The month of October in the marsh is the time of year that many of us look forward to the most. Reds & Trout in the marsh and cooler weather, the thought of it puts a smile on my face. So far, October has been pretty uneventful for me. We’ve had a few cold fronts move through but it seems that they prefer the weekends to show up. And the weekends in between, when the weather is nice, we’re busy. This time of year shouldn’t be this busy!
A couple weeks ago, I took a mid-week trip with some friends. A front had passed through a couple days before and we were looking forward to seeing how the fish were reacting in Pointe Aux Chenes. We found dirty water, very dirty in some ponds.
As I was entering a section of marsh, I noticed about three redfish cruising away from me. I cast approximately in front of them and before I started reeling, was hooked up. He was a small guy, at 19″. He was caught using a weedless inline spinner bait by Seein Spots Lures.
I had a couple more bites, but didn’t land them. I learned that while my friends had a couple of hook-ups, they also lost them at the boat. And while I noticed a lot of fish, they were very spooky.
Last Saturday the weather was looking promising. Andrew and I were planning to head down to Cocodrie and fish some new areas, but he had a wedding to attend in New Orleans later that day and wanted to hang out closer. We headed to Cypremort Point instead. Reports had been good throughout the week and it looked like the trout were moving in. We got out there around 9am and saw many kayaks out on the water. We decided to head to Shark Bayou to look for reds.
The water was very nice, and pretty salty. But no sign of redfish anywhere. We talked to several guys out there who were having similar luck. We ended up leaving early to get back home.
This weekend was another busy weekend. I was photo-shooting a wedding on Saturday so fishing was a no-go. Sundays are always busy, but we got away in the afternoon and headed toward Cocodrie. I brought along the fly rod, but 10-15mph winds had me throwing spinning gear.
Though the water was murky, there were fish everywhere we looked in the shallow ponds. Andrew actually hooked up on the fly to a small red, who ended up breaking his line. If I had given up on trying to fight the wind with the fly earlier, I would’ve probably caught more fish.
It was getting dark and I was paddling further from the launch. I found a cut off of a main canal where the water was moving out. I pulled in a 13″ trout there and called it a day. And enjoyed the sunset as I headed in.
Fishing primarily with artificial lures can be tough on some days. I have a buddy who limited out several times this weekend in a different area using dead shrimp as bait, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I get more satisfaction feeling a fish slam an artificial and knowing that I fooled it. And more is learned on the tough days than on the days that you’re constantly pulling them in.
Here’s a few clips that I had left over from some trips up to a few months ago. Mostly all reds in the vid, and a random bluegill.
Pointe Aux Chenes has been one of our “go-to” spots this summer. It seems that as the water heats up, so does the redfish action. The Island Rd. WMA has been one of our favorite areas to fish in PAC, due to the large submerged grass beds that have appeared this summer. They clean the water up and make it pretty easy to sight fish.
After PAC Attack, I decided to make another trip later the next week. Not long after launching and searching along the edge of one of the beds, I saw a small school of reds approaching. There were maybe 5 fish. It took several casts but I was able to land one. This was also my first time using the Jackson Kayak Cruise 12 that we bought as my wife’s kayak. She had only used it once so far and it had been loaned out to other friends when they joined Andrew and I. I have to say that I’m quite pleased with the boat.
Fast forward to this week, as I headed back to the same area to see if the bite was still on. In just a week’s time, many of the grass beds have started to disappear. I traveled northward to try to get to some of the skinnier areas. I did see quite a few fish, but only moments before they saw me. The water was a bit murkier than before.
The last area that I headed to was the edge of a small grass mat and there were a few tails cruising nearby. One nice red was swimming closer and closer toward me but wanted nothing to do with the spoon I was offering. With one last desperation cast, the lure landed right on his head and he spooked off. Not long after I called it a day.
Andrew and I had decided that after PAC Attack, we were going to take a weekend off. Then, stick to some freshwater areas for a change-up. We decided to head to Flat Lake, just north of Morgan City, to fish for bream and bass. But Flat Lake is notorious during the late summer for being overrun with lilies and hyacinth on the north-end. The only way through are paths that the bass boats cut through to get to the north bayous, and that’s way too risky to try to navigate in a kayak. Add to the equation that the landing was hosting a bass tournament Saturday morning. We decided on a second option.
Flat Lake is on the western side of the east Atchafalaya basin protection levee. On the eastern side of the levee is the small town of Stephensville. The town sits right between lakes Palourde to the south, and Verret to the north and Bayou Magazille runs right through. Truth be told, nobody ever does extremely well in Stephensville or Bayou Magazille anymore. At one time I’m sure that it was a very productive area, but in my opinion, has been very much over fished. Still, every so often someone will catch a nice bass, so there’s always hope.
Andrew immediately went to throwing a mini-jig under a bobber for bream. I’d start with a chatterbait, then worm, then throw the bream rig. We did end up with some fish, all very small bluegill and other sunfish. Everything was released.
At the end of the day, Tracey and her co-worker joined us as we made a quick paddle trip in Gibson. The crispness of the afternoon had me feeling as though the hi should’ve been 70 for the day. The first real cold front is said to be heading through near the end of the week, then it will hopefully be on!
Awesome video by David Mangum