Monthly Archives: May 2013

As I said in the last post, day 1 of this trip was nothing short of amazing. Here’s how it went down, but also what led us back up to the cabin for Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day weekend has become our annual pilgrimage to the coldwater streams of North Georgia, utilizing my parents cabin as a home base. This year however, we toyed with the idea of going to Arkansas and floating the Buffalo for smallies, which is something I still would like to do, but I really didn’t put in the planning necessary to give us a real shot at success. This weekend kind of snuck up me, not gonna lie. I mean, I still had the date blocked off on my calendar, knowing I’d be headed somewhere, but I kind of thought it would be somewhere new. I figured I’d be halfway through the bass slam by now, but life happens and I’ve yet to make the first trip on the quest, so the priority of accomplishing the bass slam is quickly sliding down the list. Having some success at the cabin in April certainly didn’t help make me want to go anywhere else either.

When we decided to head back to Georgia I thought it would be a good opportunity to stop at the Flint River, in shoal bass territory, and at least try our luck with one new bass species to us. However, last weekend’s heavy rains put an end to that idea as every gauge I checked for the Flint did not paint a pretty picture. It’s always good to have a backup plan though, and heading to North Georgia a day early was not a bad option.

We got in real early Thursday morning, put in a few hours of sleep and got on the creek about mid-morning. I went to work pitching a streamer, which I had some success on in April and landed a couple small browns at the first spot.


Working our way upstream, it was evident that the interest in the streamer was just not there so I switched rigs. I still had the dry dropper rig we fished with on the Upper Colorado River in September set up in my pack and I told Blake, “if I catch just one fish on this rig, I will consider it a success”. Wouldn’t you know, just a few drifts in and I hook into a nice one.




It was a stud rainbow on the dropper. The rig was a success and would continue to produce the rest of the day. To get an idea of the rig(and to understand why I made that statement), take the biggest foam dry fly you have in your box and hang the biggest stonefly imitation you’ve got below it, now add 2-3 split shot in between and that’s about what I was fishing. For the size water we were fishing throwing the rig seemed ridiculous at first, but we caught browns and rainbows in pretty much every likely looking spot. Some bigger than others, with the biggest going 22-23″, most were around 14-16″ though.







We headed back to the cabin for lunch/brews and stopped to look for fish food under the rocks on the way back. Sure enough, we found our Huckleberry. Found some fish eggs clinging to the rocks as well.




If you can believe it, the fishing actually got better after lunch. Blake caught twelve in a row standing in one spot with one of them being a monster. While he was at that spot I was just downstream having have similar success, landing back-to-back browns that were probably my biggest to date. I know this is private water and most of these are stocked trout that receive supplemental feed, but the fishing was unreal by any standards.












We ended our day at a spot upstream known to hold behemoths, with both of us hooked up on big fish I decided to set up the GoPro. Unfortunately I failed to account for the sun being in the shot and Blake wasn’t able to bring his to hand at the very end. Still, I landed probably my biggest rainbow trout ever.





With that the weekend was off to an incredible start and we would be hard pressed to top day 1.


It’s Memorial Day weekend and Blake and I have found our way back to North Georgia for our annual trip. We contemplated heading elsewhere for this weekend, fishing for something new, but after having some success last month, I had to come back. We got in town REAL early this morning, slept a bit, then headed out to the creek for the day. What a day it was! We had quantity, we had quality, and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Below are just a couple teaser pics, y’all will just have to wait for the good stuff.

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This past weekend was the first IFA kayak tour fishing event this year for the Louisiana division. It was held in Empire at Delta Marina. There were 67 people registered for the tournament, which is the most they’ve had for an IFA event ever in Louisiana and I believe the most the IFA has had at a kayak event so far this year. I believe the weather helped create that great turnout because for the first weekend in a long time there wasn’t a big, sweeping cold front coming through the area. It really felt like summer this past weekend.


Since the event is Sunday, I was able to pre-fish on Saturday. Working off a tip from a friend, I hit a spot I’ve never been to before hoping to find trout and bull reds. The IFA is a CPR (catch-photo-release) tournament that scores an aggregate length of your biggest trout and redfish combined, so I wanted to find a spot that had the possibility of providing trophy sized fish for both species.

I didn’t exactly make it out at the crack of dawn Saturday, but I wasn’t too far behind either. After a long paddle against the wind I got to the area I was told would be holding trout. It was basically an island, surrounded by oyster reef, with a steady current of semi-clear saltwater sweeping around. I parked on the island and began to wade fish. First cast into the water was a 19″ trout. He was tagged and released, fingers crossed he’d be around Sunday. I then proceeded to catch, tag, and release numerous trout, some under size, others decent keeper size, but most under that 19″ mark. Of course mixed in with the trout were hardheads and gafftops, just to prove that there is still a downside to using Gulp. The important thing gained here was that I found a trout spot for the tourney.

Then I ventured into the marsh looking for reds. With the high tides and steady winds I didn’t expect to have much success finding reds by sight fishing, but I tried anyway. It may not have been the most successful scouting method, but it did work. It worked thanks in part to the good water clarity we had. I had no problems seeing silhouettes in a few feet of water because the water was so nice – by Louisiana standards. I even managed to catch a few with the fly rod. Tagged and released all of the reds as well, the biggest I had went 27.5″. Just over the slot, so not quite the bull I was looking for. If you’re keeping score, that would have been a 46.5″ aggregate. I figured I would need at least 45″ to break into the top 10, so that was my goal for Sunday.







After finishing up fishing on Saturday, my mind was pretty made up that I would be headed back there Sunday. I knew I wouldn’t catch the exact same fish, but I imagined I could find similar fish and have a similar agg. score. Chatting with other guys at the captain’s meeting only strengthened my decision on fishing the same spot Sunday. There was a lot of talk about dirty water and small fish, or even no fish at all, so I was feeling pretty good.





I had hopes that Sunday would be similar to Saturday, but shortly after leaving the launch I realized it wouldn’t, the weater wouldn’t allow it. The wind was relentless on Sunday and of course where I wanted to fish was about a mile or two across open water, into the wind. After paddling at a snail’s pace for what seemed like an hour I got to my island and began fishing. Took me awhile to land a trout, but when I did it went 17.5″. Fishing was obviously going to be much slower than the day before.



Kept at it a little bit longer for trout, picking up one under size trout and a few catfish and after one too many hardhead, I headed into the marsh. My plan was to go into the marsh, pick up a slot red, then head back to the bay to fish for bull reds. That didn’t exactly go as planned. I thought, because of the success I had Saturday, that I’d be able to do it again, but I was struggling. I was on fire Saturday, I had osprey eyes and could cast like KVD, but Sunday I was Mr. Magoo and all my casts were crap. Well, all except one. In the last little marsh pond that I was willing to sightfish I finally put it all together, spotted a red hugging the bank and made a nice leading cast in range. It went 25.5″ and I couldn’t be more relieved. As someone who prides himself in his ability to catch redfish, not having one at a tournament weigh-in would weigh heavily on my conscience, as it did after Redfish Rumble.


I still had time to go out and fish for an upgrade to either the trout or the red, and I did, but it was pretty unsuccessful. On a day like Sunday, I was really just happy to have caught one of each. My aggregate was 43″ and as it turns out, that was good enough for 7th, so I took home a check as well. Seems it was tough for pretty much everyone else as well, except for the winner, John Kay, who turned in an aggregate of 59.25″. His score was bolstered by catching the only bull red weighed in, at 39.75″. The winners are below:


From left to right: Steve Neece(2nd), John Kay(1st and big red), Casey Brunning(3rd), and Marty Mood(big trout)

Congrats to the winners, having fished the same tournament I can tell you they earned it. Only 29/67 folks weighed fish, so a big credit to those who even caught fish. I’m thrilled with my 7th place finish, it’s not every day you get paid to fish. I look forward to the next Louisiana IFA event, which will be held out of Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle August 25th.