Pack & Paddle is known for being a great store for kayak fishing gear. People don’t always realize that it is so much more than just a store. Along with carrying great products, Pack & Paddle also hosts a lot of great trips, many of which recur throughout the year. One of the most popular recurring trips is called Louisiana Hooked, “LA Hooked” for short. It’s a guided kayak fishing trip for people interested in trying out kayaks before buying them… field testing, I guess.
Along with those who may have never paddled before, it is not uncommon to have anglers who already own there own kayaks to come out as well. It’s usually a great experience for all involved.
I recently had the opportunity to help guide one of these trips for the store.
It had been about two months since the last time I’d fished Pointe Aux Chenes. The hot temperatures and crowded waters had me retreating to lesser known areas. But come Sunday morning, I was meeting Ski Witkovski and Mr. Terry Hebert down at PAC Marina. There were seven people that we would be leading to different areas and trying to let them experience catching redfish in a kayak. I was of course in my Cuda 14, Mr. Terry (a Hobie team member) was in his Pro Angler, and Ski was borrowing one of the store’s Outbacks.
As we loaded up and began to head out, we split up into different groups. I had a father and son duo, Damon and JP. They just moved to the Lafayette area from Pennsylvania and were used to bass fishing. Both were eager to find some reds, and JP wasted no time getting on the bite! I had them throwing skitterwalks right off the bat. JP hooked up with a small red, right around 15”.
We continued on. The destination I was taking them to was a grass flat that I knew about. I’d had success there in the past and figured there was a good chance we’d find some quality fish there. We made another pit stop at a large island. I had us take different sections of the island. Topwater plugs and spoons were the lures of choice. JP and I chased some reds around a small pond for a few minutes. As he was heading out from the pond, he hooked up with what we’ll say was a ladyfish. I saw him fighting the fish, and then it got away. But his description sounded very ladyfish-like.
I exited the pond and continued around the north edge of the island. That’s where I hooked up with a 19” red.
I spoke with another angler fishing in the area, also in a kayak. He had a few reds from early in the morning, but said they had shut down and he wasn’t having luck anymore. I moved on and met back up with Damon and JP. We trekked on a little further and began moving down a bank. We were pretty much at the spot. Damon hung behind for a few minutes to take a phone call, and JP started throwing his skitterwalk again. After having a fish swipe at my spook jr., there was an explosion of water in front of JP. After a quick fight, he landed a 22-23” red! He then said, “Yeah, I’m hooked”!
Just then, we heard some “whooping”. Around the corner comes Damon, who had also catch his first kayak red! His was on a spoon, and measured around 23.75”.
After the commotion died down, I decided to break out lunch.
Side note: Pack & Paddle’s LA Hooked trips have lunch provided, which is prepared by Hub City Diner.
As I was eating, I hear JP shouting that he had another one. I paddle up to get a measurement for him. This one measured in around 25.5”. And it wasn’t long before he had another one on, around 25”.
The second of those was pretty cool. He noticed there was a disturbance on the surface of the water and decided to cast there. It was well off the bank, but the grass beds under the surface provide great cover for redfish! Before he knew it, he was in for another Cajun sleigh ride!
As we continued on, it was coming near the end of our time out in PAC. Both guys caught one more each. JP’s was a throwback, but Damon’s was a small keeper.
They then decided to race back to PAC Marina!
We got back to discover that they had been the most successful on the trip. JP showed off his fish while everyone got together for the group shot.
I had a great time helping out with this trip and will look forward to being able to contribute again!