Shallow Water Expeditions

David Mangum and the crew at Shallow Water Expeditions have been cranking out some great saltwater fly-fishing content that I had no idea about. I just stumbled across these videos earlier today.

This one got me pumped…

Here’s some of the footage from a trip last month…

LA1 Slamboree 2016

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Ever since the first time I fished the LA1 Slamboree, LKFC‘s largest event, it became my favorite kayak fishing event of the year. No time that I’ve fished it have I done very well, and it’s usually one of the tougher events of the year, but I enjoy it greatly. This year, I wasn’t even sure I was going to get to fish it with the way things have been going at the shop. Things did come together and on Saturday morning, I was at the launch.

Riv "helping" me get the kayak ready for the following morning

Riv “helping” me get the kayak ready for the following morning

Last year, I pre-fished the day before the tournament and stayed at the marina that night. Though Karl and I had a place to stay lined up this year, we didn’t actually leave until the morning of the tournament. We ran late and didn’t actually launch until about an hour after the start time. We decided to fish near Topwater Marina in Leeville because of the uncertainty in what the weather was doing. Neither of us have fished the marsh near Topwater so we relaxed and enjoyed the adventure. Most of the morning was spent watching the clouds as storms were formed and gradually passing us over.

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The fishing was slow, and I wish there were more details to write about. I eventually picked up a mid-slot redfish in a marsh choke-point at the end of a canal. No pictures of him as we were again watching the skies…

Photo taken by: Karl Perkins

Photo taken by: Karl Perkins

After checking the maps we moved a bit further east and found another choke-point. Karl, while drifting hooked a trout that ended up jumping off right at the boat. I anchored down right inside the cut, and started casting a Tsunami Swim Shad (holographic green) and a GULP minnow, swapping out every few casts. I caught several trout here, both speckled and white. The largest measuring a hair under 12″. Too small. As I was about to get a picture of one, it jumped out of my hands, tail-slapped me in the face (slime in my beard) and hit the water. Not long later, I hooked another redfish. He went straight into the cooler measuring 17″. He was smaller than the first but no matter. Then, a flounder… the elusive flounder… I had a flounder! I had him out the water and in the net. He was small but I wasn’t sure if he was too small. After searching the regulations (both tournament and state), back he went. He only measured 10″.

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It was then we decided to move off the water with lightning popping to the north and more storms moving in. I even spotted a funnel cloud in one of the cells headed our way. We were tired and hungry. We made our way back to Topwater and loaded up. We were then going to find a place to eat while waiting for the weigh-in. Leeville Seafood was closed and Grand Isle was jam packed for the Tarpon Rodeo. Not knowing the local restaurant too well, we headed to Golden Meadow. We got back in time for the weigh-in and awards ceremony. My lone redfish didn’t do too well but I had something to weigh-in, so no complaints.

Here are the top finishers:

Slam Category (1 of each – Slot Red, Trout, Flounder):
1st place – Brendan Bayard (3 fish Slam 10.39lbs + 2 lb bonus = 12.39 lbs)
2nd place – Timothy Thomas (3 fish Slam 7.45lbs + 2 lb bonus = 9.45 lbs)
3rd place – Chuck Bahan (3 fish Slam 6.82lbs + 2 lb bonus = 8.82 lbs) — Jackson Kayak Team Mate
4th place – Steve Lessard (3 fish Slam 6.80lbs + 2 lb bonus = 8.80 lbs)
5th place – Tyler Drude (3 fish Slam 6.29lbs + 2 lb bonus = 8.29 lbs)

Calcutta Category (Speckled Trout):
Graves Bayard (youngest angler registerd) – 2.76 lbs

Leopard Redfish Category:
1st place: John Berube – 5 spots ($115 Pack & Paddle Gift Card)
2nd place: Jeff Robinson – 4 spots ($50 Pack & Paddle Gift Card)

Congrats to everyone!

The next LKFC tournament is on 8/20. It’s Cajun Castaway which will be held at Calcasieu Point Landing in Lake Charles. It is also a slam format tournament and the leopard red winner will win a kayak donated by Pack & Paddle. Info can be found HERE! I will not be fishing this one, unfortunately. My next tournament will be on 9/10. It’s BCKFC‘s PAC Attack, a redfish tournament in Pointe Aux Chenes. More info to come on that one.

July 2016

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As has been the case lately, I get backed up with the blog and end up doing a mostly photo post to catch things up. Here we go!

Soon after my most recent post, I fished in a fish-anywhere 2.5 day tournament. I only fished one day of it due to work. On my one day, I went to the pond where Karl and I had gone earlier in the week. I hoped for better results, but only came away with one red. It would’ve been almost perfect for the slot redfish category (16″-27″), except this fish was right on the 27″ line, which may have resulted in a DQ. Had I weighed him in (and a contemplated big time), and had he not been DQ’d, I would have possibly placed 3rd. All good, no worries.

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About a week later, on a day off from work, Stephen and I did some bass fishing in Cocodrie. Stephen fishes for bass a little more often than me so I was trying some techniques he was telling me about, mostly involving plastic worms. We both ended up catching. No hogs, but a bass each and several goggle-eye.

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I fished another tournament in July. It was the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club’s largest event, the LA1 Slamboree. I fished it twice before, 2013 & 2015. The first experience was my first kayak tournament and while I caught fish, I didn’t weigh-in. Last year’s tournament was more fun than before, but neither Karl nor myself brought anything to the weigh-in (we won some awesome door-prizes though!). This year was the best for me at least, but still not great, haha! I’ll be writing a report on that event in a few minutes. Expect it tomorrow night.

I drive Hwy 90 a lot and have seen some pretty incredible weather passing through, especially during Spring and Summer. Here’s a couple of pretty cool incoming storm photos from the road.

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Finally Back At It

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It had been about two months since I’d spent a day in the kayak. A series of unfortunate events seemed to continuously be getting in the way of me going fishing. From being called into work on my day off, to oversleeping, to loading up and getting to the launch to find that my kayak was locked onto my roof rack and I’d forgotten the key at home. It’s been a rough two months as far as outdoor time goes.

 

All of that finally changed last Sunday. I had a week off from playing guitar at church so I recruited Karl, and after two failed attempts at setting up fishing trips the previous week, we were finally headed to redfish waters!

 

I’ve been hearing mixed reports from the Pointe Aux Chenes area for weeks now, so I decided to head somewhere that I hadn’t been hearing anything. I figured if I hadn’t heard any reports, the fish ought to be less pressured. The spot is a favorite pond that I’ve written about visiting before.

 

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On this day, the water wasn’t too high and clarity was slightly better than normal. Once we got to the main area, Karl casted at a wake he saw and ended up picking up a trout. It wasn’t a very big one, but may have met the 12” mark.

 

The hunt began for redfish. Knowing this spot, I had pre-rigged most of my rods with shrimp and crab style lures. It took a little while to start seeing reds, but once I got into a narrow pipeline canal, I managed to get the lure in front of two. The first fish was a routine catch and release. The second fish took the lure and when I set it, the hook flew out, except mostly just the weight was what was left.

 

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I then made my way into the main pond, which is the center point of this location for me. There were a few nice fish that showed up right next to the kayak, which usually results in them spooking. While I did make a few casts at fish that didn’t go for it, I did finish the day with two more fish that were both sight-caught.

 

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The starting lure for the day was a Vudu Shrimp in Cajun Pepper/Chartreuse. After that hook broke, I switched to a DOA style shrimp in clear w/ red flake. Karl’s trout was caught on a Buggs Curl-tail Jig being swam through the water.

 

Only other interesting thing: As we were leaving, I caught and lost (at boatside) my would-be personal best flounder. I’ll be back for him.