The Shallow Season

Awesome video by David Mangum

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PAC Attack VI

One of Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club‘s annual tournaments, PAC Attack, was held this weekend in Pointe Aux Chenes. Andrew and I (and sometimes Karl) had been heading to the area for the past month to scout out the area. We would find a few big fish in one area in particular, but opted to search elsewhere for the tourney due to teal hunters being in the area on tournament day. We never did find any mid-upper slot reds anywhere else. Just around the 16″-19″ mark.

Many of the BCKFC tournaments have a slam category, which requires the anglers to weigh in a redfish, speckled trout, & flounder (heaviest slam wins). This tourney, however, just focuses on redfish, which is good for me since they’re the primary species I target. The way to win PAC Attack is to weigh in the heaviest limit of reds (5 fish).

I was joined by Andrew & Karl at 4am Saturday morning as we made the drive down to Pointe Aux Chenes. Andrew would, as usual, be in his Jackson Kayak Big Tuna, Karl in my wife’s Jackson Cruise, and I in the Cuda 14. As we got to PAC, the water was very high, completely covering one of the areas we had put-in at when scouting. The teal hunters were out too, heading out from the launches. We decided to launch from Isle de Jean Charles Marina where many of the other club members where launching from.

Fishing was very slow for the first part of the day. With the stained high water, the fish were mostly in the flooded marsh. There were many times that I would hear hits around me and see the grass moving where it would be difficult to get a lure. The best chance to catch anything would be cast against the grass and retrieve keeping the lure close to the grass.

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Probably by 8am, Karl had landed one 20″+ and lost another at the boat. Andrew and I were still looking for our first bites. I headed across a small area of open water to a few islands with no luck, then down a long pipeline canal riding the current. I spotted a fish against the grass and decided to camp for a few minutes. I ran the lure against the grass a few times with nothing, then threw a GULP under a cork. A pretty nice red hit the cork just before a hardhead pulled it under. I picked up the GULP and continued with the prior tactic and landed a 17″. At this point, I just decided to keep it. If nothing else, I would have something to weigh in.

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I landed another 17.5″ not long after that. It was near 10am by then. I decided to try to find Andrew. He still hadn’t landed anything. We decided to move to the area we had fished last weekend, which was just a short paddle away. I got a hit pretty quickly, but pretty sure he just had the tail of the lure. I moved into a cove where I saw a bit of wakes and other nervous water. After a few minutes I turned to my right and saw a nice red cruising near the surface within six feet of me. Made a perfect short cast and landed him. 25″.

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I worked back further into the cove. Another came up three feet from the boat but I couldn’t get a good cast to him. At the back of the cove was a pond only accessible by a narrow cut, just wide enough for a kayak. While coming through the cut, I could see shadows in the water but as soon as I was inside the pond, clouds covered the sun. I sat and waited a few minutes for the clouds to move on. As soon as they had, I sight casted to another swimming near the surface. He came in around 18″. One fish away from my limit, I was confident I could finish it in that pond. I was looking for one more upper slot red, but wasn’t seeing any. With weigh-in approaching, I landed a 16″ that I returned to the marsh, then sight casted to my final keeper, a 19.5″.

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I started the paddle back. Met back up with Andrew to find he had only gotten a few bites but no fish. Karl had landed 3, two that were over 20″ and one near 18″. We got back to the marina just in time to eat. Mr. Theo, the owner of the marina, had fixed lunch for everyone (the sausage was stinkin’ awesome!!). I weighed in my limit which came in at 14.90 lbs. With the amount of anglers competing, checks would go to the top five weights. The top five were the following:

  1. Bill Crawford – 28.90 lbs
  2. Rodney Soignier – 21.70 lbs
  3. Clayton Shilling – 18.75 lbs
  4. Casey Brunning – 17.40 lbs
  5. Mark Eubanks – 16.10 lbs

I came in at 7th place, which felt about right. It was a great event and a good time afterwords.

Now we’ll soon start scouting new areas and be looking forward to the first cold front to move through. I can’t wait for some Fall fishing!

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Isle De Jean Charles, LA

I fished BCKFC’s PAC Attack this past Saturday (report coming soon), which was held at Isle de Jean Charles Marina, aka, Theo’s. Isle de Jean Charles is a small strip of road and camps in Pointe Aux Chenes, south of Houma. There are 24 families living on the island of French Native American heritage. Choctaw, Biloxi, & Chitimacha are the tribes represented.

Like many places in South Louisiana, if you just drive through these small coastal communities, you don’t really think anything of it. However, this is paradise to the people who live there. They choose to stay & come back after every hurricane and rebuild their lives. But paradise is sinking.

I found these short films on Isle de Jean Charles and it’s residents, and found them interesting.

Last PAC Attack Pre-fish

Headed out again today. It was our last chance to pre-fish for PAC Attack. We fished at two different spots today; starting in the morning further exploring the area we’ve been fishing, then moving to a new area around 10:30 or so. I also brought along the DSLR today.

At the first spot, I had two hook-ups with one cast between them. Neither resulted in a caught fish. I did eventually land one a little later when I saw a tail up against the grass.

We moved to the next area, where Andrew picked up one, and two more for me (+ one more miss). The wind was starting to pick up and the thunder heads were building from the east so we called it a day. Glad we did, that storm was violent!

As I mentioned before, I brought along the DSLR and got some shots today:DSC_2289-1 DSC_2290-2 DSC_2292-3 DSC_2294-5 DSC_2299-6 DSC_2300-7

And the fish:49FF8C09-482A-48EF-9921-6D90E5908373-8298-00000B07782A0DBB_zps8e866498-1 F773BE73-9A9F-4313-AF1E-887168DD773F-8298-00000B0781DB3F40_zpsc7e21cdf-2 B5090D55-10CE-4212-925D-C5AE7071BE4D-8298-00000B0789F957B6_zpsf371f680-3 6809CB9B-2F45-4628-9C41-073846E93293-8298-00000B07D04ACAEA_zps07928f06-4

None of the fish were very big. We saw a few mid-upper slot fish but couldn’t get them to bite. Hopefully that’s different come next weekend. Also, all fish were tagged and released.

Video: Labor Day Kayak Fishing