Now We’re Gettin’ There…
In keeping with the recent trend, the available fishing time has been comparatively scarce for me lately. Compared to the consistency of last year’s trips, and the year before, I almost feel I’m slacking. But life is busy, and we take the chances we get.
Lately, the talk around Pack & Paddle has been focused on fishing reports coming from the west side of the coast. However, being that I live considerably closer to the east side of the coast, while my friends and coworkers Scott Bienvenu, John Williams, and Stephen Outten headed for Big Lake, I headed for Houma. “Old faithful”. Point Aux Chenes, to be more precise. I hadn’t heard a lot of reports coming from the area… and even though the weather’s been crap, it’s November, and I figured there had to be some action happening.
Karl joined me on this mid-week trip to the border of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. We left a tiny bit later than we wanted, but it was ok. Stopping by Stazione’s in Morgan City for breakfast pizza made the delayed start worth it.
When we did get to PAC Marina, I was surprised to see it as busy as it was. There were lots of boats launching, and the water was high. Not too high, but high enough. There was also a lot of commotion right near the marina in the main canal. Motor boats anchored on the edges and birds everywhere. Popping corks were floating and disappearing, speckled drum on the other end. That’s another name for Speckled Trout, for anyone who may be unaware. Our trout in Louisiana is actually a member of the drum family, not a true trout at all.
As we paddled out, Karl decided to give the trout a shot, but I was aching to get into the marsh. Without being specific, I was really wanting to explore a section of marsh that I haven’t fished since January. That trip, we saw tails dancing in the sunset. Great memory. I love fishing during the cold months.
After fishing near the marina for maybe forty-five minutes, we moved on. There wasn’t a lot of wind to fight, which was nice… I hadn’t had a day like that in a while.
It was closer to around mid-day when we started seeing redfish getting active. Karl and I had separated and I went to standing and covering water more than fishing. When sight fishing, you’re using your eyes a lot more than your fishing rod. After a few missed attempts at a few fish, I saw a red swimming into a small cut leading into a small pond. It took me a few seconds to get prepared, but once I did, his back was almost out of the water because of how high he was swimming. I pitched a Buggs Curl-tail Jig out in front of him, and he turned around and took it! After a short fight, into the cooler he went.
I was having some trouble with my main GoPro so with the first fish, I was only able to get this still photo. I ultimately switched to my backup, and videoed the rest of the day.
After a bit more exploring, I ended up in a cool little area. I’m guessing I was in a large gap between two islands, with an entrance to a pond on one side of me. There seemed to be a lot of nervous water, so I threw the Bugg and a topwater without much luck. I explored the pond, as well, without anything to show for it. I exited and paddled against a bank and heard a splash behind me. There was a wake behind me. Right around this time, two old men motor up to the entrance of this area and I hear one exclaim, “oh, there’s already someone in there”. They sat, and I waited. Then I saw the aforementioned wake and hoped that I’d catch this fish in front of them, standing up in my plastic pirogue. I pitched the Bugg out in front of the wake and BOOM, fish on!
As soon as the fish was caught, they motored away. I threw topwater a little while more, then headed on.
While paddling up a bank, I ended up in some very clear water. It was a nice surprise. I noticed a red out in front of me, and again, pitched the Bugg. The red ignored it. But then I see another redfish swimming up and the timing was perfect. Once again, hooked up.
By this point I’m pretty sure I can get my limit. I don’t normally keep my fish, but I had decided to do so this trip, so things were looking good!
I like getting way back into some of those dead-end ponds, where the kayak barely fits. I’ve had pretty nice success with surprisingly nice redfish when doing that. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does. I had been fishing another bank, and heard a blow-up from a pond somewhere beyond my bank. I followed the bank to an opening and went in. Two kayaks would’ve crowded this little puddle, and I didn’t see a fish. Just as I was about to give up in there, there was a blowup to my left. I then saw the fish swimming towards me and the hook-set occurred almost at boat side.
After getting him, I decided to catch up with Karl. I called him to find out that he wasn’t having as much success. He ended up finding me as I was sight-casting to my last fish to my limit, which ended up being the smallest for my stringer (seventeen inches). After a few suggestions, Karl was seeing reds everywhere, but still having trouble hooking up with any. One of his best moments from the day was when he saw one red and casted a Bugg it’s direction. All of a sudden, another red appears and the two begin to fight over the lure. Karl’s only thought was to twitch the lure, which spooked both fish. But he did get two other reds at separate moments during the day.
I continued fishing, but with a much more relaxed attitude. I ended up hooking up to one more red, but he spit the hook.
It was around 2:30pm when we decided to head back to the marina.
It was a great time, and I can’t wait to head back!