St. Charles Herald-Guide

Specks attack minnows in Elmerís Island surf

Bruce McDonald - May 25, 2012

When anglers fish the surf around Elmerís Island and Grand Isle, they have one thing in common - If someone is catching fish, they donít mind if other fishermen move close to catch a few.

Especially if they are catching speckled trout on every cast.

This was the case last week in the surf on Elmerís Island. Jeff Bacon, of Raceland, was fishing about 100 yards from my spot. I kept watching along the island to see if birds were working or if Bacon was catching fish.

Itís common practice for surf fishermen to move to a spot where the birds are diving in the surf. But Bacon caught my attention because he was catching a speckled trout on every cast.

It was killing me because I wasnít getting a bite. Soon, I saw the big arm wave, "Come over here, theyíre biting good!" Bacon called out.

So, I started drifting over to his location and he told me he was catching his fish on cocahoe minnows. Bacon was dressed for surf fishing in a big straw hat, landing net, floating minnow bucket and floating basket to put his catch in.

We greeted each other and he told me to get a minnow out of the bait bucket and cast out to the second sandbar. We were fishing in the surf exactly one mile to the west when one gets on the beach.

There are three ways to hook a minnow, including from below the bottom lip through the top, through the tail behind the dorsal or through the eye sockets.

Bacon made a cast and again I watched him reel in another 2-pound speckled trout. He was using a Carolina-style live bait rig with a half ounce weight and No. 4 khale hook on a braided line. I quickly put a minnow on my quarter jig head and cast it out.

Immediately my line tightened, I set the hook and the fight was on. I landed the 2-pound trout and put him in Baconís floating basket.

We were fishing at the right time. The tide was changing from high to low between 11 a.m. and noon with a 1.5-foot tide range. This is a great tide range for surf fishing. The water was a clear green and in knee-deep water, we could see our feet.

Occasionally, we caught a redfish and Bacon caught his limit of five. Together we fished and caught specks for an hour and I gave the fish to Bacon and thanked him.

He was a true sportsman friend.

Specks attack minnows in Elmerís Island surf