Putting the 🔨 down on some fat greys! Sorry for the over excitement and language but that's just how it is after you end your limit on the first hunt of the year 🦆 #sportsman#sportsmangear#sportsmanusa sportsmangear.com
Speck party on Lake Pontchartrain
Tons of boats compete this month for top-notch trout #SportsmanTipOfTheDay
If you want to outfish the hundreds of boats on the Lake Pontchartrain Trestles this month, you need to fish every level of the water column, according to Capt. Matt McCabe.
Once the successful guide finds fish, he never leaves the area without fishing a Carolina rig, drop-shot rig and cork.
“Some days, they’re a little higher in the water column, and they want to bite a drop-shot,” he said. “Some days, they’re roaming around and want a Carolina rig.”
McCabe said he’s also seen days when the fish will hit only a sliding cork, or even a fixed cork.
Where he casts any of his rigs depends on atmospheric conditions.
On sunny days, he said, the fish seek the shelter of the shade. On cloudy days, however, they’ll get off the bridge a bit and generally be 2 to 3 feet off the bottom.
When he finds feeding speckled trout, he’ll work them over, often spending two or three hours within the same quarter-mile stretch.
“If you find fish that will bite, don’t leave them,” he advised. “It’s not like the old days, when we only had 20 boats out on the bridge. Now, with live shrimp being available year-round, there are 200 boats when the fish are biting.”
McCabe said an incoming tide that brings clean water into the lake is better than a falling tide. The fish get excited and feed better on a rising tide, he said.
The bridges of eastern Lake Pontchartrain are easily accessible from Bayou Liberty Marina, Dockside Marina and Rigolets Marina in Slidell, as well as Del Lago’s Marina in New Orleans.
3 33311:48 PM Nov 16, 2017
Remove back hook from Rat-L-Trap to catch more fish Cred: @andycrawfordphotos#SportsmanTipOfTheDay
Rat-L-Traps are absolute fish catchers. There’s just something about the lipless crankbaits that bass and redfish love — or hate, whatever. They just crunch them.
The only problem is that they are not what you’d call weedless, so fishing them around structure can be maddening at best and costly at worst. Sure, you can rip them out of vegetation and get reaction bites, but try to fish them around trees and rocks.
You’re guaranteed to lose some baits.
But Pierre Part Bassmaster Elite Series pro Cliff Crochet has the solution: Just remove one of the hooks.
“Seems kind of weird, but what I do is remove the back hook off of my Rat-L-Trap and throw it with one hook,” Crochet said.
The bass pro said he does this when fishing around shallow wood structure, but it would also work well when cranking jetties for redfish.
And that means the lure can be fished where few anglers would think of casting.
“I can put that Rat-L-Trap in places it don’t belong, in places it’s not really seen a whole bunch, which in turn catches you more fish,” Crochet said.
The tactic works so well because it’s usually the rear treble hook that hangs up.
“As you’re reeling that bait in, that (front) hook lays down … and the Rat-L-Trap hits the wood, bounces over, the nose protects the front hook and there’s no back hook to get caught,” Crochet explained.
He rounds out the technique by using 20-pound Seaguar monofilament.
“I like the mono because mono floats so it won’t drag my bait down, which means I’ll get caught up less,” Crochet said. “I like 20-pound so I can … muscle the fish out (of the structure).
“The reason I fish mono over braid is because most of the times, this is a short, sweet task (and) I want some stretch to let that fish get the bait.”
1 49512:03 AM Nov 16, 2017
Top 3 ChatterBait mistakes
Pro tips to catch more fish on vibrating jigs
ChatterBaits are lures fish love to smash. Whether you’re targeting bass on your local reservoir or snatching redfish from coastal marshes, these vibrating jigs force reaction bites that are vicious.
But FLW Tour pro Brian Latimer said he sees anglers making mistakes that lower the productivity of ChatterBaits.
Here are his Top 3 mistakes, along with ways to avoid them:
1. Using rods that are too stiff —
Latimer said your hookup ratio will definitely suffer if you use a rod with too much backbone.
“Use a softer rod and it’s going to let the fish get that bait better,” he said. “It’s going to prevent missing a lot of short strikes.” 2. Not Adjusting trailer size —
Trailers do matter, because the choice you make affects how deep the lure swims in the water.
“If you’re trying to fish really shallow around submerged grass, fishing around docks, and you want to keep that bait high in the water column, use a boot-tail or a little bit bulkier plastic,” Latimer said. “It’s going to keep that bait up high.
“If you want to get that bait down, if you’re trying to fish a submerged grass line … and you really want to get that bait down, use a little bit slimmer plastic (because it has) a little less resistance.”
3. Reeling too fast —
Faster is not better when it comes to the ChatterBait, this pro said, because it will just mess up the action of the lure.
“A ChatterBait is a real erratic bait,” Latimer said. “It actually does all the work by itself. You don’t really have to use the rod tip a whole lot; you don’t want to reel the bait really fast.
“If you want to, use a bit slower reel. It’s going to let the bait do the work, you’re going to hang up less (and) you’re going to catch a lot more fish.”