What do you consider deep water? In costal Louisiana which is relatively shallow most would consider deep water anything over six feet. Here on the Pontchartrain basin we have multiple areas in our passes close to 100 feet deep. Migrations of shrimp and fish migrate through these huge passes in giant schools everyday and trout love to use the ledges as ambush points during the summer months. When water temperatures get over 80 degrees the passes that connect Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain are key focal zones for speckled trout and redfish. Although there are areas with 100 foot of water, the targeted depth is typically 15-35 foot of water. Of course most people target this deep water with live bait Carolina rigged, here at DockSide TV we like to target these areas with big jig heads and Matrix Shad. If you are wanting a challenge and to try something unconventional then try jigging for trout in 25 foot of water. The key is to target the change of tide or go on days with the smallest tide ranges. So many costal fisherman complain about the tide. How many times have you heard the famous fishing phrase “The tide wasn’t moving”? Yep we all have heard that a million times and yes the tide is key and typically needs to move, but when fishing deep water passes and main arteries like the Rigolets the tide is always moving. Think of it like an hour glass with Pontchartrain and Borgne being the big ends of each side of the hour glass. That’s typically how it works. Big east winds and the hour glass tilts and the Pontchartrain end fills up. And on a west wind the hour glass tilts back the other way and the water dumps out. When targeting these passes we typically like to focus on the two main bridges that are on both ends of The Rigolets and we like a mellow and easy tide. If the tide is peaked out and rolling you can forget it. Getting a lure to the bottom in 20-35 foot of water is virtually impossible. Typically we like to use 1/2 oz golden eye jig heads with the Shrimp Creole or the new Croaker colored Xshad. Another good technique is what we call the “Rucker Rig” which is simply a heavy Carolina rig with a plastic on the end. It’s a lot of vertical jigging. Which means very short cast virtually bouncing the lure off the bottom almost dead under the boat. These areas used to produce monster trout Including the third largest trout in Louisiana history caught by Jason Troullier in 1999 at a whopping 11.34 lbs. The best months to target these areas are the summer and early fall months. When we get into the dog days of summer trout and reds like the cooling currents that chill the water. Also the deeper water stays cooler on the bottom giving the fish a more favorable environment. Although this may be the most difficult time of year and technique to target trout it is a great tool to have in your fishing arsenal and will help tremendously in the hotter months. Look for days where the tide chart is showing a range less than a foot. Those neap tide days can be the best of days for fishing any deep water pass. This technique doesn’t just hold true for Pontchartrain, almost every estuary has deep water passes connecting two big bodies of water and if the water temps are scorching hot then it’s a good chance that is where the fish are congregating. Make sure to check out several of our Dockside TV episodes published in September and October that go over this technique. We have two one on fishing each bridge in the Rigolets using the same technique for both and they go into great detail on just what to look for and how to approach this very difficult technique. So put the corks away and the 1/4 oz jig heads during the hottest months and try jigging 30 foot of water with canon ball size jig heads. Until next time “Good Fishing”
Author: Chas Champagnehttp://matrixshad.com
Capt. Chas Champagne is an avid angler, located in Slidell, LA. Capt. Chas owns and operates Dockside Bait & Tackle and also manufactures his own tackle producing the Matrix Shad fishing lure and the Golden Eye jig heads.