Hardheads and Baby Reds

Joey Drone asked 1 week ago

Been catching a lot of hardhead catfish and itty bitty reds lately, along with just one or two keeper trout and reds. What does it mean when you are catching a lot of catfish? Am I close to getting on trout or bigger reds or am I completely doing it wrong? I am mostly using live or gulp shrimp under a popping cork. Have tried jigging matrix shad and some suspended bait as well with little success. Leeville/Grand Isle area, March-May. Thanks.

3 Answers
Captain Devin Staff answered 7 days ago

If you’ve caught five hardheads in a row it is time to go. It’s as simple as that. Go somewhere else, there are no speckled trout or redfish biting there.

If all you’re catching is rat reds, then that’s probably all that’s there. It’s time to go to your next fishing spot.

John Kesler answered 1 week ago

You just have a much higher chance of catching those pesky catfish on live bait and gulp because catfish really draw into the scent they put off in the water. Just got to keep on the move looking what you’re after. Catfish are always going to be a byproduct of a good successful day on the water.

My theory also is that hardhead catfish are far more prevalent in the waters we fish in and across the gulf coast because there is no market for them so they just get tossed back ready to be caught again. Imagine if our speckle trout fishery was as robust as the hardhead fishery! lol.

I think we should put a bounty on hardheads like we did nutria to put the population in check at the same time we tighten up the regulations on speckle trout like we did with Redfish. Look at how the redfish have rebounded in LA. I watch Devin’s videos and he always talks about how the fishing use to be. Him and I are the same age and I can attest, our fishery just isn’t what it was 10-15-20 years ago.

Joey Drone answered 1 week ago

Appreciate the response, John! Very helpful.