Banging the Drums North of New Orleans with Early Summer, Light Tackle Action
Updated: Feb 24
Here’s a little video I put together of the fun we had in early June 2018 catching black drum near the L&N Train Bridge where The Rigolets flows into Lake Borgne just northeast of New Orleans. We were using live bait (shrimp) and light tackle – really light tackle for the size fish targeted.
You had to be patient with these bigger fish and let the rod and the reel’s drag do their work.Ten pounders pull like champs, 26 pounders – such as the one my grandson works in the video – can spool you if you don’t have the drag set properly and carefully retrieve line when the fish takes a break. Then, there are the fish that just have their way with you and your gear, such as the two that broke my 14-pound monofilament line above the leader. It's possible to hook into black drum exceeding 50 pounds where we were fishing. I wish I could’ve seen those fish that got away.
We caught the tail end of the falling tide and then fished a few hours of the incoming. Local experts say you usually have the best fishing when you can catch the start of the outgoing tide just at daybreak, similar to most tidal fishing areas. Check out this video and then check out the story at http://www.fredericksburg.com/sports/outdoors/.
If you want easy access to New Orleans plus nearby quality fishing, Slidell makes a great base of operations. We stayed at a Marriott TownPlace Suites in Slidell, which was great because it had a full-size refrigerator, dining table and more.
I’ve now fished twice with charter captains in this area. This recent trip was with Capt. Kenny Kreeger of www.lakepontchartraincharters.com). An earlier October trip was with Capt. Mike Gallo (www.lasaltwater.com/captain/mike-gallo). These guys know the best time to visit to catch redfish, boatloads of speckled trout, hard-fighting black drum and more. Once you decide to call it a day on the water, ask your guide if any shrimp boats sell direct to the public. Sometimes you can catch a boat just after it finishes sorting its shrimp. I bought 20 pounds, at $2 a pound, of mostly medium-sized shrimp.
I love Louisiana's food, people, tremendous outdoors activities, diverse sites and scenes in New Orleans, and the many festivals and good times in the communities west and south spreading into Cajun Country. Be careful. It’s easy to overdose on the fun. For the full rundown on all to see and do in St. Tammany Parish on Lake Pontchartrain’s North Shore (where Slidell is located), see www.louisiananorthshore.com.