Fun Day in Hopedale

Our friend, Merriam-Webster defines fun as: “what provides amusement or enjoyment.” He also define’s the word, challenge, as “a difficult task or problem.” To say that this past Saturday’s fishing trip in Hopedale, Louisiana was a challenge, would be somewhat of an understatement. To say that I had fun and enjoyed every minute of it…well let’s just say I can’t wait to go back!

For any of you who know me personally, you will know that I am driven by challenges. I thrive on them and I jump at the chance to come out on top and defy the pundits. It goes with my teaching and it also goes with my fly fishing. Saturday morning looked on paper to be a stellar day of fishing. The weatherman predicted sunny mild temperatures with light winds. Well he got it right for a change 🙂  Allow me to backtrack a little.

First of all, I’ve been wanting to make a fishing trip with a buddy of mine who is in Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club. Chuck (Snake Doctor on our forum) is an avid kayak fisherman who loves fishing with a fly rod. In addition to being avid fly fishermen who fish out of a kayak, we actually share a lot more in common. Chuck has earned his Ph.D. and is an educator (he teaches at Tulane University). We ended up placing first and second in this year’s Massey’s Outfitters Catch, Photo, Release tournament. Oh, if you’re wondering, he earned first place and I earned second. Anyway, after many futile attempts to fish together, we finally found a day that worked for both our schedules and the weather wasn’t going to stop us this time. The plan was for me to meet him at his selected launch site in Hopedale at 8 AM.  As I was nearing Reggio, I noticed people walking on the side of the road swatting in the air. It hit me right then that they were swatting at the most pesky creature that God has put in our Louisiana marshes, the hated no-see-ums. These gnats (biting midges) can swarm by the thousands and can be so bad, that you will actually leave fish biting and take shelter! I find that deet products and skin-so-soft are not effective on these creatures. The best defense is gloves, a hat, a buff, long sleeved shirts and pants, and Victoria’s Secret Amber Romance, which you have to keep reapplying all day. As I type this, I am trying NOT to scratch all those bites I received.

When I met Chuck at the launch site, I realized that I had left my buff at home. Thank God, he had a spare. After unloading our kayaks and applying several doses of Amber Romance we began our paddle to the marshes of Hopedale. We were greeted with very low water and poor water clarity. We found some moving water and bait but the predator fish just weren’t around. Chuck caught an 18 inch redfish while blind casting in a cut that led to a sizable duck pond. Speaking of duck pond. We spooked about 300 ducks from that one pond and they were all puddlers, mallards, gadwalls, and teal! What a beautiful site as they got up and circled us and fussed at us for  interrupting breakfast. We decided to paddle a bit further away from the trucks (we probably covered 6.5 miles) to find some deeper, cleaner water.

From 8 – 10:30, we were attacked by hoards of gnats. Finally at around 10:30, the wind started to pick up and that provided some relief from the bugs but it was making poling around searching for reds all the more difficult. While Chuck and I share a lot of things in common, I noticed that we have two distinct styles of fly fishing from our kayaks. He spends most of the time sitting and has the patience (which I lack) for doing a lot of blind casting. Although he is blind casting, he does it as an experienced angler because I watched him hit little cuts and pockets time and time again. I spend most of my time standing and sight casting for redfish. It combines my love for hunting with fishing. Anyway, I don’t think I saw my first redfish until around 10:30. With the poor water clarity, I found that I spooked a lot of fish. By the time I would see them, I couldn’t get my anchor pole down in the water and my fly rod out in time to make a cast at them before being busted.

Just when it looked like I was going to get skunked, I saw a commotion ahead in a shallow inlet and there was a monster redfish patrolling an area about 30 feet away from me. Great. It hadn’t seen me. I was able to get my park ‘n pole in my scupper hole to anchor my kayak and keep me from drifting up on the fish. I made a perfect cast about two feet in front of it and it attacked with vengeance. I watched as it flared its gills open to eat the fly and in my excitement, I set the hook way too hard. Let’s just say that redfish was able to wear some jewelry in the form of my gold spoon fly for the rest of the day. 😦  After tying on another spoon  fly and spooking a few more redfish, I came across another fish that was unaware of my presence. This one was moving away from the bank and toward deeper water when my fly intercepted it’s path. It slammed the fly and the next thing I knew, my line was tearing through drag. After a 10 minute fight and one heck of a sleigh ride, I landed my best redfish of 2016. It was a perfect “tournament” redfish…very fat and measured right at 27 inches. If I had been fishing a tournament that fish would have shrunk in an ice bath and would have been 26.9. Well, it was that fish’s lucky day. All I did was put a tag in it and sent it off on its way to go make babies. I did get a couple of pictures though.

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Big one of the day!

 

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Going to be an upgrade to my Massey’s CPR tournament

By this time, Chuck had made it around to me and he told me that he had caught two redfish and a bass. There were some clean pockets of marsh in the area we were fishing and we figured that there wouldn’t be any areas worth paddling to that morning that would be more promising than where we were. Then it was like someone switched on a light. Within five minutes of our conversation, I located another cruising fish and I was fighting a 20 inch redfish. From about 12:30 to 1:30, I sighted another 9 fish and was able to cast to three. The largest of those had it’s back out the water about 30 away from me. My first cast ended up about 5 feet in front of it. Oh, did I mention that the wind had picked up to about 10 mph by now? Well, I thought my errant cast would work to my benefit because the fish was heading to my fly. I let it sit there as the fish neared. Then I lifted it off the bottom to get its attention but it had turned around and was heading back away from my fly. I cast to it again but this time, I put the fly right on its back and I was busted!! I did manage to catch a 24-inch redfish to close out the day.

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24 inches

Five redfish between the two of us fishing only with fly rods is not a bad day at all. We both missed fish but that comes with the territory. Sure we could have caught more numbers in the murky water if we had brought along spinnerbaits but that’s no challenge.  On the paddle back to the truck, Chuck apologized for our lackluster day but I told him I had a blast. Some days, it’s all about the challenge, and that, my friend, is MY definition of fun!Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 9.12.01 PM

 

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It’s almost “That Time”

It’s almost my favorite time of year to chase redfish and speckled trout down in the south Louisiana marsh. From about mid October until mid December, the shrimp migrate to inside waters and the predators follow them. Additionally, a series of cold fronts pushes water out of the marsh leaving cooler, shallower water which in turn makes spotting feeding redfish a lot easier task.

A quick look at last year’s blog entry from the same weekend showed that I was able to catch a limit of redfish in the Bay Laurier area. I was hoping the conditions this Saturday would be similar. Alas, the weatherman messed up the forecast and instead of 5-10 mph winds, I was greeted with 10-15 mph winds nearly all morning. The water was also unseasonably high, very dirty, and there was very little tide movement. I saw a lot of baitfish and an occasional jumpy shrimp but I didn’t see any predator fish except for a few sheepshead. I did manage to catch my first sheepshead of the year, a 19 inch beauty.

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It’s always fun to fool one of these with a fly!

I was able to then catch a small redfish while blind-casting over an oyster bed.

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10 inch redfish ate the spoonfly.

I finished the morning around noon with an interesting story. I was fishing a stretch of water that has been real productive for me in the past. I push-poled my way around the lee side of the marsh and didn’t see anything except mullet and baitfish. I then decided to check the windy side. By now, there were white-caps in nearby Bay Laurier and the wind was pushing me rather quickly down the side of the marsh. As I rounded one point, I saw a redfish cruising the grass line and then quickly noticed that he wasn’t alone. It was a pod of about 15 redfish!  I was so close to the edge of the marsh grass and the wind was pushing me toward them so fast that they literally swam right into the bow of my kayak before I could grab my fly rod. They quickly spooked and I waited around for them to regroup. Sadly, they never regrouped. I continued to work the windy side of the large duck pond I was in and I saw something that looked like another nervous mullet. This one, however looked a little suspicious, so I stuck my park n’ pole in the scupper hole and waited. A couple of seconds later, I realized it was another pod of redfish. These were a lot smaller in size than the other one I spooked. I made a great cast, considering the wind, and placed my gold spoon fly about three feet in front of them. I waited until they were about six inches from the fly and I made a short strip. Wouldn’t you know it, a small redfish out hustled the larger slot sized redfish in the pod and ate the fly. I put a tag in it and released the 16 inch redfish to fight another day.

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Last redfish of the morning.

Although it wasn’t a very productive day, I did learn a few things. I saw a few reports form others who caught fish further inside (Golden Meadow). The water there is considerably cleaner (more grass to filter the dirty water). The fish just aren’t quite ready in the Laurier area just yet. In another week or two, it should be dynamite though! I hope the wind can only cooperate.

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The One That Got Away

I usually don’t post reports about poor fishing. To be honest, I usually have good days on the water and I don’t think a report about a bad trip is usually a good read, but I assure you this one is. Spoiler alert! I did battle with Redzilla on the fly rod. Redizilla won! Read on if you dare!

First of all, let me make it clear that it wasn’t a bad day of fishing. The weather was good, light winds, sunny, and hot. I had a chance to take my brother and one of his sons fishing for redfish and specs this weekend. My brother now lives in Atlanta and doesn’t get to fish our marsh very often. With the tropical system that passed through earlier this week, I had my suspicions about how the fishing would actually be. Would the water still be very high and muddy? Would the tidal surge have brought in more bait? I contacted many of my fishing buddies to get a report from Friday and Saturday’s fishing and the reports didn’t look promising. The only good fishing I heard about was in Delecroix and I had never fished there before. Thus, I wasn’t going to take a couple of inexperienced kayak fishermen to a place I didn’t know well. I opted for an old faithful spot near Bay Lanier. I had caught redfish there a few weeks ago and I knew there would be some grass to clear the muddy water up a bit.

We got there bright and early and paddled out to one of my more promising spots. Right away, I saw a couple of big swirls working the banks. We cast to them multiple times; my brother and nephew with spoons and myself with my fly rod. We got no hits at all. Even more surprising was there were no redfish in the grass. Just three weeks before, there were hungry reds in the grass feeding on shrimp and baitfish. I didn’t see one fin or blowup at all for a half hour or so.

We left that spot and headed out to fish some other promising water. During our paddle, I spotted a couple of shrimp jumping out the water near the bank ahead. I stopped paddling and placed my gold spoon fly a foot ahead of the commotion and I was hooked into my first redfish of the day. “This is how it’s done,” I chimed. Wow, I must have jinxed us all. We proceeded to fish the rest of the day and not land another fish. My brother and nephew never got a bite. I actually hooked up on three redfish but two broke my tippet and one got away while I was fooling with my camera.

It’s the last one that made the day memorable for me. In the past, I’ve seen and done battle with what some of us call ‘redzilla.’ Redzilla is the Moby Dick of inshore bull reds. On my paddle back to the car, I spotted a small tail sticking out of the water near a marsh bank. I knew the area had oysters on the bottom so it always was a promising spot. However, I originally thought that it was only another of the thousands of mullet that we had been seeing all day long. As I got closer, I was able to make out the telltale pumpkin-orange color of a redfish. I stayed seated in my kayak to keep my presence less noticeable and started casting my gold spoon fly toward the fish. From this far away, I estimated the fish to be a slot redfish but nothing really big. After a few casts that were clearly rejected by the fish, I decided to stand to get a better view of my adversary. That’s when I noticed how big the fish really was. Yep, it was redzilla! It looked like a submerged submarine out there! I must have been putting the fly over its back and it hadn’t spooked it! The fish looked like it was sunbathing in a foot-and-a half of water. Of course my knees started shaking as I cast several more times. The first landed too far away from it. It slowly turned away from me and my next cast sailed too far out in front of it and my line was resting on its back! I just knew that I was busted and it would spook. I slowly stripped but it casually turned again to my right and never saw the fly. Now the fish was facing me and I presented the fly to it like I would a carp. I put my fly three inches in front of its nose and I let the fly wobble down to where it could see it. Strip ever so slowly…slowly…slow. Bam! Fish on! At first, I don’t think it even knew it was hooked. It kind of lumbered off, taking me on a slow sleigh ride with it. When it finally figured out that it was hauling a twelve-foot kayak and a fisherman with it, it got angry and slammed around to my right. It circled the kayak once and I winced as I tried to maneuver my fly line around my other rods behind me. I thought about calling my brother to tell him that if he was near me, this was going to be quite entertaining for the next 15 minutes or so. I dared not lose my concentration so I didn’t pick up my phone. Then the redfish started coming toward me. I stripped frantically to get back my line and banged on the kayak to keep it from going under me. It veered again to my right and I thought it would circle me again. Then it took off to my left like a rocket. I have seen videos of guys fishing for big game fish where you see the fish jumping about 20 yards away from where you see the line. Redzilla didn’t jump, but the wake from its explosive run was about 20 yards ahead of my line. I didn’t know what to do but hold on and my line sliced through the water. There’s a cool feeling I get when I see my drag working on my reel. The fish is stripping line out. It’s still on. My reel is doing its job! Excellent! Well, when that run ended it started back toward me. Again I stripped frantically because I couldn’t reel the fly line in fast enough. I probably had nine feet or so of line in my lap before the redfish slowed and turned away from me. I let it take more line out on its next run and to my dismay, my fly line got tangled around the handle on my reel. NNNOOOOOOO!!!! Without much effort, it broke my tippet!

At first, I was so mad. What an idiot I had been. I hate losing fish! After I settled down, however, a peaceful calm came over me as I thanked God for the opportunity to battle such a worthy adversary! I estimate the fish to have been well over 30 inches and probably 15 pounds or so. As for you Mr. Redzilla, we will meet again. We will do battle again. I’m sure it will be epic, but you better bring your “A” game because Musicdoc won’t make the same mistake twice. J

School’s Out. Time to Fish!!

Now that school is out, I’ve finally had a chance to get down to the Louisiana coast. I joined my good friend and colleague, Neil Borel down at his camper trailer in Grand Isle for a couple of days. As my luck would have it, the wind was blowing 10-15 for the first two days I was there.

Day 1: I went my own way and fished an area where I knew there would be grass to filter the dirty, wind-blown water. I wasn’t disappointed in the amount of redfish I saw. They were smashing baby shrimp in thick grass. The only problem was, I couldn’t get a weedless fly in that grass. The score for the morning was redfish 4, Doc 1. I did catch a nice redfish on my trusty gold spoon fly but I had two others break my line on my bait caster and I lost two more on flies. It seemed like a comedy of errors as I decided to run a ribbet frog across the weeds. I can’t tell you the last time I used my bait caster and that was the problem. The line on it was probably a couple of years old. The first redfish that inhaled my frog popped the line at the tie in point. Later that morning, I had one break off with about 20 yards of line. I tried to grab the line in the water but wasn’t successful.

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Day 2: I fished with Neil and even bought some live shrimp (Neil’s favorite way to fish for specs). I didn’t catch a single trout all morning. The water was very dirty and I only managed a couple of hard-head catfish. I did pole around for some redfish and saw some big bull drum that were tailing over some oyster beds but they weren’t interested in any I was chunking.

Day 3: The wind finally died down. We were hoping to be able to fish the gulf side of the island but it was still too windy so we opted for the back of the island. I caught my first speckled trout of 2015…on live shrimp. I ended up with 5 keeper trout and Neil caught 8

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I had fun and was able to catch enough fish for a couple of meals.

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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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Red, White, and Blue Independence Day Fishing

My wife and I joined my cousin and her husband at their camp in Dularge for a weekend of relaxation and fishing. After a late start Friday morning (July 4th) I paddled my kayak to some marsh within 10 minutes of their camp. There were already two boats with fishermen in them anchored in the canal when I arrived. I paddled into the grassy flats where the big boats couldn’t go and was greeted to the explosion of a hungry redfish as it angrily ate my frog popper. This frog popper was patterned especially for this area with its hook facing up, because of its thick vegetation. After a nice sleigh ride, the fish got lodged in a thick chunk of salad and I knew it was going to get off. But, I was lucky and landed a 29-inch redfish.DCIM100GOPRO

Now, normally I would release a fish this big, but the long fight and the time out of the water taken for pictures had the fish entirely spent. Plus, I had brought along all the ingredients to make a ceviche and I knew that this fish was going to easily feed the six of us staying at the camp so into the cooler it went. 

I caught two more that morning and had another beast of a redfish break my tippet. All the other reds were caught while sight fishing with my gold spoon fly. Oh, and I caught a small marsh bass on the popper too. 

Three redfish that morning…Red

Now for the White…Did I mention I brought limes, an onion, jalapeĂąos, cilantro, a cucumber, tomato, watermelon, and chips for ceviche? Well, after the redfish cured in the acid (lime juice) it produced a beautiful, fresh, white meat that was delicious with the chips. Everyone enjoyed that ceviche as an appetizer for supper Friday night and there was enough left over for for lunch on Saturday.

Now, the blue…I went back out to my spot Sunday morning and I skunked 😦 I actually enjoyed my morning as I saw various marsh birds, gallinues, bass, a huge marsh turtle, numerous garfish, sheepshead, alligators, AND REDFISH! I must have spooked a dozen redfish in two hours of push-poling my way through the flats. I was being extremely stealthy but the minute I would raise my rod tip to cast, the redfish would high tail it out of there! 

On a good note, my son joined my cousin, her husband, and their 20-year-old son on an excursion to Lake Mechant Sunday morning and came home with 9 nice redfish and three flounder. My son’s flounder must have weighed close to 4 pounds! Oh, and the chinquapin bite that has been going on over here…well it’s ended. I did manage to catch and release 4 this morning in a new spot in the lower lake. Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 3.25.45 PM

 

 

Grand Isle – Feast or Famine

I joined fellow teacher and colleague, Coach Neil Borel, down in Grand Isle for a couple of days worth of fishing. I heard the water had been beautiful last week and the fishing was good in the surf on the island. Well, of course, that would all change if I went down there 🙂

I got a somewhat late start (left Baton Rouge at 5 AM) but was on the water in my kayak a bit north of Grand Isle in a new area that I wasn’t familiar with. The water was high and still rising but disturbing to me was the visibility was not very good – maybe 6 – 8 inches at best because I couldn’t see the tip of my bright yellow paddle in the water. The marsh was full of bait (mostly mullet) as I stood up and push poled my way through what looked like very “fishy” water.  After about 20 minutes I spooked something along the bank that was not a mullet. The huge torpedo-like wake was a telltale sign of what was to follow for the next 30 minutes or so. A short distance later and the morning stillness was shattered by the sound of something big crashing bait up against the bank. I spotted the redfish and noticed that it was moving parallel to the marsh grass. I quietly paddled in an effort to intercept its path but I lost the darned thing. Not a problem, because about 70 feet ahead of me was another larger commotion on the edge of the marsh. This time the reds were heading toward me. I think there were about three of them in a pod which seemed to be nosing themselves in the marsh grass, which would send shrimp scurrying out into the open where they would be picked off by the hungry redfish.

I made a well-placed cast of one of my gold and pink spoon-flies and bam, I fish on! While I was fighting the 24-inch leopard red (it had 10 spots), I noticed that the pod kept going down that stretch of marsh, so I took a mental snapshot of the direction they were heading while I took a snapshot of the pretty redfish I had just landed.

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After I iced my first fish down, I was quickly on another redfish. It measured in at 16 inches but I was still noticing several larger-sized fish working the area. So, I quickly put a tag in it, released it and continued my stealthy search for the other reds. That’s when I noticed that the area suddenly went quiet. It was like someone turned a switch on…or off in my case. I push-poled my way further down this little stretch of marsh and noticed that it was a dead end canal that got very shallow and there was grass in it. Remember, the visibility was still quite bad but in this ultra shallow water I was mesmerized by the sight of a large stingray. I curiously cast my spoon-fly in front of the stingray to see if it was interested. I definitely didn’t want to hook it…only see if it was interested in the fly. Well it wasn’t but what else came curiously by was another nice redfish. It passed me up and didn’t see me. After a couple of excited, bad casts, I was able to get the fly in the classic two feet ahead and two feet above eating zone and watched the bronzed beauty flare its gills and inhale the fly.

Now this is where I usually have to report on my fishing report about how I set the hook too hard and the fish broke off…no, NOT this time! I’ve learned to be patient, to make a short strip set, and then let the fish take off before really sending the hook-point “home.” Five minutes later and I had another 24-inch redfish in the box.

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The morning bite stopped and I think I saw only one more redfish or two (both were spooked and I didn’t even get to cast a fly at them). I did notice some gulls diving quite a bit away from me in a large bay so I decided to make that paddle over to them. I tried a topwater popper on them but not takers. I noticed that the gulls were eating small shrimp, so I switched flies to a chartreuse Charlie under a VOSI. On my third cast something big annihilated my strike indicator!  Two seconds later and I had a big fish on. I never saw the fish but when I got my fly back to me, I saw the tell-tale fish slime that meant I had had an encounter with a sail cat. I caught and released 6 undersized speckled trout before deciding to head in.

Neil and I decided to fish the Gulf side of the island by the rocks the next morning. After waiting out a rain shower we got an unusually  late start. Neil fished with live shrimp and I brought my bait caster and a fly rod. It wasn’t until around 11 AM before I got my first fish, an undersized trout on the Charlie. I continued to catch a few specs here and there and a frustrated Neil decided to call it a morning after catching a dozen nasty hardheads. I was contemplating a good lunch and an air-conditioned camper when my strike indicator (VOSI) went down. This time, I could tell that it wasn’t a “dink” trout and I was right. The trout circled my kayak before I netted it. It was a 16 inch fish and it was an upgrade to my Massey’s CPR Tournament. Image

I couldn’t catch another speckled trout over 12 inches so I decided to call it a morning a little after noon. I went out later that afternoon to make an evening trip but I got “skunked.”

I can’t complain though, because I had a wonderful time on the island with a good friend. It seems that every weekend is a “rodeo” weekend and this weekend was the Creole Classic Fishing Rodeo. There were plenty people around, plenty of food, drink, music…and, well you get the picture. I wasn’t going to be able to make the three-hour drive back home Friday night. 🙂 I got up early Saturday morning and made the trip home, making a brief visit with my mom and dad for coffee and conversation. Perfect!Image