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The rock piles along the beach, 126x96(Note:) Since the writing of the article there is a project ongoing at Grand Isle to place these rock piles all around the island, this is going to place some fine fishing structure all around the perimeter of Grand Isle. Species of fish that use these rock piles as cover and structure include Speckled Trout, Redfish, Black Drum, Sheep Head and others.
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"What'ch call this fish"

Pookie and his Channel Mullet, 300x225

There was a small splash as my slide rig with a 1/0 hook tipped with a small piece of shrimp hit the water about 8' from the moss covered rocks located just off the beach. We had anchored the boat and we were lined up just about dead center on the Grand Isle water tower, "Click Here for a map cutout showing location". Almost at once there was a tap, tap on the rod and a quick straightening of my 12lb line on my small spinning rig. I raised the rod quickly and set the hook into a scrappy little fish that was doing his best to get back to his rock pile. My plan was on its way to success, I wanted to catch a mess of the finest table fare fish located in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ricky and his oldest brother Pookie had invited me to go fishing with them on an early morning fishing trip. The plan was to fish for Speckled Trout using live Croakers along the rocks on the Gulf side of Grand Isle. Reports were that the trout were just stacked in this area. Pookie is the proud owner of a camp he had just purchase a few blocks from Ricky's Motel and parked there was a brand new 19' Key West center console boat that he was the showing off, and it was going to be a fishing trip with style. This boat is probably one of the most versatile boats you can buy for an all purpose boat, It has enough free board to go offshore if you want, and it draws only 10" of water which makes it ideal for the marshes. I know this boat; I used to own one in Florida and loved it.

Several years ago Ricky and I took a few day off from work and headed down to Grand Isle and the plan was to do some offshore fishing and whatever other kind of fishing came to mind, weather allowing. There was only about 16 units to the motel at this time. Ronnie Lemoine, a friend of Ricky's happened to be off from work that week also. Ronnie is a river boat captain and his wife Carol is the manager of Ricky's Motel. Ricky says "Ronnie, you wanna come along, we've got plenty of room", Ronnie says sure and that set the trip members. We launched Ricky's 19' Center Console Cajun bay boat at Cigar's Marina, loaded the gear, and headed out of Caminada Bay. It didn't take long on this first day of fishing to realize that we were not going offshore in this shallow draft bay boat, the seas were just a little too rough, this required plan "B". Ricky had reports from some of the local trout fishing guides that there were huge trout hanging out around the rocks piles along the beach up towards Fourchon, "Click Here for a map cutout showing location".

Click the picture below for larger views.

The rock piles along the beach

These rock piles, were placed by the Corp of Engineers for beach erosion control, they are easily recognizable because most are made of old barges that were filed with large rocks, blown up and sunk at intervals along the beach. They make excellent fish habitat for such fish species as Speckled Trout, Redfish, Croakers, Sheep Head and especially Channel Mullet. "These rock piles are the same type we were fishing at on Grand Isle at the water tower". There is a Corp of Engineers project going on now placing rock piles all around Grand Isle. These rock piles are for erosion control but they are going to be great for the inshore fishing.  Ronnie was sitting up front of the boat and had on a small rig and was the first to come up with a Channel Mullet and he immediately began to talk of the prime eating qualities of this fish and he was getting a strong vote from Ricky also. This was my introduction to Louisiana's Channel Mullet and now I'll introduce them to you. In the next couple of days while we were waiting for the Gulf to lay down we caught an ice chest and a half of these fellows and they were the tastiest fish caught the whole trip.

Pookie holds his Channel Mullet for a closeup

Click the thumbnail to the left for a blowup of the Southern Kingfish, Channel Mullet, Ground Mullet, whatever you call it, they are a fine fish, scrappy to catch, and fine on the table, Well; that's what they look like, below we'll tell you how to catch'em.

 

Channel Mullet are said to be lazy fish and hang out around sandy and muddy bottoms, they like to hang out in the surf along the beaches and feed on small crustaceans such as sand fleas, shrimp, small crabs and the like. To catch them a small hook in the 1/0 range will do just fine. These fish are a blast to catch on light tackle. I like to take a 1/4 oz egg sinker and slide that on my line and then place a split shot sinker about 8" to a foot above the hook. This keeps the egg sinker off the hook and allows the line to run freely through the hole in the sinker. I have found this rig helps me to feel the bite better and the fish doesn't feel the whole weight of the egg sinker. I bait the hook with a small piece of shrimp and that will get the job done.

I also like artificial lead head jigs with a plastic grub and then I tip that off with a small piece of shrimp just to sweeten it up a bit. Bump this along the bottom slowly and the Channel Mullet will take this bait readily.

This fish is found all along the beaches at Grand Isle and if you don't have a boat and don't mind getting wet, just wade out in the water as close as you can to the rock piles and you will have no problem catching a mess of fish to fry. They are caught off the pier at the State Park also. There are places to park along the beach side of the road close to the water tower, just cross over the levy and go fishing.

As to eating; I like to take these fish and fillet them with my electric fillet knife, batter them in corn meal and fry till brown and I promise you will agree it is one of the best tasting fish you can catch.

Good Luck Folks

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Ricky's Motel & RV Park
1899 Highway 1, Grand Isle, LA 70358
Phone: 985-787-3532
Email: info@rickysmotel.com

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