LA 1 Slamboree Recap

I’ve been wanting to get out and start fishing tournaments for a while now. This weekend I got my chance at the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club’s (LKFC) LA 1 Slamboree. It was hosted at Bobby Lynn’s Marina in Leeville, LA. This would be our first time fishing in the area. 

We decided to pre fish the weekend before. Andrew, Karl & I headed down LA 1 Saturday morning and as we neared Port Fourchon on the new expressway, we could see storms off the coast, including a waterspout! We combat launched into the area south of the first bridge between Fourchon and Grand Isle. It was about 9am by this point. I started throwing top-water and got a few hits on it. Reds were everywhere but they weren’t interested but the trout were. In one small pond, a trout nailed the lure but came off at the boat. Karl, who had never fished out of a kayak before, landed a small ladyfish. He was borrowing Andrew’s Big Tuna. And Andrew, who was fishing out of my wife’s Cruise 12, was also getting trout hits, but no hookups. A thunderstorm started to form quickly and ran us off the water for the day.

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Now for tournament weekend, Andrew had to work but Karl and I headed down. I just bought the Aquabound Sting Ray Carbon paddles, and got to use them for the first time! Nice upgrade from the BB Whisper. Anyway, we decided to fish a different area of marsh than what we pre fished. We were on the water at about 5:45, right as the horizon was beginning to brighten behind the clouds. Rain was forecasted for around 12, though we only saw a small shower around 7. Wind, however, was the story of the day! We fished around and I landed an 18.25 red around 6:45. I figured that, if nothing else, he’d make a nice supper that night. We continued to work the bank, protected for the wind.

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My first trout came as I was reeling back in my line. It slammed my lure right as I got it to the boat. It jumped right into my topwater that was hanging off the front of my kayak. I landed him but he only measured in at 11.5. I also had a new VUDU Shrimp rigged under a cork and had been trolling it as I was drifting and looking for reds and flounder. I decided to reel it back in to check on it and recast it. When I got it back to the boat, a small trout was hanging onto to it. I didn’t measure him as he was way undersized.

We continued to check the weather throughout the day. We decided to head back closer to the put in and fish a small bayou running through the marsh. That plan didn’t quite work as the water was so low. There was another cove near this and I decided to stake out and try to upgrade my red, hoping to at least participate in the heavy red division. As I was checking the banks for signs of life, I noticed the back of a red right up against the grass. We had noticed a lot of shrimp jumping so I had taken the cork off of my VUDU shrimp and casted it right to the fish. He took it almost immediately. As I began fighting him, I realized that he was a big guy. Maybe not quite a bull, but definitely near, if not over 27″. He was peeling drag headed for some grass so I thumbed the spool to stop him. He headed to the boat and looked about ready. Then he took off on one final run, under the boat. I again thumbed the reel and the line went slack. I almost threw my rod in the water.

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It took me a few minutes to get over losing him. I eventually went back to searching for tails right up against the banks in the wind protected areas. I did get a few more to bite, but I was too anxious and set the hook to quickly.

We tired out of fighting the wind and headed back to the truck. I was tempted to weigh in my fish but decided it wasn’t worth it and to just save it for the grill.

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All in all, it was a great time and I enjoyed myself. We stayed for a while at the weigh in and heard that the other guys had a rough day as well. Looking forward to the next tournament now!

 

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Afternoon Reds

Sundays are a busy day for my wife and I. Most of the time when I make plans to fish on a Sunday, it’s a short local trip. Andrew & I had planned to head to the marsh on Saturday but due to too much wedding food on Friday, those plans needed to be pushed back. So on Sunday, after church was over, Andrew and myself, and a rookie named Mark, decided to load up the truck and head down to Pointe Aux Chenes.

It was probably around 3:30-4 by the time we finally got on the water. With Mark having never been kayak fishing before, Andrew felt it best to set up his Big Tuna in tandem seating, and have Mark paddle with him. The water had been muddied up a little, probably because of the storms that had been rolling through all morning & the grass was still thick and matted on the surface. I started the evening throwing a black spoon but with no luck at all. Eventually I decided to try out a Gulp minnow, again with no luck except for a crab taking half of it.

The day consisted of a lot of casting for all of us, but wasn’t completely unproductive. We came up to a cut where we had some sign of life last time. Andrew caught a nice little 16.5″ Red. After a few minutes we headed past it and along a long shoreline. We just drifted with the wind and fished it. That’s where I hooked onto a Red that measured in at just under 18.25″.

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We came to the end of that shoreline and I hooked onto another one. This one measuring at 15″ so back in he went. Immediately after releasing him, Andrew got hooked up on a 17″.

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We continued to fish all the way back to the put-in but with no more bites, it was getting late. As we headed in, we met up with another kayaker in a 10′ Pescador. He had caught 2 reds, a 16″ and a 26″.

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It was 9:30 by the time we got back to Morgan City. We were determined that Mark get to eat redfish on the half-shell. As I unloaded the truck, Andrew cleaned the fish, and they went straight to the grill. Mark, who mostly plays video games for fun, had a great time and is ready to go back!

Lures: Bayou Chubb Minnows (LSU Colored), Matrix Shad (Tigerbait), Gold Spoon.

I have a friend who about 10 months ago moved to Dallas. He and his family were visiting us this week and we made plans to head to the marsh. The plans were to originally head to PAC, but with the weather we had over the weekend, we figured we’d head west of us to Cypremort Point to try and avoid the most of the weather. Last year around this time we made a similar trip to Burns Point which resulted in him catching one 16″ red, and me; just sore arms and a sunburn. The bay was rough as we headed from Burns Point State Park to the marsh (about a mile to the north), and he was smoking me in my father-in-law’s Old Town Vapor 10 (I was paddling a Jackson Coosa at the time).

This year’s trip was a little bit different. We reached Cypremort Point and went into the park. We headed to the north end of the park and started unloading my truck. It was me, Trey (from Dallas), & Andrew. I just bought a Jackson Cruise a couple of weeks ago for my wife, and Trey was using that boat for the day. We put in and headed north into Shark Bayou.

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Now, Cypremort Point is new water for us. We’ve mostly stuck to the Cocodrie/PAC areas this year. As we headed into the cuts along the main bayou, you could see plenty of bait busting everywhere. We put in around 8am or so, and eventually Trey hooked up. He caught the guy out of the current on an Avocado Matrix Shad. He barely made it past 16″ but was legal! We continued to fight the winds and current as we paddled through the different cuts and canals. I would occasionally check my phone’s google maps to navigate through the maze. As we pulled the boats up to the grass on each side of this canal, Trey hooked onto another! This one around 16.5″ on a Tsunami Holographic Swimbait in blue tiger.

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The day was turning out to be pretty uneventful for me. We were just about done but Trey wanted to fish one of the two manmade canals behind the park. After checking the map, he decided on the canal directly behind the park. We battled the wind as we paddled/casted up it. I spooked about a six foot gator off of the bank. There was a small cove at the dead end of the canal and just for kicks Andrew casted his Sac Au Lait rod in there. His cork bobbed and he felt a snag, but knowing better, he kept tension and pulled up a decent Flounder. As he got it in the boat, the hook came off straightened.

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After that we called it a day and leisurely paddled back to the park. Out of the whole trip the only thing I got was some severe sunburn on my feet. But I am glad that Trey got to fish while he was visiting and more glad he caught two of the three fish of the day. We will be back to Cypremort Point eventually to try to learn the area better.

 

Point Aux Chenes: 5/31 & 6/01

Well, the plan for this past weekend was for Andrew & I to get out on the water in PAC on Saturday and then go to a local pond on Sunday to introduce someone else to the sport. On Thursday morning, I get a text inviting me to go with my father-in-law to PAC on Friday.

It wasn’t an early trip Friday. We probably finally wet a line around 10 or so. Our first location was the Wildlife Management Area on the north side of Hwy 665. The water was pretty clean but there was grass everywhere we went.

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After about an hour with no bites, we headed to the Island Rd. launch. We put in and my father-in-law casted to the clumps of marsh grass right at the launch and hooked a 17″ Red. With that, we had high hopes but were soon let down. We worked the banks to the northeast of the launch. He hooked another but didn’t land it. I had no luck at all. We packed up again and searched around for another area. The wind was picking up throughout the day, but was never really calm at any point, so we were looking for a protected area. We went all the way to Cocodrie.

We traveled down Bayou Sale Rd. almost all the way to Dulac before we found another put in. We started working the banks in a small canal right off the road. After about 15 minutes, I hooked up with what felt to be a nice sized fish. It broke the surface a few times before breaking my line. I was too busy fiddling with my drag to even confirm that it was a Red.

Again, we searched and searched and came up empty, so we called it a day.

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Saturday, Andrew and I were on the road around 5. We were making our way back to PAC. I figured I’d give it another shot. We were in the water at the Island Rd. launch around 7. We started at the same marsh grass clumps were my father-in-law caught the Red the day before, hoping to repeat that success. I wasn’t surprised when that didn’t happen. We headed to the marsh west/southwest of the launch. Again, the water was clean with a lot of grass.

We made our way to a cut in the marsh with some water movement, and Andrew had a run-in with a small redfish. He estimates it was around 13″. It was enough to keep us motivated. As he paddled north, I continued working the area. I found a small cove in the marsh where I saw some surface activity. As I casted towards the tail, I spooked but it and another red I hadn’t noticed. A few seconds later, I spooked a couple of drum that I tried casting to. I must admit, while sight-casting may be fun, it’s more difficult than I expected.

I met back up with Andrew to find he had landed a 22″ at the mouth of a small cove. We continued searching for more, but with no luck. After pausing for lunch, we decided to head back to the truck.

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We continued to see plenty of fish while on the way back. Just nothing biting. I’d might also add, the water was pretty high.

We traveled down Island Rd. to see all the people gathered at the dam bank fishing. One guy was pulling in a small trout. We also noticed a guy in a sit-in ‘yak with an outrigger and a trolling motor. Fun stuff, haha!

We headed back to the area near Cocodrie that we had gone to a few months ago where we’d had some luck. The put in area was much more difficult to launch from this time and the stench of the stagnant water was pretty bad but we got through. We pretty much worked the same route we had last time but we were getting hung up in a lot of grass. Andrew was getting tired and ready to head back, then he hooked a 12″. As he started to put it in the ice chest, he realized it wasn’t a trout but a redfish. I guess the fatigue was getting to him, haha!

He decided to start drifting back while I figured I work the mouth of a pond where we’d seen a tail. I casted the area for about 5 mins. and decided to start the drift back. Right as I started the drift back, I got a bite. I worried about repeating my loss from the day before, so I just let him tire himself out before netting him. All I knew was that he was a keeper.

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We got back to the truck without any other fish. I measured him there and he came in right at 26″. Would be a decent tourney fish!

It was around 3pm and we were done!

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We will be exploring Point Aux Chenes more in the near future, but this will be the last marsh trip until the end of the month most likely.

Fish on Sat. caught on: H&H Cocahoe Minnow (Blk/Chart.) on 1/8oz Jighead (White)

Fish on Sun. caught on: Bayou Chub Minnows (Rtbr/Chart.) on 1/4 oz Jighead (Chart.)

Little late… but better late than never. My buddy, Andrew, and I haven’t had much luck lately when it’s come to freshwater. Most of the time, I’ll be throwing spinners, cranks, & plastics, while he’ll be throwing a bobber for the sunfish. Well last weekend it paid off.

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When we started planning this trip, I was hoping to head to the marsh. Andrew was looking to stay local though. So rather than drive 2 hours to get to the Cocodrie/PAC areas, we headed for Grand Avoille Cove. The cove is near the Lake Fausse Point area, outside the west walls of the spillway levee, and it’s about 15 mins from his driveway.

Once we were out there, we headed for the south side of the cove. As we worked our way back into it, Andrew caught a gaspargou. Soon after that, he hooked a long-ear sunfish. We kept working the bank, in and out of smaller coves inside hooking up on sunfish, undersized largemouth, and catfish.

As we started along the north end of the cove, one of my rods snagged a tree as I was passing, and into the water it went. I had been fighting with mosquitos and gnats and was just trying to find some wind movement. It was only 3.5 ft. of water and I was able to spot it and fish it out. I was almost ready to head back. Andrew had one more spot he wanted to hit up.

We pulled up to the mouth of a bayou system back in the northwest side of the cove. We started casting into a circle of cypresses. Immediately, as our small black/chart. jigs would hit the water, the bobber would sink and we were pulling back decent sized bluegill and other sunfish. They were pretty stacked in there and just kept biting and when it started to die down, I switched to a Gulp cricket and it was back on!

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After we finished up there, we headed back to the truck. We saw a kid “eat-it” on a hydro-slide, that gave us a good laugh!

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Anyway, on Sunday we decided to try out an area closer to Morgan City, between Gibson and Donner. It’s a pipeline canal that looks promising. We hit it up a few weeks prior with no luck, but we blamed it on the front that passed through the day before.

This time… we got a good paddle on a pretty day. Lots of fish, nothing biting. Maybe this area’s also seen too much pressure or maybe we weren’t there at the right time of day for the bite.

 

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Regardless of whether you catch anything or not. It’s still just great to be out. More is planned for the weekend; two marsh trips and a local pond to introduce a young guy to the sport! Hopefully we’ll find the fish, but if not, we’ll still have a good time.

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