An Inactive Summer.

I just realized that I haven’t made a post since early June. Sorry to anyone who may keep checking back from time-to-time. The honest truth is that I haven’t been doing a whole lot of fishing this summer. That’s been kind of a let down, but I’ve had things to keep me busy.

Since my last post regarding the PAC Redfish Marathon Series, I’ve fished with my boss, John, at a honey hole of his where we were watched by alligators but caught quite a few really beautiful reds. They were soo dark! I also fished LKFC’s annual July tourney, the LA1 Slamboree. This has become a tradition for Karl and I. We fished the same area we fished the very first year we participated in this tournament (2013). We had a great time and though we didn’t place, we did catch a lot of fish. This includes my personal best redfish in a kayak. I didn’t have a scale to accurately weigh the fish, but it measured 36.25″ and ended up holding the top redfish position in LKFC’s online CPR tournament. This doesn’t win me anything, but is still pretty cool.

I’d been hoping to get back out on the water soon, but had to hold off due to the high tides and storm surge Hurricane Harvey brought in. In my area of Louisiana, we didn’t receive too much bad weather from the storm. As is the case with most of us here in the south, we’ve seen the effects of flooding and have likely been affected by it in some way. We’re no strangers to hurricanes and violent storms. But it tears me apart inside to see peoples lives turned upside down like what’s happening in Texas right now. We’re doing what we can from home, and we’re praying for South TX and SW Louisiana.

To lighten up the mood, here are some photos of the few trips over the summer…

June Trip with John (Undisclosed Location)

Here are some highway pics of the sky (because I’m gonna be THAT guy!)

LA1 Slamboree

Eclipse Photos (because it was the coolest natural event of the summer):

Can’t really tell in the photo, but the light outside was strange… weird shadows… also the crescent shape of the shadows…

And lastly, my son… because life ain’t complete without him… and neither would this post… (yes, I’m THAT dad!)

In the rear-view, looking through his binoculars

playing in the rain

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Ok, so I didn’t post a part 3. That day was kind of a dud. I had one fish for around four pounds. Moving on…

I headed south from PAC Kayak Rentals, staying along the edge of the main canal until I started nearing some marsh near the pipeline intersections. I threw a Spook Jr. for about 10-15 minutes around that area, with a Bugg worked in along the bank here and there. I picked up a little trout (12.5″) on the Spook, but didn’t stay much longer in that area. I headed further south to some larger areas of marsh. Max was also out in the same area and had already caught a few reds. The water was high and dirty, so I spent my time blind casting.

It didn’t take long before I hooked up, but it was a rat red. I left the interior marsh ponds and fished the outside edge of the marsh. As I was drifting, something caught my attention from out the corner of my eye. I look down to see a small shark, probably around 3.5-4′. I’m not a shark expert. It initially looked like a blacktip, but as I’ve been looking them up, it could’ve been a spinner shark. Anyway, it kinda came under my kayak and then turned and swam away. If I did hook a red in the area, I didn’t want the shark to take advantage of the situation, so I moved on.

The further south I went the dirtier the water got. I did near a cut where I spotted some nervous water. I tossed my Bugg into the area, expecting a possible red or at least to cause mullet to scatter. Instead came another trout. This one a little bit nicer at around 16″.

After a while without having another bite, I decided to head to the area I’ve had the most success over the past few months. I don’t know why I don’t just start there. It was a little ways away and probably took me about 30 mins to get there. The area has a lot of submerged vegetation and I was hoping that even with the water high, that the grass would help the water clarity. It did!

After fishing the area for a few minutes, I started spooking reds over some of the grass flats. They were average, mid-slot sized – but at this point I’d be happy to take them.

After drifting a large flat and spooking a few, I decided to circle back around and hopefully get a second shot at a few of those fish. That ended up working out. I caught two of my three required fish on that drift. One was about 24″ and 5 lbs. The other was small, about 18 or 19″. I kept on to another inlet and started looking for grass. I turned my head and noticed a really nice redfish cruising right against the bank. I pitched my Curl-tail Bugg about 5 ft in front of him and as soon as it hit the water, he launched at it.

Not long after, my alarm went off. It was 2pm. In my mind, I needed to be back at the marina for 3pm for weigh-in. I made it with about 10 minutes to spare. That’s when I realized that the deadline for weigh-in wasn’t until 4pm. Had I fished for another hour, I’m pretty confident that I could’ve upgraded the small red.

This month was a bit tougher for a lot of the competitors, and my weight of 13.18 lbs for the month, was OK. I’m still making up ground from the poor start back in February. The summer months will be tough for a lot of people, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

SWE: Out Of Touch

Man… Shallow Water Expeditions makes some awesome videos! This is an older one, and I may have even posted it before, but it doesn’t hurt to post it again. So good!

I’ve been following Scott Myers for a few months now. He’s the author behind BayouChronicles.com. I really dig the layout of his site, and he’s a professional photographer, so that bleeds over onto the blog as well. He’s got a great article on sight-fishing, and his trip reports have a rundown on the conditions, and the tackle he used. I’ve done something similar, but I’ve been inconsistent providing that information. I’ll try to do better. But anyway, Definitely give his site a look if you enjoy reading this kind of stuff!

Here’s a video he posted a couple of weeks ago. Hope you enjoy!

I’ve become lazy as far as being an angler goes. I was thinking about it the other day…

When I first got into kayak fishing back a few years ago, any opportunity I had to be on the water, I took it. It was to a fault. Tracey couldn’t get me to do anything because I was always fishing. It was literally every weekend with Karl and Andrew going down to PAC. The good thing about that time was that regardless the weather situation, we were gonna figure out how to fish in it, or if it was bad enough, we were going to wait it out before hitting up the water.

The bad thing about gaining knowledge is that it can spoil you. Back at that time, I’d never check a wind forecast… I’d only check to see about thunderstorms. As I learned about all these different charts to watch the weather with, I started going out less and less if the chance of rain was higher than 60% or if the winds were blowing heavier than 15 mph. While it’s true that those conditions are less-than-ideal, days like those are what help you become a better angler.

Please note: I’m not talking about fishing in a thunderstorm. Be sensible. Be smart.

Unless the winds are insanely bad, I’m trying to not let the wind dictate when I hit the water. The day that I met up with Trey and another friend, Keith, was a day that I’d might have stayed home. I’m glad I didn’t though.

I met them at 6:15am. I didn’t realize how bright it already is at 5:30am this time of year. It made us all wish we had headed out a little bit earlier. We were hitting up an area of the Pointe Aux Chenes area that I haven’t fished very much. Trey had been there about a week prior and saw a lot of redfish. I had a Redbone Fishing Club tournament coming up in that area so I wanted to use that day to scout the area out. We knew it was potentially going to be a pretty windy day, luckily there’s a lot of marsh to help shield you from a south wind.

We started the day by heading south to an area Trey had fished the week before. It was quite a slow morning. Anchors and stake-out poles were a big help in the less than ideal wind. There were a ton of baitfish, mostly mullet, in huge schools swimming all over the area. Certain pods of mullet just looked like a sea of little faces right on the water’s surface. It took a while before I even saw a red, and when I started to, they were very easily spooked.

Trey and I kinda fished near each other the majority of the day. It wasn’t until around 11 or 12 that Trey landed a nice 25 incher. I still hadn’t hooked up yet.

It wasn’t until later in the day that we made our way to a levee that was giving us some wind protection. It was here that we used the wind to push us up the bank, rather than fighting into it. This is where I finally got a bite from a red on a weedless shrimp bait. Sometimes, weedless baits fail to set a hook and this one came flying back at me. After calming down after that loss, I got back to casting and finally landed my first of the day which measured around 22″-23″.

Not long after that I got my second. Slightly larger at 23.5″. By this point, I had just about completely switched to throwing my “old faithful”, the curl-tail bugg in blue crab. Trey had been throwing the same thing.

It wasn’t until later in the day, when we met back up, that I’d heard how Keith did. I knew it was Keith’s first time fishing in a kayak, but I had no idea that it was his first time catching a redfish. He caught two on Vudu Shrimp. Like most people when they catch their first redfish, he was pretty impressed by their fight. They really are such a hard fighting fish, which is one of the reasons I enjoy targeting them.