So earlier in the week I headed down to the marsh. Mark, who has joined Andrew & I before, had still yet to catch a red, so I figure he and I could try to change that.
We got down to the launch around 8am on Tuesday & got stuck talking to some guys that were crabbing down there. We didn’t get on the water until around 8:30 and high-tailed it to an area I had been before that offered decent sightfishing. When we got there, we started seeing reds everywhere but they were not digging my offer. I finally got one interested enough, but no sooner had the fight started it was over. Bad hook-set maybe? I’m not sure. Anyway, we called it a day by lunchtime and headed home. Mark’s interest lasted about 2 hours into the trip and he spent the rest of his time paddling around while I fished.
The next day I headed back out to the same area. It was pretty much the same story. Winds were out of the NE and varied between 5-10. Watched plenty of fish, but they weren’t interested. I worked a large area for quite a while trying to get one to bite, changing up lures and trying everything I had but with no luck.
Finally saw one a few feet to my left swimming in the opposite direction. The first cast that I made was off. By the time I was ready to cast again, he was I few feet behind me but the cast was right on. He chased it down and put up a good little fight. He measured in at 24.75″. Last month I joined the tagging program by the CCA. I had still yet to tag a fish and had planned to tag any fish that were caught that day. So this guy was my first tagged fish.
After that, I hung around that area just a little while longer before moving on. All morning I had seen quite a few reds & schools of mullet all over the area. But after moving on, I started seeing drum & sheepshead everywhere. I gotta figure them sheepshead out!
I continued on in search of any more reds. Sight-casted to several more but it was mid-day by then and they just cruised on.
On another note, I’ve realized that even with the battery backpack, GoPro’s battery life is horrible, so I’ll soon need to invest in back-up batteries for it.
Here is a cool article I found that shows some of the info that the tagging program provides: http://www.tampabay.com/sports/outdoors/tagged-redfish-recaptured-nearly-23-years-later/2137880
My solo fish in this post was caught on an H&H Secret Redfish Gold Spoon.
Well, all of the build-up and publicity paid off this year as Ride The Bull, in Grand Isle, earned the title, “Largest Kayak Fishing Rodeo in the World”, with 488 on-the-water participants. Two of those participants were Andrew and I.
We got to the island around 4pm on Friday, after checking in our hotel and wandering around Leeville looking for live crabs or cut mullet. There was already a small crowd when we arrived at Bridgeside Marina. We got our captains bags and hung out around the area while waiting. There were a few guys out in Caminada Pass prefishing. The weather was pretty nice and the water looked pretty calm for the area.
The dinner was fixed by the Friends of Grand Isle and was awesome! Barbecued chicken and baked beans (w/ chili mixed in) were the highlight of the meal. There was welcoming and sponsor shoutouts. The Backpacker provided a Hobie PA for the angler weighing in the heaviest red. GoPro was providing prize cameras for those who would compete in the film festival and a second contest on tournament day. Heroes On The Water were raffling off a K-2 Cooler, and BCKFC were raffling off a Hobie Outback.
We stayed for the first part of the film festival. There were a few great entries (which you can watch here). We did not stay to vote, though. We decided to head back to our hotel in Galliano.
We woke up in the morning around 5 and started back to the island. Lightning in the distance told us the weather would be the opposite of the day before. The marina was again packed by the time we got there. It was great to see the many different kayaks and rigging ideas. That’s been one of my favorite things about tourneys so far.
We didn’t get on the water until after the start, and many of the others did likewise, waiting for a break in the weather. The current was not horrible once out in the pass. We anchored and started fishing. My rods got tangled on a drifters rods, then once cleared, on their rudder. They were nice and got it untangled. As I was getting that rig cleaned up, my other rod started moving. I started pulling it up with not a lot of resistance and found a small hard-head catfish on the other end. He had somehow gotten one of is fins hooked.
Soon, the water stopped moving and the only thing determining our direction was the wind. Then the tide started falling. That was the story of the day. At the same moment, the rain came, heavy. I paddled under the bridge and had to continue paddling to keep from being pushed back by tide and wind. Somewhere in the madness I managed to upgrade my catfish weight… stupid catfish.
By the time the rain had stopped, I decided I didn’t want to put up with the tide anymore and headed in. Andrew, as well as many others, were making the same decision. In short, that was it for us as far as participating went. After eating and loading up our gear, we walked out to the end of the fishing pier to watch the action. The tide was moving even harder it seemed. Several anglers had tied up to the pier to anchor themselves. We watched as paddles and bait wells were lost, and one poor guy lost control and flipped his boat. Luckily, he was not alone and several anglers helped him out. We later found out that it was a common occurrence. The chase boats were turned into rescue boats as well as towing vessels. Many participants were towed back in.
When the after party started, we learned that bull reds were actually caught. First place went to Jeff Gleason with a 32lb red. And there were MANY prizes in the prize-pool for the top-ten and later the raffle winners to choose from.
All-in-all, it was a very well put on event. Bridgeside handled the crowds very well and Danny & Kristen Wray did a great job organizing the tournament. It was not “my style” of fishing, but fun nonetheless! It will no doubt be interesting to see how many participate in Ride The Bull V.
It was originally predicted to rain all day on Saturday but on Friday night, TWC’s predictions changed to rain in the afternoon so we figured we would make a morning trip. Karl had a bad experience at LA 1 Slamboree and at first I didn’t think he’d give kayak fishing a chance but he decided to go again this weekend. With that, we headed to the marsh.
We were on the water near an area we’ve fished quite a bit but decided to head further back into the marsh. The wind was steadily picking up throughout the day, but nothing like we experienced two weeks ago, and it was blowing from the east. Andrew and I separated and were fishing two different sides of the little peninsula. Karl joined Andrew and quickly hooked onto a 25.5″ red. It was originally a blind cast but as he started his retrieve, he saw the fish turn. This was his first fish in a kayak.
We started moving into some really skinny water, seeing blue crabs and gar everywhere. Water was about 2-4″ deep in some spots and the gar were just sitting there and we’d be drifting/poling over them when they’d spook.
We made it out to deeper water on the side of the peninsula that I had been fishing earlier. I casted to a couple of big sheepshead but they weren’t interested. I paddled pass a large cove and saw the top of a red near the shore. By the time I was ready to cast, he had moved. Andrew had started drifting a grass flat and was spooking quite a few so Karl & I headed that way. Andrew landed a 25″ there. I drifted the flat and saw a few big reds, drum and gar. I was nearing the western bank of the area and looking for any fish. I could see a bright red shadow in the water. I had to cast twice. He took no interest the first time but the second time he slammed it and immediately took off. He put up a nice little fight and was a little bigger than I thought he’d be, coming in at 24.75″, 25″ if I pinched the tail. Immediately after, Karl landed another, somewhere between 17-18″.
We had told the girls that we’d be heading back around lunchtime so we started the paddle back, stopping every so often to fish a little bit but with no more success.
It was a great day and even though there weren’t a lot of fish, they were upper-slot fish and that’s good! Also, I forgot the gopro at home this time, so no videos from tis trip.
So with RTB4 quickly approaching, I’ve had a few friends who had heard about it and been asking about it. I figured I would post some of the videos promoting the tournament here.
First off, a few years ago, when RTB was started, there where only 75 participants. In a very short amount of time it’s grown to over 200 participating last year, aiming for over 400 this year! This year will be the first time Andrew & I (and maybe Karl) will be fishing it. We’re not entirely sure what to expect, with 400 other anglers involved, but it’s sure to be a good time.
Here are the videos & if you’re thinking about participating you can register over at calmwatercharters.com.