The end of the year always becomes crazy. It seems that the time between Halloween and Christmas holds some of the best marsh fishing but is also the busiest with holidays, birthdays, and other family get-togethers. Add to that a few weekends with heavy fronts moving through and the new experience of having a pregnant wife. Needless to say, fishing time took a backseat.
A lot of the lack of reports also has to do with the fact that since my last post at the beginning of November, we’ve only trekked down to the marsh twice. Both trips were productive, though.
The first was near the end of November. Karl & I decided to stick with what we knew that weekend and set Isle De Jean Charles as our destination. We originally headed to our usual spots and saw no activity at all. Water levels were very low with the fronts moving through push the water out. We headed back towards our launch but decided to move toward an area that we hadn’t explored at all yet.
I had been pretty convinced most of the morning that with the water muddy and the temperature being cold (for Louisiana), that the fish just weren’t going to cooperate. But then we started to see reds here-and-there. I cruised along a bank that was protected from the wind. I had seen bait jumping near an oyster bed along the bank. As I was push-poling myself along, I started spooking reds. You could make out just the tops of their spines before they’d spook off. I decided to camp. I dropped anchor and waited, making fanning blind casts while watching the water. Maybe about 15 minutes had passed and I noticed a copper shape in the water a little ways ahead of me. I was able to get him in the boat. I think he measured 22-23″.
Meanwhile, Karl was on the wind-blown side of this pond and was casting to his first of the day. It ended up being the first time he sight-casted and caught a red.
We soon were “leap-frogging” the same bank (if you’re not sure what I mean, leap-frogging is when while one person is making casts, the other is paddling ahead and when they stop to make casts, the first person paddles ahead, at least by my definition). I noticed two smaller reds in a little cove area pushing the same bait around but they saw me as I got close. I turned to head out along the bank and saw what I believe was a bull near the top of the water. I saw him as the sun hit his scales. I started casting for him but never could find him.
Karl was up ahead of me along the same bank and started yelling that he had a big one. I started heading towards him, but feeling like he had “Iaconelli Syndrome”. I pulled up next to him as he pulled a 32″ red into his boat. A bull red is anything over 27″, so while 32″ is a smaller bull, it’s still a bull.
Karl was using Andrew’s Jackson Big Tuna and used the live-well to bring the bull back to the launch and after a few pictures, released him. He was still quite lively. And though most of the fish were small-ish, they all were very fat. Guess they had been feeding up.
The second trip was about 3 weeks ago. We decided to try out the same area. Water was a bit lower than the first trip and I was sick. Stomach problems. While in the main canal, I noticed another bull but could not get a lure in front of him before he took off.
It was a slow day and I only managed two around 18-19″ each. The first was a blind cast while I was sitting down. It was near where I caught the first fish on the first trip. And the second was in the main canal on the way back and he was sight-caught.
Unfortunately, I forgot the GoPro on both trips and didn’t take as many pictures on the second trip due to being sick.
I plan to update more frequently now that the holidays are over. My wife and I are now expecting our first child (a boy) in June. I’ll have a new fishing buddy in a few years! So between everything going on in life, fishing trips are needed, sometimes just to stay sane.
In between posts, Karl created an Instagram account dedicated to fishing (emphasis on kayak fishing). The screen name is RipLippers and he has it so that both of us can post to it. Check it out if you have an instagram account!