Early May’s speckled trout fishing much better than same time last year _lowres

Photo provieded by JOHN BLAKE Avid Baton Rouge coastal fisherman Michael Montalbano shows off a 24-inch-long speckled trout he took from waters near a platform in Lake Pelto in the coastal waters of Terrebonne Parish in extra-calm winds and seas after a late-October cold front. When conditions allow during the fall and winter months, reefs, structures and platforms in Lake Pelto and Lake Barre hold hefty specks that will take large soft-plastic lures and hard-plastic jerkbaits.

Oh boy! Duck season is here.

Make that oh boys and oh girls, because the youngsters get the first shots at the migrants Saturday and Sunday. It’s youth-only day Saturday in the state’s West Migratory Zone — the second youth-only day will come Jan. 24 — while young hunters in the state’s Coastal Zone will have both Saturday and Sunday in their blinds.

Youth-only days are for the 15-and-younger set, and they must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult.

Daily limits for these special days, and for the entire 60-day duck season is six ducks, which includes no more than four mallards, only two of which can be hen mallards, along with three wood ducks, three dos gris, two redheads, two pintails and one each canvasback, mottled duck and black duck.

Since the season on rails and gallinules doesn’t open until Nov. 15, these birds cannot be taken this weekend.

The succession of cold fronts, the two from last week and the two scheduled in here this week, have pushed lots of birds to the coast. From reports, most of what the youngsters will find are teal and gray ducks, although there have been some sightings of pintail and a few mallards, and there are some resident, hard-to-decoy mottled ducks.

While the cold fronts have heightened the anticipation of wild waterfowl hunters, it’s been vexing to fishermen, especially to the folks heading to the coast who found lots of dirty and rough water on their last weekend trips.

Not in the Spillway

The same didn’t happen in freshwater, and locals Gene David and Garrett Kemp made the most of their Friday-Saturday run in the Fishers of Men District 6 championship out of Berwick.

After the Ascension Parish team of Steve Gullotto and Harold Himel set the curve with 15.26-pound Friday, David and Kemp won nearly $3,000 first-place money with a 14.62-pound second-day stringer to add to 12.76 pounds they brought in Friday. Gullotto and Himel dropped to eighth after bringing in three-bass and 7.26 pounds Saturday.

“We worked canals on the north end ... we fished the Henderson area ... it’s an area we fish ’cause it’s near the house,” David said from his New Roads home. “We scouted the (Spillway’s) south end, but the water was messed up. We knew north winds were coming and that would help push some of the high water out.”

The combination of a falling Atchafalaya River and northerly push from two cold fronts dropped water levels as much as a foot in Henderson.

“It was just a gut feeling that the water falling and the cold front might work in our favor better up north than on the south end,” David said. “And everything went right. When you make a long run like we did, everything has to go right.”

David said the bulk of their 27.38-pound total came on a black/blue jig-n-pig and a chartreuse-white Baby Doll spinnerbait. The veteran team of Sandy Gaudet and Winston Michel finished second at 26.72 pounds.

The win sends David and Kemp to March’s Fishers of Men Nationals on the Harris Chain of Lake in Florida.

Back to the lake

Sam Barbera and Chris Macaluso reported speckled trout were feeding hard at the Pontchartrain bridges this week.

Tuesday, Barbera said two limits came from the 8-12 mile range from the North Shore on The Causeway and were blasting G&H’s Slammin’ Sammy and Gulp! camo Jerkshad . He said he caught a giant blue catfish, too.

C-Mac said trout tore into plastics Wednesday afternoon at the Trestles.