Warm Water Fishing is Good Fishing

Again, we had storms move through our area (tornado warnings and everything). Once I got the debris cleaned up and put the icing on the year which has been a productive one at school, I finally got on the water to chase some willing warm water species. The bream in the local ponds and lakes have been hungry and are easily fooled on a chartreuse fluff butt under a VOSI. I even got a few bass this afternoon that were willing to eat a fire-tiger popper. Most of the fish are being caught on the fluff butt though. I even kept a few big 9-10 inch bream for the frying pan.

On a sour note, I sprained a tendon in my fighting elbow at school (really poor decision on my part to try to move a loaded soda machine to plug in a wire by myself). I’ve been having a tough time trying to fight some of the big bream and bass with my elbow. Anyway, I am looking to get down to the coast to target some redfish and speckled trout, but if my arm doesn’t get any better, I will have a heck of a time trying to set the hook on any big girls that may be interested in my flies. Oh well, I may have to rest it for a couple of weeks. :(  In the mean time…lots of ice and therapy hopefully will do the trick.

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A little bream fishing

Well, the weather has been bad. We’ve had torrential downpours and it has really cut into my fishing time. I am blessed to have a couple of lakes in my neighborhood where I can make a quick trip when the weather clears and that’s just what I did the day after Easter and today after work.

The Monday after Easter provided me an opportunity to fish for bream for a few hours and I caught over 50 bream on a fluff butt under a vosi. Although most were the micro variety, I did manage three nice red-ears that were over 9 inches:DCIM100MEDIA
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The weather got ugly again but I managed a nice bass before I called it quits.

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Today, we got another downpour during the day but the skies opened and the sun shined bright as I made my way over to the lake again today after work. The fishing was slow. I couldn’t get a single bass to hit my popper. I did, however get into some schooling bream that were hitting on a tiny #10 popper. I saw one of the neighbors catch a big chinquapin on a worm and I switched back to my fluff butt. I proceeded to catch 10 chinquapin (red – ears) that were over 9 inches. My buddy and his wife saw me and asked if I was keeping fish. I told them no, not thinking I was going to catch 10 of them. Well, I’ll give them a rest and go after them another day. They were very fat…the kind I like to fillet. I tell you they are the best eating fresh water fish too. The meat is just as white as sacalait but it’s a bit firmer in texture.

I took some video but only snapped one picture of one of the smaller ones.

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Spring Break, 2015

It’s been a very busy spring for me at work. I enjoy what I do, so I’m definitely not complaining, but it has limited my fishing this year. No worries, though, because I’m blessed to have friends who have fishable waters in their back yard who allow me to escape for an hour or two when I get the chance. These waters have been very productive this year and have given me lots of action on my fly rod!

I made a quick trip to my cousin’s this past Thursday and was able to land 13 bass (lost about 4 fiddling with my camera), and a nice stringer of 10 crappie (sacalait) and bream (chinquapin). This is my last “hold out” spot for sacalait and I usually am able to catch a few during the Easter break each year. The sacalait really weren’t in full swing yet but I did manage to boat 6 that will be visiting a skillet of hot grease very soon. All the bream and sacalait were caught on a black and chartreuse fluff butt under a VOSI. What was really surprising to me was the number of bass I caught on the fluff butt. Of the 13 bass I landed, I probably caught 10 of them on the fluff butt. The three others were caught on a fire tiger popper. These were also the largest bass (most over 14 inches) I’ve caught to date, with the largest measuring at 17 and-a-half inches. You’ve got to love the bass spawning season! I hope to get out again before my trip to Orlando next week.

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Large Fish of the day
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These will make a good fish fry soon!

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Bass Bonanza

Now that the sacalait season is just about over (I have one more last ditch hope to pick up a small mess of the beautiful white slabs of goodness), my thoughts have turned to catching bass on my fly rod. I hooked a very nice bass a couple of weeks ago while targeting sacalait and I caught another nice one that swallowed my strike indicator and I actually foul-hooked it when I pulled the strike indicator out of its mouth. I also saw small bass feeding on tiny dragonflies and so I realized that the fish were looking up. I think my favorite way to catch fish, other than purely sight fishing for them is watching them hit a topwater popper.
I decided to make a couple stops after school to get an hour or two of fishing in-between having to fix supper and take care of school paperwork. On Monday, I managed to catch 4 bass in the neighborhood lake. On Wednesday, however, my trip to a friend’s backyard pond yielded 27 bass between 10 – 13 inches. Even though they were small, there were tons of fun. In fact, I scored a trifecta as I was able to catch a big fat catfish, the bass, and several bream. That will have to hold me for a while but I do plan on making one last trip to catch a few sacalait (crappie) to make one last fish fry before Easter.

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Testing the Waters

It’s pretty hard to believe, but prior to today’s trip, I haven’t caught a redfish in 2015 :(  The weather finally cooperated…well somewhat, and I had a good yard pass (my wife was in Galveston). So I loaded the kayak on top the old suburban and headed south.

I had so many options. Should I fish a new spot (Delecroix)? Should I fish Dularge? How about the Highway 1 corridor? I chose the latter but as I was nearing my destination, I then wondered, “Should I should fish Golden Meadow, Leeville, or the Bay Laurier area?” I again chose the latter because I would be targeting redfish and the sky looked clearer the further south I drove. The weatherman predicted winds from 5 – 10 mph, but I guarantee you it was 10 -15 for most of the day. During one part of the morning I paddled through white caps in the bay. It was a bit treacherous but I didn’t have far to go. I hunkered down, keeping my center of gravity low and made it through dry. The morning was beautiful. The temperature was very comfortable. The sun peeked out for a couple of hours early but at around 8:30 or so, the cloud/haze mix put a huge damper on any sight fishing I had planned to do.

I tied on a couple of spoon flies, some new colors to try (again, a great day for testing the waters and some new colors). First, I used one that I made that was gold on the bottom side and pink on the top. The other was what many in the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club have dubbed the “black spoon of death.” Well, at least it was the fly fishing version of the BSD.

I probably went an hour and a half before I saw a redfish that I could cast to. The wind and rains of the previous week had stained the water up and I found that I wouldn’t see the reds until I was right up on them and I spooked two or three before I was able to cast to one. I was really getting kind of frustrated when I saw the tell-tale sign of an angry redfish feeding in a shallow duck pond. I made one cast to it and stripped my spoon pretty fast, to avoid getting caught up in the snot grass. When that red saw the spoon, it attacked like an angry pit bull. Five minutes later, I netted my first pumpkin of the year, a 23-inch beauty.

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No sooner had I snapped this picture, than the cloud/haze sky kicked in and the wind picked up. I covered a lot of ground, looking for redfish but the fish must still be in their cold weather pattern. I did see some mighty nice sized crabs along the way (looking good for crab season this year) and a bunch of stingrays. Any day on the water is a blessing and today didn’t disappoint because there was plenty wildlife to watch. I actually think I saw two stingrays mating. A smaller one looked like it was attached to the large one (female, I presume). I also saw a pair of dolphin feeding in about a foot of water.

Well, I guess it was around two-o-clock before I was able to make a cast at another redfish. Actually, I did some fruitless blind casting to some cuts and points but didn’t get any hits. I found some clear water (lots of widgeon grass to clean it up) and I saw a redfish crash some bait on a point. He saw me and he spooked. After his initial run away from me, he slowed down a bit and I was able to put a lucky cast right in front of him. I say lucky, because remember, the wind is blowing over ten mph right now. I did have a little protection in the broken marsh I was fishing but it was a real challenge trying to hit a target with the fly in that wind. The fish ate, made a couple long runs, and then spit the hook. I was not to be denied though because about ten minutes later, I got his buddy to eat the BSD (Black Spoon of Death) and I landed another great-eating-sized redfish at 21 inches.

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You can just see the black spoon in his mouth. I had to edit the picture to get it bright enough because the cloud cover didn’t give me a good picture at first. I fished for another couple of hours and was able to spook a few more redfish. They were there but not in the numbers I had seen in the fall and early winter. Overall, it was a great day on the water. With the new daylight savings time hours, I didn’t have to wake up as early as I normally do so I’m not exhausted. I think the fish are starting to get on their spring patterns. In addition to the large crabs, I saw tiny shrimp jumping in the marsh. Soon, the speckled trout will be making their migration south to spawn. You’ve got to love our fertile estuary!

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