Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 40 - No. 4 FALL 2016 - Page 7

by David A. Brown BRETON ISLAND A BUNDANCE Enchanting Island Allure Complements Fantastic Fishing I t was nearly a year to the day that my group fished Breton Island. Same crew, same island, just about the same exact area; but two very different trout bites. This enchanting island at the southwest end of the famed Chandeleur group sits about seven miles east of the Mississippi Delta’s Baptiste Collette Pass. A fickle destination requiring favorable winds out of any delta port, Breton beckons anglers with ample history to encourage eager visits, but just enough vagueness to infuse the journey with uncertain anticipation. “It’s unpredictable; it can stay good for a while, but it can also be hit or miss,” said Capt. Ross Montet, who guides out of Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras, LA. “You can go out there one day and do really good and the next day, not catch a fish.” On the upside, Breton has definite home run potential. Last year, the trout wanted the baits like good barbecue — low and slow. We figured that out when Capt. Montet turned to address one of my questions about the fishery and inadvertently dead sticked his bait. When he subtly resumed his retrieve, an immediate bite bespoke the preference du jour. This year, the trout were crushing our baits as soon as they hit the water. The menu included a mix of Z-Man Swimmin’ TroutTricks and DieZel MinnowZ on 1/8- to 1/4-ounce Trout Eye jigs and Mustad Shad Darter jig heads. We threw a handful of different colors and the specks showed only one preference — a peppy pace. Backing up the premise, we tossed Live Target Scaled Sardine twitchbaits in violet/ green and gold/black patterns and drew aggressive bites early in the descents. Montet described this diversity as par for the course on Breton Island. No doubt, flexibility benefits the angling effort, but so does a general understanding of relevant factors. DETAILS AND VARIABLES Sweet Spots: Montet’s fellow guide, Capt. Joe DiMarco looks for the tide-worn furrows flanking Breton. This is where trout tend to gather for movement and feeding. “Use your depth finder to locate the troughs,” he said. “They act like little channels that guide the bait and the predators. “Those troughs have little humps that deflect the current as it runs through these deeper spots. It may only be a foot or two difference, but those predators will sit there and use those humps as feeding spots because they redirect the water and the baitfish.” Tide: The incoming cycle washes cooler, oxygenated water close to the island; a point most important during summer’s swelter, when soaring temperatures turn the shallow surf into bathwater. Fall sees cooling conditions, but rising water still benefits the shallows by virtue of the fact that it moves bait and pursuing predators closer to the shoreline. Anytime you can use a hard edge like a sideline, it helps you narrow the playing field and stay on schools of fish. (Continued on page 14.) Reached by boat or seaplane, Breton Island is a destination that can present famine or feast from day to day. Photos by author. Capt. Ross Montet and Joey Prochazka with trout from a morning’s wade. OCTOBER • NOVEMBER • DECEMBER 2 0 1 6 7