Louisiana. We have lots of duck ponds, pipe line canals and broken marsh that is all around the log cabins and is a great place for the fall and winter fishing season. This is the time of the year that all the trout that normally hang around the barrier islands on the south side of Barataria Bay on the oyster reefs are close to the cabins and will stay here until sometime in January. The egg sacks have dried up and the breeding season is over with for this year however it is also the best time of the year if you have a small boat to work the shallow waters close to the log cabins because that is where the trout are feeding right now. With the last cool front we had pass through here last week it just about swept the last of the live shrimp out of here and now we will all be changing over to soft plastic for the rest of the winter. Of course the method of using soft plastic is somewhat the same is using live shrimp. We set the line up the same way as if we were using live shrimp, the only thing different is we put a soft plastic where the live shrimp would be. Line goes to a popping cork and then a three feet under the popping cork you will put a hook with a soft plastic of your choice. I like to use a plastic called the electric chicken or the gulp. Again everyone has there favorite but if you remember back in the day we didn’t have many different baits to choose from and we still caught fish. So be careful how many different plastic baits you buy because one will normally work just as good as the other one. Always remember that fishing for speckled trout or red fish this time of the year, you never want to find yourself on the water twenty four to forty eight hours after a cool front. The north wind will always follow a low pressure while passing through and the wind will blow the water out of the marsh, shallow duck ponds and shallow canals and when that happens the top layer of dirt will move with the hard falling tide. The fine solids will move with the fast moving tide and will always dirty up the water as the tide falls. Once the water is dirty from a cool front I find the speckled trout will find a deep hole and go there and just sit still. They will not be interested in feeding or swimming around look for food. The dirty water makes it hard for them to extract the oxygen out of the water and therefore can not breath. Like I said they will find a deep hole and sit there for sometime up to two or three days and once the water begins to clean up they will start moving around looking for something to eat. Remember they haven’t eaten for two to three days and they are hungry. So what that means is that if you watch the weather patterns and plan your fishing trips two to three days after a cool front your chances greatly in cress as the water cleans up more and more from the passing low pressure. This is true all the way up to the next cool front or low pressure and the pattern will repeat itself all winter long until the trout move out towards the end of the winter. I find once the water gets really cold towards the end of the winter is when they decide to move out to deeper water. They will normally go all the way out to the gulf for a month or two and as soon as the water temperature starts to warm up in March they will start working there way back to the barrier islands as the spring conditions get better and better. I normally watch the pelicans here in the village close to the log cabins and when they start to leave, that is a sure sign that the oyster reefs near the barrier islands are starting to come alive with bait feed and of course the speckled trout will always follow the bait feed. Sometime it takes a few weeks here or there after the pelicans leave but you can be sure of one thing, that is when they leave it is just a matter of a short time that the speckled trout will show up near the beach. Funny thing how mother nature works, if we can just learn to pay attention to the repetitive things that happen each and every year right in front of us we can learn so much of how the marine life always follows the changes of the seasons. Truth be told we never seem to have enough time to pay attention to the details that happen right before our eyes and will wonder what makes the speckled trout move with the change of seasons. Remember slow down and pay attention to the conditions when you have a good day on the water and make some sense out of why you caught fish on that day at that spot. If you start looking at the direction of the tide, what way the wind is blowing, how clean is the water and of course what time of the day it is and keep a log to refer back to each time you go fishing you will find that you will answer a lot of your own questions about how and why the speckled trout do what they do.