ARF Bayou Bash 2012
I spent this past weekend fishing in Grand Isle with some friends from Alabama River Fishing. I got hooked up with these guys when I lived in Madison for a year. We had a group of about 15 kayak fishermen, split between 2 camps in Chenier. The goal was to catch redfish and I believe most accomplished that goal on this trip.
I arrived Friday around lunch and set out to scout a new area. Winds were steady out of the East and the tide was up a bit so conditions weren’t optimal. Sightfishing was tough, but doable. I didn’t even pack the fly rod since I was just scouting, but the area I hit has serious potential. I ended up catching my limit (5) of reds in 4-5 hours. It’s always cool fishing new water and quite rewarding to have some success. It was also cool to see some of the other guys get out and find some success as well, there was lots of trout and several redfish being cleaned when I made it to camp.
I got a late start Saturday due to an over consumption of “daddy cokes” the night before. Some of it’s a little hazy, but it was a good time. Anyway, Saturday’s weather was a bit rougher than Friday. Water was still up and the winds remained steady from the East. I headed out with a couple of other guys into some familiar marsh and stubbornly did the sightfishing gig. I knew that it was going to be tough, but I was persistent. I ended up catching one red and it was a nice one, my biggest on the weekend at 28″. The biggest fish out of the weekend went to Brad though, who hauled in a giant black drum that was probably upwards of 30lbs, quite the beast.
That night I took it easy on the drink and watched LSU pull it out against South Carolina. All was right in the World again. Before going to bed I decided to check out the water under our dock lights to see if there was any action. Sure enough there was fish popping shrimp out the water with consistency. I grabbed the long rod and tied on a charlie and went to work. Managed to land 3 keeper specks and numerous sand trout and silver perch under the lights. It was a lot of fun, I should have grabbed the 6wt instead of the 8wt though.
Sunday was setting up to be the best day to fish and that is what I kept telling the guys. The winds would lay down, the sun would be out, and the tides would be out (at least in the morning). Sure enough the weather prognosticators were right and I didn’t look foolish. At around 10am the wind laid down and conditions were excellent. The water was still higher than I like, but clarity was excellent. The first red I caught was quite a ways away swimming away from me on an opposite bank. You could tell it was a red by the large, consistent wake it was producing. I bombed a cast with a spinnerbait ahead of it and as soon as it landed it was inhaled. Very cool to catch a red at the end of a long cast. The rest of the day for me was spent stalking shorelines in the marsh. My first fish I caught on the fly was actually a 19″ sheepshead. They were all over the marsh this past weekend. A challenging fish to take on artificial so I was pretty thrilled. I actually ended up catching another one later in the day. Both were caught on Blake’s redfish intruder fly. In fact the intruder fly would go on to land me 4 more reds on the fly rod too. It was a really awesome day, I couldn’t stress enough how lucky the guys were that we hit it right. Although the fishing wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen out there, the conditions were nearly perfect. Couldn’t have planned it any better.
I had to leave Sunday evening, but most of the guys were sticking around and leaving Monday. Before I left I got to enjoy some deer balls that Jason prepared as an appetizer. They were basically bacon wrapped deer with a bell pepper and onion inside, marinated in Dale’s – a delicious combination of things that I like. I was quite surprised to hear that John had caught a tripletail on the fly that day in the marsh and had the pictures to prove it. I’ll be honest this is the first tripletail caught in a kayak that I’ve heard of in Louisiana. We’ve got em sure, but I’ve never heard anyone catch em close in. The drive home was later than I intended, but it was tough to leave. I had a lot of fun hanging out with the Bama guys and hope we can do it again. I know they fried up a bunch of fish that night and I hate that I missed out. The bugs were thick coming back that evening and I had to get a picture of my car the next day.