John's Journal...

More Fishing at the Speckled Trout Capital of the World- Hackberry Rod and Gun

Fan Casting

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: The first week in June, I fished at the Speckled Trout Capital of the World – Hackberry, Louisiana, located on Lake Calcasieu. In 2005, Hackberry was destroyed by Hurricane Rita. However, in 10 months, with a lot of hard work and sweat, it was restored. Today, it’s better and stronger than ever before and home to giant speckled trout, big redfish and plenty of medium-to small-sized fish. This week, we’ll take another look at fishing in Hackberry. Kirk Stansel, one of the owners of Hackberry Rod and Gun, a guide service in Lake Calcasieu, was my guide at Lake Calcasieu. Click to enlargeAlthough the weather was extremely hot (mid-90 degrees with high humidity), I was cool wearing my new Under Armour fishing shirts and shorts. Under Armour’s HeatGear Performance Polos wicked moisture away from my body to keep me dry and provided ultraviolet protection from the sun’s intense rays. The Guide Shorts had mesh venting for coolness.

Question: Kirk, we left the lodge this morning a little bit before daylight and stopped about 30 yards from shore where you told us to fan cast in different directions. Now, most people will cast to the shore and retrieve back to the boat. Why don’t you recommend that style of fishing?
Stansel: When you’re fishing on a rising tide, the baitfish mClick to enlargeove into the shoreline, so the speckled trout and redfish also move in closer to the shoreline. However, on a falling tide, like we were fishing this morning, the baitfish pull away from the shoreline, so the specks and reds move out away from the shore to follow the bait. This morning, we’ll cast to the shore, but most of the time, we’ll be casting away from the shore. The specks and the reds have moved away from the shore toward deeper water, following the bait.

Question: How far off the bank do you usually catch your big trout on a falling tide?
Stansel: They often will be 50- to 100-yards away fromClick to enlarge the bank, feeding on the baitfish. So, we cast away from the shore toward the middle of the lake. The redfish often will be holding closer to the bank on the falling tide. The redfish are more-structure oriented, and they often will feed right up against the shore, even on a falling tide. That’s when you see the redfish tailing in shallow water. Most people never think to cast away from the bank. But any time I have a group of people fishing, I’ll ask at least one of my anglers to cast out in open water away from the shoreline.

For more information about Under Armour’s cool summertime clothing, visit

To learn more about Hackberry, go to their web page at, or call 888-762-3391.

Tomorrow: Fishing Slicks


Check back each day this week for more about "More Fishing at the Speckled Trout Capital of the World- Hackberry Rod and Gun"

Day 1: Night Fishing
Day 2: Fan Casting
Day 3: Fishing Slicks
Day 4: Bank Fishing for Speckled Trout and Redfish
Day 5: Hackberry – A Great Place for a Family-Fishing Vacation



Entry 409, Day 2