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Youngster Masters the Art of Catching Speckled Trout

OutdoorHub Youngster Masters the Art of Catching Speckled Trout Ask any fisherman and they’ll tell you that catching speckled trout isn’t something you master without learning how to pattern the fish. Water temperature, tides, lures, and water clarity all play a part in determining the success of the fisherman. These are all factors that often take years to master. Bill Hines of Slidell, LA, […] The post Youngster Masters the Art of Catching Speckled Trout appeared first on OutdoorHub.

03/13/2024
Category:
Sports

Youngster Masters the Art of Catching Speckled Trout

Ask any fisherman and they’ll tell you that catching speckled trout isn’t something you master without learning how to pattern the fish. Water temperature, tides, lures, and water clarity all play a part in determining the success of the fisherman. These are all factors that often take years to master.

Bill Hines of Slidell, LA, has been fishing for speckled trout since he was 10 years old. Hines grew up fishing a certain bridge in Lake Pontchartrain called the Trestles. The train bridge stretches 5 miles over the lake and connects the north shore to the south shore of the estuary.  The Trestles is known for its production of large speckled trout in the fall and spring seasons.  “My father used to rent a small boat at Tites.  That’s when I started learning how to fish with market shrimp on a Carolina rig,” he said. Tites was a boat launch located at the foot of the Hwy 11 bridge (Trestles).

As the years passed, Hines purchased his own boat and continued to learn more about catching speckled trout at the Trestles, albeit with minimal success. “I can remember making a trip with my friend and we caught a two-man limit; he caught 48 of them to my 2,” he joked. As the years passed, Hines continued fishing the bridge and slowly learned the nuances of catching speckled trout at the bridge. “Fishing the Trestles was tough! Sometimes the specks liked a fast retrieve, and other times they liked it slow. Sometimes they were on the pilings and other times they were way off of the bridge,” Hines said. “It took me many years and a lot of patience to learn how to fish that bridge.” These days, Hines has kids of his own whom he’s started teaching his technique of fishing the Trestles.

On his latest trip, Hines made an afternoon trip to the train bridge. Hines instinctively began checking off boxes on the list of everything he’d learned throughout the years. He started with the winds. “The Wind Finder App showed the winds blowing 10-15 knots at Hopedale, but only five knots on Lake Pontchartrain,” he said. Hines then made a call to a local marina to check on the winds. “The marina confirmed that the winds were at five knots on the meter,” he said. Next on the list was the tide – Perfect! The tide chart had the tide in Lake Pontchartrain falling all morning.  He then made a few calls to various marinas to find out which businesses had live shrimp. After picking up the live shrimp he launched his boat and on the ride out observed the water temperatures on his electronics. “The water was 64 degrees,” he said. ​

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Their first spot was the draw bridge located on the northern side of the bridge. Hines picked up an undersized black drum and a few catfish. Then the seasoned angler decided to find cleaner water. “On a scale of one to ten the water was about a six so I knew we had to move,” he said.

After moving to the southern end of the bridge, they started to catch trout.  At one point Hines heard his son scream, “I got one!” He peeked over his shoulder to see his son’s pole bowed over and Billie reeling franticly. “When I saw the fish break the surface I knew it was a nice trout,” he said. Hines grabbed the net and scooped up the trout. The fish was 16 inches long. It was the biggest trout the six-year-old had ever caught. After a few pictures and some high-fives were exchanged, the team got back to fishing. As the excitement settled, there was a span of silence for about 5 minutes. Billie then cast out and turned to his father and said, “Dad – I am the Trout Master!”

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Keith Lusher is an award winning outdoor journalist that resides in Covington, Louisiana. He owns and operates NorthshoreFishingReport.com and writes a weekly outdoor column for the Slidell Independent Newspaper. He also writes for the St.Tammany Parish Tourism Commission's VisitTheNorthshore.com. He is the former host of The Northshore Fishing Report Radio Show and is on the board of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association. Keith contributes to numerous publications both online and in print and prides himself on promoting South Louisiana’s unique fishery. To contact Keith email: keithlusherjr@gmail.com