Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 41, No. 1 - Page 32

Calcasieu Lake (Continued from page 13.) reefs and soft mud draw in plenty of reds and trout, plus this area constantly receives warm, Gulf water during incoming tides. This influx of warm Soft plastic offerings will do the trick, too, and they work best when paired with a light jig head. Poe suggests using a 1/16th ounce jig head during the winter months. “This ultralight set-up sinks slowly to fish, such as bridges and industrial wharves. “We cruise along from light to light around the piers and bridges,” Flowers explained. “At night, we mostly use cut bait for reds, but we also bring live bait. We’ll throw a shrimp or cut mullet out and fish it on the bottom.” Some people fish live shrimp on unweighted lines and hold the shrimp in the light near the surface. Others throw topwaters or other noisy lures. Soft plastics in pearl, white or “glow” colors also work exceptionally well at night. As the sun goes down, sometimes the fishing action goes up for anglers who have “seen the light.” Guides Contributing to Article: Angler Up Charters - 850-450-3878 A-Team Fishing Adventures - 251-661-7696 Cat Hunters, Glenn Flowers - 850-418-9280 Destin Inshore Guides - 850-502-9170 Back Bay Adventures - 850-819-5829 Team Brodie Charters - 228-697-7707 G CF Winter Wading Tips (Continued from page 14.) saltwater helps the flats along the south shoreline of West Cove to retain heat, even during freezing temperatures. The mouths of bayous near the weirs in the southeast corner of Calcasieu Lake are some additional big time hot spots during the winter months. Lambert Bayou and Grand Bayou are two of the best areas, and the fish are most aggressive in these locations during outgoing tides when water is pouring out of the weirs and into the lake. When approaching any of the previously mentioned areas, Poe says he is going to focus on three things during the winter—water clarity, bait, and current water temperature. “If I’m in an area with clean, salty water and a lot of baitfish present, I’m going to be confident that I will catch fish in that location,” he elaborates. “When water and air temperatures are warm, I’ll plan to fish shallow mud and shell flats as well as look for birds. When water temperatures have dropped after a cold front, I’ll concentrate on deeper water over soft mud in areas of the lake that are holding water temperatures a few degrees warmer than the rest.” The best wintertime bait presentations mimic mullet. Plugs like the Corky Original and Corky Fat Boy are hard to beat, and so is the Unfair Lures Rip-N-Slash. MirrOlure’s 52MR and 51MR series of sinking twitch baits are go-to wintertime staples as well. 32 GULF COAST FISHERMAN and gives the bait a fluid motion that will draw more strikes from lethargic fish in cold water temperatures,” he says. An effective way for anglers to plan a trip and learn how to approach the winter hot spots mentioned on Calcasieu Lake is to pick up a detailed chart of the area. Hook-N-Line Map F118 reveals all of these locations and their general GPS coordinates. This chart also details where boat ramps are located. For anglers traveling from the west side of Big Lake a good place to launch a boat is Spicer-Hughes Marina in Hackberry, Louisiana. If anglers are traveling from the east, they have the option of launching at Hebert’s Landing south of Lake Charles. It seems wintry weather is here on the Gulf Coast, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up the fishing gear and wait for spring to arrive. There’s a gem in southwest Louisiana awaiting anyone willing to endure the elements and make their next on the water memories. Temperatures may be cooling down, but the action is heating up. It’s all happening on Big Lake. GCF Red Zone (Continued from page 22.) big catches. Boats often run from dock to dock, but show some courtesy. Don’t approach too closely to a dock with people already fishing on it. Boaters can also find other excellent lighted places What to Wear While Wading It is almost impossible to utilize the patience necessary to consistently catch monster trout if you are not comfortable. This is especially true for wade fishermen, who will be spending the majority of their time partially submerged in cold water. Both neoprene and breathable waders can provide the necessary insulation to keep waders warm. However, the most versatile approach is to layer warm clothing under breathable waders. This allows fishermen to easily shed layers later in the day if necessary. It also allows anglers to more easily detect temperature changes in the water while wading. Additionally, fishermen should wear firm-soled wading b oots while wading during winter and spring because most wading will be done over soft bottom, which is often filled with shell. Hard-sole wading boots will not only help protect anglers from sharp shells, but will also lead to less fatigue after wading softbottom areas. Keep Equipment Monster Ready Big specks are renowned for their ability to come unhooked during a fight. Anglers don’t want to make the difficult task of landing a monster speck even more difficult due to equipment malfunctions. Equipment used to tangle with trophy trout should be kept in impeccable shape and fully functional. Frequent line changes for those using W W W. G U L F F I S H I N G. C O M