Louisiana Hooked: Pack & Paddle Guided Fishing Trip – 3/10/19

I had the pleasure of helping guide another kayak fishing trip for Pack & Paddle, which was held out of Point Aux Chenes at PAC Kayak Rentals. I CANNOT stress it enough, If you’ve never visited PAC Kayak Rentals, you’re missing out. It’s likely THE BEST kayak fishing centered location in the U.S. From the put-ins to the accommodations, from the hospitality to the actual fishing. If you’re a kayak angler and are visiting Louisiana, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you do not visit Eddie, Lisa, and the rest of the crew.

Anyway, I arrived in PAC the night before the trip to insure that I’d be there in time & not having to leave my house at 4am. Upon arriving, I met another angler, Rick, down at the fishing pier. He was casting his fly rod and catching small reds and trout on a brown Clouser. I threw around a Buggs Click-bait Shrimp for a bit with a few reds falling for it. A nice way to start the overnight stay.

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I woke up the next morning in total darkness. No marina lights at all. One of the campers had an external light working which we all gathered around to welcome the morning. Turns out, someone ran into a telephone pole up the road and knocked power out to all of Pointe Aux Chenes.

As the sun came up, my co-guide, Mat, arrived and we began getting things ready for the trips. Mat’s group would be fishing the marsh out of the marina, while my group boarded Eddie’s mothership and headed out into the marsh. I did a little trash talking (unusual for me) before leaving, which I immediately felt I may have regretted. Haha!

The mothership ride out was nice. It was a beautiful morning, and we all know how badly we needed some good days!

Eddie dropped off myself and my group just off of Grand Bayou in a section of marsh that Eddie refers to as “The Green Mile”. My group consisted of Jennifer, her son Kyle, and Josef, a student at LSU. I got everyone immediately started using different lures. Kyle caught a keeper trout immediately on topwater, and Jennifer hooked up soon after, but the fish got away. Josef caught his red a little afterword as well.

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As we continued on, a thick fog covered the area. It was both beautiful and kind of eerie. We hugged the bank on the edge of an open lake and I noticed tails right along the grassline, which I tried to get Jennifer in position to cast to, but I’d lose sight of them quickly in the fog.

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We soon entered back into the marsh, where everyone started getting bites. Jennifer landed one first, and soon after so did Kyle. As I was reaching for Kyle’s redfish to put in my cooler, the fish did a quick thrash and slipped from my hands. I felt so bad for losing his fish, though he did land a few more and some trout!

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We kept exploring this section of marsh, working our way back to the pick-up point. It was here that we came to an old weir. By this point it was midday, so I had them throwing a mix of market bait and Gulp. Jennifer hooked up on a red but her line broke right away. The breakage occurred above the cork, so we circled it to try and hand-land this fish. He kept slipping past us. So, while sprawled across the nose of my Outback, I glided up to the cork and as soon as the cork went under ( from the fish running), I reached down and was able to grab the line. It ended up being around 17″, which was fine for the table!

After that bit of excitement, and a few more hooked and lost fish, Eddie picked us up and we headed back for the launch!

Mat’s group did well too, catching reds and some really nice sheepsheads. We ended the day with our group photo.

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UPDATE!

Sorry that it’s been a while. Things have been busy, and the weather’s been ugly – but it looks to be turning around now. At least I hope.

I’ll have a couple of recent trip reports from the last two weeks coming out within the next week, but here’s some photos of my little bit of action since January.

New Gear

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Started the year off by selling the last of my 13 Fishing reels. I had no issues with them, but was just ready to transition back to Shimano. I started using 13 reels when Shimano changed the body-style of the Curados, and I didn’t like it. I feel that with the Curado K & DC, they’re back on track!

First Tournament of 2019: Redbone’s PACman

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For Redbone’s first tournament in early February, conditions were brutal. We’re talking windy and cold brutal. All layered up and I still couldn’t feel my fingers. I fished for around 3.5 hrs. before I couldn’t take it anymore. Turns out, only 4 fish were weighed in. I’m a little late now, but congrats to Terry, Sean, and Ricky.

More Fishing with River

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One of my favorite new ways to fish…

New Toy

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After several years using the Raymarine, it was time to update. This time, I went with a Lowrance Elite 7TI. Obviously, I got the Totalscan transducer for it. Maybe that’ll help with the bass?? Maybe???

More updates to come!

Back in PAC

Having three days off in a row doesn’t happen too often, and with the weather the way it’s been, I hadn’t been fishing in around 2 weeks. After staying home for the first two days, I was aching to get out on the water. Tracey allowed me to do so on Sunday morning so I headed to PAC.

I still love fishing PAC. It’s probably still my favorite location, even with its increased popularity in the kayak community. Redbone’s first tournament of the year is coming up soon, so I wanted to prefish the area.

Things started real slow. The skies were overcast and there was a chill on the little wind there was. I started trying a mixture of slower presentations and moderate retrieves. From 10 – 1, I had two bits of action. One was a quick bite and spit, the second I landed. It was a small red, probably not making 16 inches.

I continued on with this pattern, occasionally trying other baits. I planned to head back to the truck around 12:30, but got the call from Tracey that I could take my time. Not long after that phone call, the clouds broke and the sun lit up the water. The wind completely stopped. The water temperature had been around 53-54*, but with the sun out it warmed up to 56* which is what I like for my preferred fishing style. I soon started finding redfish all over the flats. They were mainly larger fish, 25-29″. Unfortunately, seeing them isn’t catching them, and most spooked before I could make a cast.

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I did bring one home though, which was caught on my faithful Buggs Curl-tail.

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I hooked him right in the tongue though, and he was bleeding pretty bad. After putting him in the AO Cooler, I realized the mess he’d made in the ‘yak, and all over my legs. The Hobie is officially broken in, lol.

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I’m getting the final bits of rigging done just in time for the start of tournament season, and plan to have a walkthrough video done soon, so keep an eye out for that!

Gear Used

Kayak : Hobie Outback (2019)

Paddle : Werner Cyprus Hooked

Fishing Line: FINS Windtamer, 40G, and Shock Absorbing Braids, Mainly 20-30lb test.

Rods : St. Croix Avid Inshore Series Spinning Rods & St. Croix Mojo Yak Casting Rod

Reels : Shimano Stradic 2500, Shimano Nasci 2500, & 13 Fishing Concept C

Lures : – Buggs Curl-tail Jig (1st Gen.)

Starting 2019

So for my first 2019 trip, I got the uncommon pleasure of sharing the water with Karl (who I seldom get to fish with anymore), and my former co-workers, Mark & Stephen. On an uncharacteristically sunny & mostly windless day, we met up at Coco Marina to hopefully get some reds on the fly.

My fly fishing skill level is still definitely at beginner, but I do now have two reds landed on fly, but out of a skiff. I had another two hooked that spit the hook. I’ve never landed a fish on fly from the kayak, so that was the goal this day.

Ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be. But that doesn’t mean the day was a total skunk. It started fairly promising…

We headed out from the Marina, heading to a spot to the west. Crossing the ship channel, we started searching once reaching an area on the other side. After scanning the bank – looking for tails or backs in the low, wind blown marsh – we neared an open area with marsh on the far side. Near that marsh, there were disturbances on top the water. Karl spotted it first. Both Mark & I were quick to dismiss it as “probably mullet”. We were both intrigued enough to head that direction though. Mark got to them first, and as he started to say “yep, mullet”, he stopped mid-sentence, and yelled out, “I was wrong! It’s reds!”

Karl & I were closing in by this point and started to make casts at the spooked school. It wasn’t a school of big fish, but they were plentiful and hanging around this section of marsh. I headed up the next side, hoping to catch a few as they headed that direction. I was dedicated to the fly rod, false casting back and forth a few times, but I couldn’t get the accuracy – each time the fly falling short of a waking fish.

There finally came a moment when I spotted one, and the fly line had gotten pretty tangled. I grabbed my St. Croix Avid Inshore rod with a Buggs Click-bait Shrimp and casted it right in front the fish and watched him take it, exploding as I set the hook. Mark called out, “Eli’s on!” and I called back that it wasn’t on fly. He joked that it didn’t count.

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As the day progressed, we eventually split up to explore the marsh. Unfortunately, that was the most action we found that day. The wind started to pick up in the afternoon and Karl & I headed back in. I think everyone finished the day with one fish each.

Unfortunately, I only nabbed these two photos for the day.

I’ll be fishing Coco a little more in the coming weeks. It’s already a favorite location of mine, but I’m also hoping to fish more Lafayette club events this year, the first being in Cocodrie in March. For now, I’m turning my focus to Pointe Aux Chenes, where the first tournament of the year is taking place. Redbone Fishing’s PAC Man tourney at the beginning of February.

Redbone: Festivus 2018

I know. I’m a bit behind. We’ve recently started redecorating our house, so I’ve been doing a lot of painting. It’s fine, really, because the weather hasn’t allowed for much fishing lately. Anyway…

Redbone Fishing Club’s last event of the year, which was rescheduled from being rained out, was the Festivus tourney. I think the format was for a trout and two reds.

Unfortunately, it was so far back now, I can’t remember the tourney details. Main thing, I think I’d gotten a fifth place finish overall, and third in the Trout Calcutta. No money for me, but happy to have placed pretty well.

At the very least, I can post up a few images that I took during the tourney…

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