I’m having a hard time comprehending that we’re already almost half-way done with 2017. It’s crazy to me how quickly it’s going by. I hear that as you get older the years go by quicker, and that definitely seems to be the case.

So as stated in the last “preview” post, I hadn’t visited a particular area of Cocodrie since some time on the fall (maybe?) of last year. It’s an area that I’ve almost always had success with redfish. And since I’ve spent so much time beating the banks for bass this Spring, I figured it’s been time that I shift my focus back to what I’m decent at; catching redfish.

I met up with my coworker, Max, at around 6:15 at our put-in. After launching we both headed in separate directions. I knew I was going to try out my spot that I simply refer to as the pond. I also had some new (to me) ideas that I wanted to try for a video. I wanted to mic myself using a sound recorder and lapel mic. I figured I’d later sync it up to the GoPro footage – the cameras were set-up with one in front of me, and the other behind (my typical angle).

As we started out, I stopped at a few small ponds right off of the main channel. There were wakes all over these ponds. Lots of them were mullet, but a few were from predator fish. I picked up my first of the day in that area… a 24″, 4 lb. redfish. I ended up catching several throughout the day that were of similar size.

It wasn’t until I had gotten to the pond before I started casting again. Note: I’m spoiled on sight-casting. The day became a sight-fishing fest. First free-lining a white and chartreuse Vudu Shrimp, and then swapping out to a Buggs Flats Bugg when they started getting real skittish around noon.

Of course, the highlight of the trip was the “HOLY MOLY” moment. I spotted a red cruising shallow and headed right towards me. I made one cast and it was on. I quickly realized that the fish was quite a bit bigger that I’d thought. After a few minutes of fighting the thing, I brought it boat-side and netted it. That’s always when the realization of the size hits you. It was 32″, which is the largest I’ve caught in that area. I’m not positive, but I think it weighed around 15 lbs.

I also caught the smallest one of the day nearby…

They Got Spooky…

After 12, they started getting really spookable. That’s when I swapped up to the Flats Bugg. After getting a few rejections, I saw two reds cruising together. Even when the fish are finicky, seeing a couple of reds together can be good. They’re pretty greedy and even when all the other fish were spooking, casting to two reds that are swimming together can cause them to compete over the lure… I tossed the bugg out in front of them and gradually worked it back, swimming it right through the two of them. They both went for it.

As that fight was starting, I got a little confused and was visually following the wrong one. That is, until they split and I realized I had the other one.

As I was coming close to “quitting time”, I started searching hard for one last catch. As I came up on a few sets of rocks, I noticed one just quietly staying against the rocks. I casted the bugg and dropped the lure right in front of him. If I hadn’t been watching him, I’d have had no idea that he took it, it was that subtle.

All-in-all it was a good, fun day. I hoped to get back there yesterday, but I overslept (story of my life). The next trip will take me a slight bit further east and to some prep time for the next Redbone Club tournament. Until then…

The Honey Hole

It’s been a while since I visited this particular area of Cocodrie. Maybe six months or so… But I headed down and met up with Max and his brother, Jesse, and wasn’t disappointed…

I’ll post the full report and pictures from the trip soon enough.

Remember back in November when Jameson and Brooks from JK Media House came down to do some filming? Well, the full video was just released and it is awesome!

I’ve been on a bass fishing kick lately. I enjoyed seeing Iaconelli’s new show, Going Ike. In the first episode of this new series, he fishes with Louisiana native and Elite Series pro, Cliff Crochet. This is one of the better fishing shows I’ve seen in awhile. Entertaining as well as informational to an inshore dude trying to bass fish, haha!

For a lot of kayak anglers in South Louisiana, tournament fishing is a big deal. We’re a competitive bunch. Maybe some not quite as much as others, but we like putting ourselves to the test. When I was first getting started with kayak fishing, tournaments were something I wanted to do, but I was a little intimidated and didn’t want to fail miserably. Now I know. It is competitive to a degree, but it’s also about camaraderie and learning.

Eddie and Lisa Mullen, owners of PAC Kayak Rentals and Oak Point RV Campground in Pointe Aux Chene have started a pretty cool tournament that’s very laid back, and easy for new guys to get involved with and not feel intimidated. This is the PAC Redfish Series.

The series lasts a full year starting in February, and ending at their tournament, The Polar Challenge, the following January. Each month, competitors are given one of five designated days to fish the tournament. If you cannot fish any of those five days, every competitor is given five “hardship” days for the year.

In February, I missed a chance to fish the tournament during the designated days so I had to use a hardship day. I paddled out a little ways and as I was getting to my spot, a thunder storm started rolling in and after a few minutes and checking the weather, I decided it best to get back in before conditions got real nasty. Unfortunately, I ended my day with a big fat ZERO on the leaderboard. All of the Pack & Paddle crew were scattered in spots 2-15, and I was bringing in the rear near last place. I’ve had a crummy start to tournaments this year. End Part 1 of this entry.

Part 2:

This month I didn’t have to use a hardship day. I fished this past Monday. when I got to the launch, Eddie and Lisa informed me that my coworker, Max, was also fishing and had headed out early that morning. I set off and felt a little bit more serious than I normally do about tournaments. I had a game plan and planned to stick to it (I’m bad about deviating from my fishing plans).

I headed south from Eddie’s, hitting the oyster beds and the shelf that borders the main canal. I picked up a smallish (2.5 lb) red along the canal as he was coming around a point. I saw shrimp popping, then a subtle wake. I pitched a spoon and a few moments later, he was in the bag.

I made my way further down the canal and into some marshy areas. The water was low in the morning and I put a few new oyster scars in the bottom of my kayak. As I was pushing myself through the mud in this broken marsh, I see a red with it’s back out the water coming towards me. I pitch my favorite redfish lure to him, a Buggs Curl-tail Jig. He inhaled it and as you can see in the title image, it was down his throat a little ways. Into the bag he went. This one was a little bit bigger, around 25 inches and 4.5lbs. I needed three fish and I was hoping for two more studs.

I picked up anchor and moved around another corner where I found another two reds working a shoreline. Neither one looked too big, but were an easy target. Again, I put the Bugg to work and again, another fish was bagged. This one was about the same size as the first. I now had the three fish but could still catch another two, so I’d start focusing on size.

I took a quick second to get acquainted with where I was in the marsh, trying to read Google Maps through the glare on my iPhone screen.  I started making my way back to the main canal where I found birds diving. I headed towards them and picked up and released a quick dink trout and then moved on.. after all, I’m looking for redfish.

I paddled about another mile to an area I know has a few grass beds. The main bed I wanted to fish was blown out by the wind, but there were a few beds protected within some marsh islands. Immediately, I started seeing some action from some nicer sized fish. I thought, “I should’ve come straight here.” I started sight fishing, slightly fighting the wind in the process. I just got a new rod specifically for pitching Buggs to reds and I got another opportunity to use it. It worked out nicely. Another decent red weighing around 4.5 lbs. Definitely not the preferred size, but I’d take it.

By now, it’s mid day. I’m not seeing quite as many reds but did pick up another red near the same size. I let it go hoping to catch a bigger one or at least another around a similar size. I already had my tournament fish but was hoping for one more stud to finish my limit and give me a good weight to weigh-in. While I did see a few more nice reds, I couldn’t get any to bite. They were either spooked or about to spook when I’d notice them. After about another hour, I headed back, picking up small reds along the way.

Oh yeah, there was also this Moon Jellyfish, though it looks like a washed up plastic bag… but it’s definitely a jellyfish.

I also noticed a lot of Comb Jellies in the water in certain areas. These aren’t uncommon. I see them all the time. They’re small with oblong bodies and tiny luminescent lines on their bodies. Pretty cool to see. Signs like Moon Jellyfish and Comb Jellies, and even sting rays are pretty good salinity indicators. I would gather that if you see those types of creatures, the water has to have decent salinity.

I don’t remember my exact weight. I think it was somewhere around 13.64 lbs. If nothing else, it did give me something on the board and put me right in the middle of the pack as it currently sits. We still have 10 months to go, and a lot can change in that span. Until next month, PAC Redfish Series!