Last November Jameson Redding and Brooks Beatty – collectively known as JK Media House – came down to Louisiana to do some filming. they spent part of their trip in Grand Isle, and the other part of it at PAC Kayak Rentals in Point Aux Chene. They fell in love with the state, but especially the hospitality and kayak-friendliness of Eddie and Lisa Mullen’s operation in PAC. They got together with the crew at Pack & Paddle and we all had a great time. Here’s the video from that trip in case you missed it…

Then, they came back over the summer and filmed this piece, again stationed out of PAC…

So when they let us know that they were planning another big Jackson Kayak team trip, I immediately put in for the time off. I knew there’d be a few new faces this time around, new members to the team, and veteran members I just hadn’t gotten to meet yet.

Jameson, Brooks, Gene (Flukemaster), and Robert Field all arrived a few days early to get some work done for another company they work with, NRS. I met up with them on Wednesday, and was eager to get my new Cruise FD in the water. I knew they had Eddie mothership them the day before and had great success so expectations were high. The birds were diving in the main channel and I was itching to get out there! We exchanged greetings once everyone was up and rigging. Soon we were joined by my fellow LA Jackson team members Chuck Bahan and Scott Meyers of Bayou Chronicles.

After a little discussion, We decided to head north.

I lost track of everyone pretty quickly, but I later learned that we were all in mostly the same area. It was interesting being up in that marsh while hearing the bursts of shotguns as duck season was underway.

After a bit of poling around and spooking fish, I finally hooked up with my first fish in the new kayak. It was a marsh trout, caught on a gold Z-Man Shrimp.

The water had been pretty shallow and I was spending more time with my drive up paddling around. I eventually ended up on this shallow mud flat where I was really having to muscle the kayak through the mud. In trying to get to slightly deeper water, I ended up beaching the yak. I’ve gotten close before, but this was officially a first.

Visibly frustrated, I smacked the water with my paddle which caused more mud to fly up in my face, as well as onto the boat. That only further pissed me off. I stood to try to see how close I was to floatable water when I heard a crash on the bank to my left. I turned to see a red chasing bait. I thought, “what the heck”, and made a cast. He inhaled the Curl-tail Bugg, and in my pissed off state I forced him through the mud to my beached kayak. At one point, the fish was sitting in the water, almost completely dry. Once I got him in the net and on the boat, I realized I had no way to release him since I had virtually no water around me. I knew I had to get out and pull the kayak through the mud, so I did. I got out and immediately sunk to my waist. I never let go of the kayak, nor did I completely take my weight off of it. Once I got to the bow, facing the boat, I’d throw my legs out behind me and pulled myself and the yak towards my feet.

After about a minute of this, the kayak was mostly free. I jumped back in, took a pic of the fish, and revived/released it. I thought my GoPro was running through the whole ordeal, but it hadn’t. I wish it had.

I decided to high-tail it out of that area. I’m not gonna lie, I contemplated going back to the marina and calling it a day. If I’d been wearing jeans, I definitely would’ve – which is why I strongly recommend NOT wearing cotton while kayak fishing. I was honestly completely dry within 30 minutes… stinky, but dry.

Before calling it a day around 5pm, I wanted to hit one more spot. It was a canal where I’ve done well before. Again, jigging the Z-Man Shrimp, I set the hook. I could tell it wasn’t a speck or red…

I headed back to the marina and then to the PAC Gas Station for a pizza. When I got back, we were joined by Eric Atkins and Adam Hayes (Adam’s formerly of YakAngler.com) and we began fishing off the back of the house boat waiting for the rest of the crew to arrive. We watched as hundreds of shrimp ran a gauntlet with specks and sand trout attacking from below. Most of what we caught were dinks, but there were a few nice ones. Gene showed that these fish could be caught with a bare jighead as long as it was worked right. After Chris and Ethan Funk arrived along with Leigh Habegger the fun continued.

Day 2 and 3 were much better. Needless to say, we headed south.

Scott and I fished near each other for a little while, then Eric hung close by. After hooking and losing a 25-27″ red, I gave Eric a Bugg in the blue crab color, which I believe he later caught a few fish on. Scott landed a couple and Chris got a sheephead. Scott and I then kinda hung around Jameson and Brooks. It wasn’t long before Brooks sight casted a tailing red on a Z-Man Scented Paddlerz in Redfish Toad. I watched as he and Jameson got some shots for the video, then Brooks followed me hoping to get me catching a red.

Brooks landing a red

Robert joined in and after a few minutes of searching, I finally spotted one. He wasn’t big but I figured it would be an easy catch. Brooks had given me one of his Scented Paddlerz, so I tossed that first. The red turned on it and short striked. I was about to make a second cast when I noticed another one swimming right towards me. I pitched a Bugg over to this one and he grabbed it! I don’t have photos from this one since Brooks was right there with the camera. After eating lunch, and meeting up with my buddy Mat Roberts, we headed on to one of my favorite areas. by this point it was later in the day, and the sun was getting low. I was going to propose that we drift this grass flat and sight cast to reds, but it was a little late for that so we started the paddle back. I normally make this paddle alone so the company of Eric and Robert was nice. I also got some nice shots of the beautiful sunset!

Day 3 started a little later than normal and saw the addition of Nik Brown, Matt Cunningham, David Roberts, and Tray Collins. The plan for this day was to split everyone up into teams and they’d film everyone to do a team-vs-team style video. I’m really interested to see how this idea comes out. The route was pretty much the same as day 2, but the fishing was better for me. I ended up with three fish for the video, all reds. An 18.25″, a 19.5″, and a 20.5″. Nothing to write home about, but it was something. Eric caught a few reds, a trout, and a sheephead. I had to leave early so I’m not sure who’s team won, but it was great fun nonetheless.

The Day 3 Armada

My Co-worker Mark launching at PAC Kayak Marina

Pic: Eric Atkins

Pic: Eric Atkins

Pic: Eric Atkins

Regardless of how many fish were caught, or the size of the fish caught, trips like this make me super grateful for the doors that God has opened for me. Ten years ago, I’d never have thought that kayak fishing would even be a hobby of mine. Now, from my family at Pack & Paddle to my family at Jackson Kayak, I can’t believe I get to hang out and call these people friends. It of course wouldn’t happen without the support of my wife, Tracey. She probably won’t read this, but I’m unbelievably thankful that she lets me chase fish out of a hunk of plastic. Thanks babe.

I likely won’t be fishing again until after Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, and it shouldn’t be long before I’ve got something else to post… like a new kayak review and/or rigging video?

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The Not-So-Magic Marsh

Back in early October I met up with Trey and Keith (both of whom have been mentioned here before) and Taylor (who hasn’t appeared here before). Trey moved down to Des Allemands earlier in the year, so we went to an area that he’d been trying to fish a little more frequently. The area is similar to Pointe Aux Chenes in the aspect of submerged vegetation, lots of open water areas with broken marsh spread out. There’s a particular area of marsh nearby that I’ve always heard has a good reputation, so we were going to work our way up there.

As usual, I did a lot of moving around. It’s my style of fishing. I hate staying put for more than a few minutes. I was finding a lot of grass flats where the grass was matting on the surface. It makes for a pain if you’re trying to work a Skitterwalk. I would typically cast and work the topwater plug back along the edge of the matted grassline, and it did pay-off for me.

We continued through most of the pipeline canals following the same pattern but with little success. When we came to a break in the shoreline with some water moving around a point, I casted a Vortex Shad in C-Shad. That cast returned with a small, but legal, trout on it.

Taylor working a Whopper Plopper along a grassline

As we finally made our way up to the area we had started referring to as the “Magic Marsh”, it became clear that today was not the day for magic. The water was quite muddy and matted hydrilla was everywhere. We decided to head back and fish areas we were a little more familiar with. Though I did see a few more fish, I would not hook into another fish.

As Trey and I worked a shoreline on our way back to the launch, I heard a splash followed by his shouts of triumph. He had hook into a nice red! After the fight and release, we decided it was time to meet Taylor and Keith back at the launch.

Keith had ended up catching a few reds and a drum, if I’m remembering correctly.

I always enjoy fishing with Trey and it was great getting to fish with Taylor. I hope we get the chance again in the near future.

Trey is selling his 2015 Jackson Big Tuna (in the picture above). If you’re interested, shoot me an email and I’ll relay the info to him.

After this trip, my next trip out would be for the Redbone Fishing Club’s Festivus Tournament in Cocodrie. Stay around, that report will be posted shortly.

A Quick Trip in the Coosa FD

I recently got a chance to use one of the new Coosa FDs from Jackson. If you’re unfamiliar, the FD (short for Flex-Drive) is Jackson Kayak’s first pedal model.

This video is not a review video. It was just meant to be a quick way to show the boat’s stability and hands-free mobility.

I’ve always seen the clips for Dockside TV but had never searched them out until the recent batch of Instagram posts they put out showing redfish chasing down their Matrix Craws. I’ve yet to watch other their other videos, but this is some great footage!

Persistance in Terrebonne Parish

I’m really trying to amp up the amount of time I’m spending on the water. I spent hardly any time on the water over the summer. Now, with the cool fronts soon to be coming, I know the fishing will be picking up and I feel I need to take advantage of that situation before the holiday season, and before we welcome our baby girl into our lives.

With this in mind, Karl and I headed down to Cocodrie a few weeks ago. There’s not much to write in regards to that trip. While I was seeing fish in our pond, I couldn’t get a cast in front of a red before it would spook off. After being out for a few hours, I could tell Karl was getting a little frustrated as well. We decided to pack it in early, as we had both started to lose our motivation.

Frustrated from that last experience, I decided to head back to the same spot about a week later. Maybe I felt that I needed to prove to myself that I could still sight-cast redfish after neglecting the fish most of the summer. That might be silly, and maybe that’s not really what was going on in my mind, but that was my excuse to go, haha.

Upon arriving, the water was kind of high, but there was little wind. I launched and headed off the main canal and into one of  the small ponds. Near the back of the pond I saw a wake, and then a tail. I flipped the Bugg that’s now almost always tied onto my spinning set-up, and immediately had my first fish. Maybe around a 20″ red. The day was already better than my last time out.

After a few minutes I headed on to the pond that is usually our destination when we come to this area. While still in the main canal, I noticed a big wake pushing up the bank towards me. I assumed it to be a big red and may a cast, but after a few more seconds I quickly retrieved my lure. Though it wasn’t too big, it was a blacktip shark. I’m starting to notice them more and more.

Once arriving at “the pond” it didn’t take too long til I had what would’ve been a limit had I been keeping them.

Though this happens from time to time, it’s still a cool experience…

I noticed a couple of reds moving up along a bank, hitting small targets as they pass. I casted out in front of the two, but I was too close and they spook. But then there’s a third that I didn’t notice swimming underneath the other two. When they spooked, he grabbed it!

It was a short trip but fun nonetheless. I was hoping to get out this week, but we just moved our family into a new place. With a new baby coming, we needed some extra space. This move has eaten up my free time (fishing time) for two weeks but now we’re getting settled in. I’m looking forward to the fall!