For the Best Trout Fishing, Follow Your Nose

The simple tip every Southern angler should know

Photo: Public Domain

A spotted seatrout.

Seasoned speckled trout anglers on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast know that early summer offers some of the finest fishing in the South. They also know to keep their noses to the wind for the faint smell of watermelon. Yes, watermelon. When schools of trout go on a feeding binge this time of year, they’re known to eat with such abandon that they regurgitate and keep chowing.

The resulting mélange of their previous meals—fish oil, blood, and guts—imparts a melon-like aroma and a sheen on the water’s surface. Encounter one of these bingeing schools and to get in on the action, you can toss just about anything at them from topwater plugs to live bait. From there, it’s usually straight to the pan, where you can simply plop the trout fillets in a bath of hot oil or take a more culinary approach with something like trout amandine. Either way, the fishing is fine and dinner is even better.