Top tips for trout success

The first step in catching specks consistently is to pay attention to what’s going on around you, Capt. Zutie Auenson said.

Auenson shares how he stays on fish

A person can’t successfully charter fish for 28 years without accumulating a bag of tricks. Zutie Auenson, who fishes out of Grand Isle, La., is no exception. Here are some of his favorite tactics to stay on trout:

I’m always looking around when I’m fishing,” Auenson said. “Shrimp don’t jump for nothing. Something is making them jump.”

  • Look for currents and eddies when you are running along the beach, especially where a current is running from the back to the outside.
  • Clear water is good, but you can still catch fish in murky, even dirty, water. Unlike plastic lures, live croakers make noise. That betters your chances.
  • Always look for feeding birds when fishing on the beaches.

“Don’t fish under small ‘liar birds’ that are always dipping and diving,” Auenson said. “Even if you are a live-bait fisherman, keep a rod rigged with plastic for fishing under birds.”

  • Trout will not be found on a whole reef. They are in 20-foot spots — at most a 40-foot area. Fish are in tight spots.

“Boats stay too long in one place,” he said. “If in 15 minutes I don’t have an idea that the fish are there, I leave. I don’t stay a half hour.”

  • When you use live bait, hold your rod straight up, and then lower it to set the hook. During the retrieve, keep the rod tip up, not to the side like a bass fisherman.
  • Anchoring when using plastic is a waste of time. Use a trolling motor.
  • Remember how you were successful yesterday.

“A lot of what I do is repetition,” Auenson said. “If I catch fish somewhere today, I go there tomorrow. If they don’t bite there, I go where I caught them recently. All good fishermen do that.

About Jerald Horst 47 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman. Jerald may be reached at

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