Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tag swag


Got a nice package in the mail this week from the folks at the Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program. Apparently I’ve been active enough with my tagging over the past six months to be recognized – I hit 100 in total fish tagged to date and of that 100 I’ve had four recaptures. My limited research has shown that redfish hardly move at all, over a short period of time, lol…..all four of my reds were caught not very long after I tagged them, within a mile or two of where I caught them – none were released.


Steve and I set out last Saturday in search of Largemouth bass with a penchant for topwater frogs. We’d heard from a friend that a certain swamp to the west of town held good numbers of them and was the perfect place to try our luck. So we ignored the urge to head to the marsh and went bass fishing in the swamp instead.

It was a beautiful day, winds were fairly light, and temps hovered in the low 90s, which also meant the mosquitos were out in force. We set out around sunrise and when we reached our destination we were greeted with some super fishy looking water, which always gets the adrenaline going. Steve didn’t waste any time getting onto the water. As always, I was a little slower.




I’m almost ashamed to admit, especially living in Louisiana, but I can’t remember the last time I fished water like this. Despite being surrounded by them, I generally avoid still, swampy waters like this because they are tough to see through and there’s no telling what the oxygen levels are like. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see excellent water clarity, that is, under the duckweed. Of course the duckweed covered most of the surface like a bright green blanket – which is why we would be frog fishing.

Steve got on the board early on with an 18.5″ LMB on a frog and I followed up with a 24″ choupique on a texas rigged soft plastic, which proved to be the only fish I’d land on the day.



I threw the soft plastic in places where the duckweed was more broken up, however where it was thick, the frog was our best bet, in fact it was the only bait that even elicited a strike from a LMB. Steve had better luck than I did throwing the frog and ended up landing a few, all around 18″ if I’m not mistaken. I came up short on the hook set on every fish that hit. Being new to frog fishing, I was under powered and over anxious, throwing medium tackle with light braid and setting the hook way too early. Still it was a lot of fun to watch the toilet bowl flush and feel a taught line, even if it was just for a few seconds.






Each of us did have our exciting moments though. I hooked and fought a nice 18-20″ bass for a short while, only to lose him right next to the boat, in mid air – it had my heart racing. Steve, however, lost a true beast.

We were fishing parallel to each other, with some distance in between. I was on the opposite side of where he was working his frog when I heard a huge blow up. I looked over and all I see is a giant tail and a portion of his body breach the surface as the fish leaped from the water, Steve’s line went loose during the acrobatics. It was a very large bass, one of the biggest I’ve seen in public water, “dangs” and “dagnabbits” were definitely uttered.

Fishing the swamp really opened my eyes to the opportunities I often overlook. It was tough fishing and even though I only landed one fish it was still rewarding. Above average bass are certainly there. Next time I head that way I’ll be better equipped and hopefully my stories won’t be about the one that got away.



June’s fly of the month is one that I had some success with for trout in Georgia back in April, it should also be a killer bass and redfish fly though as it’s one of the most realistic looking flies I’ve seen in the water. Blake tied this up and provides his instructions below:


– Flashabou

– Zonker strip

– Flash chenille

– Wool roving

– Doll eyes

Step 1. Use your bodkin to punch a hole at the end of the zonker strip. Use your bobbin threader to pull a few pieces of flash through the hole.




Step 2. Mount a needle in the vice and start the thread on the end with only a few wraps.


Step 3. Tie the flash together behind the zonker keeping it from falling out. I’m sure I could have just tied it in to the shank of the hook, but I just wanted a little flash at the back of the fly, so I did it this way.


Step 4. Whip finish, pull the whole thing off the needle, use your choice of cement on the threads.


Step 5. Mount hook in vice and lay down a thread base to the bend of the hook.


Step 6. Add whatever amount of lead that you want along the hook shank and cover with thread.


Step 7. Tie in zonker with a couple wraps at the start of the hook bend.


Step 8. Tie in the flash chenille and palmer up the fly leaving enough room for the zonker tie in and the head.



Step 9. Do your best to part the flash on the top of the hook, pull over the strip, and tie it in.


Step 10. Use whatever material you like to make the head. I used some wool roving that I got from Joann fabric. It’s a lot of material. I don’t remember the cost, but since it isn’t made for fly tying, I’m sure its cheap. I skipped some steps here by accident. I tied one clump of white on the bottom, then one clump of green on the top. Pull back and make a couple wraps on the shank to secure, and then repeat behind the hook eye. I only used 2 separate tie ins, but if you use less material, you may need more. You end up with something like this.



Step 11. Whip finish behind the hook eye and trim the fly to the desired shape. I like to go pretty tall on the top and bottom, and pretty short on the sides.


Step 12. Cut the extra plastic off the back of a doll eye and glue on. I like to use household goop. It doesn’t run, gets in the fibers well, and holds the eyes on well. A little more trimming after the eyes are on and I’m left with a finished fly.



Enjoy, and as always, a little proof of concept: