Where did the Salinity go? Lake Ponchartrain has been seeing the most drastic salinity readings I can ever remember. The gauge which usually averages 6-12 parts per thousand of salt has been sitting at a dismal 1.5 parts per thousand since February and has done this the last three springs into summer. Trout can handle low salinity during fall and winter but once they begin to focus on their spawning ritual during the late spring and summer they head for saltier grounds and believe me that Lake Pontchatrain, Lake Borgne and the Rigolets are not the grounds the ever so illusive speckled trout have in mind right now, but not to worry. Redfish and sheepshead could care less about that. Redfish are plentiful in the area right now and sheepshead are all over the place.
If redfish is what you are targeting simply put a Matrix Shad on a spinner and get to chunking and winding on any leeward shoreline in the entire Lake Pontchartrain basin. If you get a blue bird sunny day press tight to the banks or get deep into the area’s duck ponds tie on a 1/4 oz Golden Eye on a Vortex Shad and sight fish these bronze beauties in what we call the “Pumpkin Patch”.
If you are a live bait fisherman, get your hands on some small to medium size live shrimp and catch all the sheepshead you want along the bridge piling and structure in the Lake Pontchatrain Basin. If you are simply a die hard speckled trout angler I suggest filling up the boat with gas and get ready to take a ride. Launch off the Chef or Rigolets and head east. When you get a spray from a wave and can taste a bit of salt start looking for productive speckled trout grounds. Trout will show face at Half Moon or the rigs on the eastern end of Lake Borgne. If salinity’s stay low you may need to head all the way to 3 mile or nine mile pass or maybe even go all the way to Brush Island. If the weather is perfect Free Mason, Martin Island or Comfort Island may not be out of the question, and if you want to go to the most fertile trout grounds and saltiest water around The Chandelier Island Chain would be considered Louisiana’s “Flemish Cap”.
Make sure to check out all our DockSide TV videos from running all the way to Breton Island to slay boat loads of speckled trout or staying two minutes from the Launches of South Shore Bait and Marina and catching limits of redfish one after the other.
Until next time: “Good Fishing”