It’s the last day of February, but our temps in Louisiana are already in the 70’s. Azaleas and Japanese magnolia are in full bloom – a good sign that the bluegill are active.
Pond action is just getting ripe!
One thing I like to do if I plan on releasing the fish that I catch is to tag them. It can be quick and simple if you have everything you need handy. Being in a kayak complicates things a little, but not enough to deter me. LDWF and CCA Louisiana have a joint program called the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program that you can sign up for and they will send you everything you need to start tagging. This data is then used in tagging studies and they will update you when a fish is caught that you’ve previously tagged. I have yet to have anyone recapture one of my fish and I think I have tagged around 50 fish.
Along with the tags you receive a tool to insert the tag into the fish and a form you will need to fill out and send back to CCA Louisiana. They also give you a pen and a Rite in the Rain pad. I usually fill the form out at home and use the Rite in the Rain pad to jot down my notes. You will need to measure the fish and identify the location you caught it with GPS points. You can use a GPS or do what I do. I use Google Earth once I get home and locate where I was at. It shortens the time I have the fish off the water. There is a spot on the form to identify weight, I don’t believe it is required, but you can weigh the fish as well. Then there are some general questions about what type of lure you used and how the fish took to the release. I have found that I tag more fish when everything is handy, so I keep the kit in a ziploc in my dry hatch or in my milkcrate. I also keep the fish in my net in the water when I’m jotting down notes.
Check out this program if you currently catch and release fish from time to time, I know they could always use more taggers. It is free and you don’t have to be a member of CCA. I believe it is open to any marine game fish species, so tag away at specks, reds, flounder, cobia, tripletail, whatever. Click on the link below for more info.
|Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program|
|Tony Berrigan, Coordinator|
Another oldie, but a goodie – here is an easy way to grill redfish for those who don’t like to leave the skin on (my wife).
I often keep the redfish I catch because they are so delicious on the grill. I’ve experimented with a lot of different ways of cooking and preparing the fish, but I always come back to this simple recipe. It works just as well with trout, black drum, sheepshead, and flounder, so don’t think this is redfish specific.
What you’ll need: Redfish fillets (scales off), aluminum foil, butter, olive oil, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, lemon pepper, blackening seasoning, cajun seasoning, and beer of your choice.
– Fillet your redfish with the scales off (or thaw those fillets from a previous trip, fresh fish is always better however).
– Light your coals and open up a beer.
– Tear off a piece of aluminum foil big enough to completely encapsulate your fish fillet, place your fillet on the foil.
– Gently season each side of your fish fillet with cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, and blackening seasoning. Don’t overdo it.
– Pour a little bit of olive oil, worcestershire, and lemon juice on your fillet. Not too much, just a little strip down the fillet.
– Add about 1 Tbsp. worth of butter to your fillet. I usually cut it into 2 pieces and place them on the fillet.
– Fold up your fillet and repeat with the rest of your fish. I usually grill up 4 fillets so I can have leftovers the next day.
– By now your coals should be hot, so place your foiled fish on the grill.
– You’ll cook the fish for 20 minutes. My grill is not that big so at 10 minutes I rotate the inside fillets with the outer ones.
– I like to serve each fillet with a side of rice/pasta and a vegetable.
If you’ve got any leftover crawfish etoufee, add that to the top of the redfish when it’s done, talk about good! Hope y’all enjoy this simple way of preparing redfish. I know I did!