No municipality ever put in a bridge thinking it would be a great fishing reef. Taxpayers fund bridges simply to provide means of getting over travel obstacles.
But bridges could hardly be better designed for attracting fish. They provide vertical relief throughout the water column, offering current breaks where hungry predators can sit in comfort, waiting to ambush hapless prey swept along by the tides.
But that doesn’t mean all bridges attract fish at equal rates. Some are better than others, and one of the most productive in North America is the train trestle that crosses eastern Lake Pontchartrain, connecting the tracks of St. Tammany Parish with those of New Orleans.
Every spring and fall, “the Trestles,” as it’s known colloquially, produces thousands and thousands of speckled trout, as well as black drum, redfish, flounder and sheepshead. It’s close to large population centers, so the bridge gets heavily pressured, but always seems to deliver this time of year.
To get in on the fun, Capt. Justin Bowles, Chris Macaluso, Sam Barbera and I took advantage of some excellent weather conditions on Veterans Day to hit the bridge for the first time this season.
We found speckled trout of all sizes, including some pushing 4 pounds, as well as black drum, redfish and flounder, and had an absolute blast doing it. Hot bait of the day was an avocado-colored Matrix Shad fished on a 3/8-ounce Deathgrip Jighead.
Although we left from Bowles’ boat slip on Salt Bayou, the bridge is easily accessible from marinas at Dockside, Rigolets, Bayou Liberty, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou.
Check out the video for all the details.
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