If anglers want to catch fish in Grand Isle, the speckled trout are in the surf and the mangrove snapper can be found near the rigs.
For the past month, fishermen have been catching limits of mangrove snapper and lemonfish from the Bay Marchand rigs off Fourchon to rigs six to 12 miles south of Grand Isle, according to Coastal Bait’s Al Cassagne Jr.
After purchasing 100 live shrimp, 25 pounds of pogies and cutting up mullet for bait, Pete Cassagne, Ann Taylor and I headed for Caminada Pass to start our fishing trip. We stopped at the cut on the right side of the pass to rig up for speckled trout.
We threw live shrimp rigged with a ¾-quarter ounce weight with a #4 Kahle hook while free lining a #4 Eagle Claw 2X long shank. Without catching anything, we moved to the end of the rocks on the left side of Caminada Pass. We set the anchor 50 yards past the end of the rocks and threw our live shrimp over the rocks down current. On Cassagne’s first cast, his rod bent and line began to strip from his spool.
“I think I have a big fish and hope it’s a speckled trout. Grab the net,” Cassagne said excitedly.
I grabbed the net and the big 3-pound yellow mouth broke the water and I quickly netted the trout.
“Wow, look at this fish. This is the biggest trout I’ve caught all summer,” Cassagne said.
It was going to get better.
Cassagne rebaited and again threw over the sunken rocks. The rod bent and the fish began taking line. We netted the speckled trout and Cassagne had caught his second-biggest trout of the summer, a 4-pound female sow trout.
Casting a live shrimp to his previous location, Cassagne’s 7-foot graphite rod bent with even greater strain. He netted a 5-pound sow trout.
We pulled up the anchor and headed south to the rigs six miles offshore. As we made the smooth ride, the water began clearing. It had a light green tint and we could see 10 to 15 feet below us. Tying up to the first rig, Cassagne threw out cut-up pogies as chum and the mangrove snapper came up to feed.
Taylor lowered her free line bait into the feeding mangrove below. She immediately hooked up and reeled in the first of a limit of mangrove snapper caught during the day.
I grabbed my Tsunami Trophy 7-foot pulley guide rod with an Okuma convector reel spooled with 50-pound mono, fluorocarbon leader and #5 circle hook. I lowered some cut bait and a big bite occurred. I reeled up a 25-inch mangrove snapper. It wasn’t long before Cassagne was also putting a mangrove on the boat.
A crew boat came into the rig and we were forced to move. We selected a few other rigs and picked up several mangrove using cut bait and free lining. On our last rig, Taylor dropped a live shrimp down while Cassagne was chumming and the water seemed to come alive.
Minutes later, Taylor boated a nice 16-inch mangrove.
We could see numerous mangrove below us. Now the bite was on and we made the best of it. We limited out very quickly and headed home.
The conditions were the best we had all summer – light winds and slightly overcast with calm seas. Our limit of mangrove made the day special.