Capt. Chris Bush of Southern Salt Charters has been putting together impressive boxes of trout in record time by fishing soft plastics on deep ledges in coastal rivers and bayous ranging from Ocean Springs all the way to Bay St. Louis.

"As temperatures begin to drop, the fish will start getting deeper" Bush said. "I like to focus on stretches of bank with steep drops, going from 2 to 12 foot of water, 2 to 3 feet of the bank."

"Once I find an area that looks good, I drift it twice - once with the tide, then once against. Once I get a bite I put my Stick It anchor pin down and start whacking 'em."

Bush's 8-foot Stick It Anchor Pin is the perfect length for fishing bayous 12 feet or less, he said. The guide has a short length of rope attached to the anchor pin with the other end tied off to a bow cleat, and when he's ready to anchor the boat he simply picks up the anchor pin and throws it like a javelin straight down.  The Stick It holds extremely well in wind or current because of its flexibility.

The key to finding productive areas comes down to map study and time on the water. Go to Google Maps, zoom in on a bayou, and look for the transition from light to dark water close to the bank. This generally means there is a sharp drop close to the bank.

Deep ledges adjacent to run-outs or drains tend to be the best.

"The bait will get into those cuts with the high tide and warming temps between cold fronts, and then when the tide and temperatures drop so does the bait" Bush explained.

Although most rod-and-reel combinations will work for deepwater jigging, Bush is very particular when it comes to his tackle for a very specific reason.

"Most bites this time of year are very subtle," he said. "About a third of the bites I get this time of the year I don't even feel.  Most of the time I feel either my line go slack, or my line will start moving. When you feel either of those, set the hook. The light bites are a result of less-aggressive fish coupled with the deeper water."

To feel the light bites or that "bump" he is so fond of, Bush uses a Castaway Skeleton 6'-foot, 5-inch medium-light saltwater casting rod, an Abu Garcia Revo S spooled with 15-pound Vicious Offshore line tipped with a jighead.

He uses a 5/16-ounce jighead in depths up to 15 feet, switching to a ⅜-ounce jig in water deeper than 15 feet.

"I use a 5/16-ounce jighead about 90 percent of the time because it's lighter than a ⅜-ounce (version) but is still heavy enough to get to the bottom," Bush explained.

The soft plastic of choice is a shrimp creole Matrix Shad. However, he will switch to an avocado, magneto or lemon head as conditions dictate.

Editor's note: Bush can be reached through his Web site.