Trouts tacos for the win
My wife’s family came in town and wanted fish tacos for dinner. As a red fish tournament angler, I don’t eat redfish, so I had to find trout, black drum or flounder.
As many of you know, fishing reds is a totally different style and technique than fishing trout, flounder and drum, especially with artificial baits. When fishing reds, you are in 2 feet or less of water, the shallower the better. When I fish for flounder, I fish over 2-foot-deep in potholes bouncing the bottom and slow rolling paddle tails and buck tails. When I fish trout, I fish flats and drop-offs 3 feet or deeper, jigging stick baits, jerk shads, paddle tails or mirrodines by Mirrolure.
My son and I re-rigged the rods and headed out for flounder first. I prefer mixed mud bottoms or just mud bottoms when fishing flounder. We arrived at a bayou with mixed mud bottom that I have had good luck in the past with flounder on rod and reel; normally I go at night and gig them. I threw a saltwater assassin sea shad on a 3/16th eye strike trout eye, and my son threw a trick shot worm on a 1/8th ounce pro elite head. We worked around the bayou from 5 feet deep to 2 feet deep casting potholes, ledges and just grass. We caught small trout and lizard fish. We could see a storm off in the distance and decided to make a move for trout.
We went to a flat with mixed bottom in about 4 feet of water with a good moving current. We deployed the power pole where the boat would turn and half the boat was facing the ledge and the other half of the boat was facing the flat. I threw and hooked up a small trout. Jake Wright threw and hooked up a small trout. We continued this pattern until we found some size, Jake landed a 19-inch trout and I landed a 16-inch trout. The strikes started getting harder with a lot of short strikes; it was lady fish. After about the fifth lady fish, which were fun to catch but don’t feed the family, we loaded up and moved to the next flat.
We got to the flat, set the pole the same as previous, and began casting. Jake worked his bait a little faster covering the upper column, as I worked a little slower and covered the lower column. We caught trout on every cast, a lot small with some 16- and 17-inch trout mixed in. We started catching ladyfish again and decided it was time to move. We had seven trout in the live well and needed 3.5 pounds of cleaned trout for the recipe, and we had a storm moving toward us on the horizon.
We talked about it and decided to try one more spot before heading in and beating the weather. The next flat was about 2 miles from our current location. We had never fished it before but it was about five minutes from the landing, so if the weather turned for the worse, it would be a short run.
This flat didn’t have a distinct ledge and gradually dropped off. We poled down at the 3.5-foot-deep mark and began fan casting, since it was overcast and we couldn’t see anyway. The first few casts returned nothing, and then we hooked up with an 18-inch trout. We spent another 35 minutes at that flat, lifting the pole, drifting 25 yards, and poling back down to catch a few small trout here and there. It was time to head in before the storm hit, and the bite had died down anyway. We had eight trout between 15¼ and 19 inches, which equals a bunch of 1- to 1.25-pound trout.
We got to the house, cleaned the boat, cleaned the trout, and weighed the fillets to see if we made the 3.5-pound goal for the recipe. We put the fillets in a Walmart bag and weighed them; we brought home 3.59 pounds of filleted trout for the amazing fish tacos my wife made.