How to catch big trout in bays flooded from Harvey

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The bays along the Upper Coast of Texas and Southwest Louisiana are inundated with freshwater.

This poses a dilemma for anglers seeking speckled trout, especially bigger ones.

A study conducted by Louisiana State University (LSU) biologists in Barataria Bay involved setting gillnets at three sites: low, mid and high salinity.

More and larger speckled trout were caught at temperatures 75 degrees and above. Average size was somewhat larger at the high-salinity site and smaller at the low-salinity site. They were also more abundant at the high and mid-salinity sites than at the low-salinity site.”

I believe there is definitely a correlation with salinity and temperature when it comes to big trout, especially right now in Hurricane flooding impacted areas. One of the best spots to try for trout right now are the oyster reefs on the south end of the Sabine, Calctsieu and Galveston ecosystems. They are in deeper water which holds more salinity and are closer to the Gulf so you have a better chance of getting a fresh shot of saltwater on incoming tides.

One of the best ways to fish these reefs is to use sand eel imitations.

As noted in my book, Texas Trout Tactics, the most important thing to keep in mind about any of these lures is to fish them on the right size jig head. Fishing with 1/8-ounce jig heads is great for shallow reefs with light currents, but you need something heavier that will get down to the bottom and be able to fight heavy spring currents.

Drift with the current and let the lure bounce, bump and crash into the oyster reef. Water conditions are ranging from off-colored to murky to just plain nasty so anything that might grab the attention of a trout is worth trying. Make sure you have enough line out to where you are not vertically fishing. The lure will not be able to work properly that way.

In addition, it is important to keep contact with the lure. Trout under these conditions trout are not always overly aggressive and they often lightly hit soft plastic lures. Use a super sensitive monofilament or braided line for best results. When I use this method, I slowly raise and lower my rod tip to give the rig a slight hopping action.

 

Remember incoming tides are always a plus.

If you’re down on the south end and you see those pockets of really clear water moving in you know those are from the Gulf. When you start seeing that clear green water move in and find pockets of that stuff you know you are positioned to find some big fish even in flooded conditions which should be getting better daily along the coast.

Chester Moore, Jr.

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