Keeping the skunk away…
It’s been a long winter/spring transition. Up north, I hear there are still frozen lakes and another front is making it’s way across the southeast now. The fishing has been a bit tough in some places down here. On a few of the forums that I spend time on, there are users trying to figure out the location that we spend a lot of time, Pointe Aux Chenes. There are days when reports are good and there are many days where the reports read, “struck out,” or “skunked.” I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve avoided the PAC skunk, as I’ve begun calling it. The last couple of trips have ended with me being the only one catching one or two. I thought I’d be joining the PAC skunk club this past weekend…
Karl and I loaded up the kayaks Friday night and planned on a 5 am departure. Saturday morning we were mostly on time. We had invited a friend of ours but he had to back out. It would be his first time in a kayak, and he wants to try again to join us in a few weeks.
Anyway, we decided that on this trip we would try an area that we hadn’t been to in a while. Last year, this area had large beds of submerged grass and the redfish would be hanging out in it. Though it requires us to be stealthy, it allows us to sight-fish, which is exhilarating! However, when we got to the spot we found the grass beds, but only gar fish. I’d recently read on Bill Crawford’s blog about him finding groups of large garfish that were mating, and I believe we ran across this as well. Huge garfish, up to 6-7ft! I tried to Gopro the scene while Karl tried to hook one of the beasts.
We eventually loaded up and moved to a new location where water clarity was much better and it seemed that there was more bait action. But again, we were having trouble finding the reds. Usually, by the time you realized one was nearby, it was spooking. The wind was not horrible, but it was pushing me around.
I anchored on the edge of an open water area, in the middle of a batch of small grass islands. It was around noon and Karl called me. He told me had no bites and asked if I was ready to head to the truck. We agreed to call it for the day and head back. I texted Tracey, and decided to make one or three more casts in that spot before leaving. On the third cast, I hooked up! Figures it would happen that way. As he started pulling drag, I was trying to get my anchor up. I eventually figured it out and got my net in place. He pulled me around for about 5 minutes before he tired out. I thought it was a drum, he didn’t break the water’s surface at all until he was finished. He ended up being a 28.5″ red. Being over 27″, he qualified as a bull red, but barely, haha!
Tagged and released, I revived him and watched him swim away. I started back to the truck, satisfied that I beat the skunk again. Luck, no doubt.
Near the put in was a line of grass where I found Karl. The wind was pushing the water through the grass and he was throwing against the wind to the grass and retrieving with the wind. He had one hook up which came off and by the time I paddled up to him, he had just landed a fat 23″ red. He tagged and released it and then caught a 14″ rat red. After that we headed for the truck.
When I got home, I found a letter from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries in my mailbox. I opened it to find that I had my first recapture. One of my reds that I tagged in Grand Isle back in November. It measured 18.75″ when I tagged it and it’s listed at 19″ on April 15. We won’t be looking forward to more growth or info on this guy though, as he was not released. He was caught only about a quarter mile from where I tagged him.
So with the weather warming and the fronts being less severe (temperature wise), hopefully this means the fishing will be picking up.
Lures that were productive this trip: Karl used a gold spoon to catch his two and I used a Gold inline spinner with a Vortex Shad.