Fall N Tide VIII Redux

After a month of waiting, Fall N Tide VIII finally took place this past Saturday down in Venice, Louisiana. My wife never ceases to amaze me and this time it was by graciously allowing me to make the trip down so that I could try and defend my slam title from last year. I’m not sure of many other women whom would have felt the same way with a two week old in the house. That’s why she’s the best!

I made the drive down Friday afternoon, which didn’t leave me any time to fish that day, but it did give me time to enjoy rush hour traffic through New Orleans! At least I had plenty of time to make the captain’s meeting and bounce a few strategies off my kayak fishing cohorts.

After all was said and done I decided to see if I could make lightning strike twice and cover the same area I did last year, hoping the fish would be in a similar pattern. It was a safe spot to try with the forecast high winds, but I was a little unsure with the tournament being postponed a full month. Cold fronts have begun to move through South Louisiana and water temps have dropped quite a bit. It is an area however that I’m most familiar with in Plaquemines Parish, so with familiarity comes comfort and that strategy paid off last year so what the heck.

As it turned out the weathermen were wrong and things ended up being much nicer than the forecast (that never happens). I stayed with my strategy and went to work much like last year, looking for flounder and trout. As the morning progressed it was becoming evident that neither the trout or the flounder were there, so it was time to move on.

I paddled out and hit spot after spot after spot looking for trout and not finding a single one. It was downright pathetic. By lunch time I don’t think I even had a fish to the boat and had only missed one strike. I decided to head to an area that might be better for redfish and fish it back to the launch.

Of course as I decide to finally dedicate time to redfish the winds decide to pick up and make sightfishing difficult. Shortly after lunch I caught my first red in a little marsh cut, 22″. Keep prying that area for flounder as it was a series of cuts and drains, habitat that flounder typically frequent, but caught nothing. I moved on to a flat I know I’d have luck on, but I also knew it rarely held upper slot reds – the kind you need for a tournament, but at this point I just wanted to salvage the day and catch some fish.

As soon as I got there I was into fish – go figure. I probably could have spent all day here picking up reds until I had a leopard or one of those coveted 26.99″ fish, but I didn’t leave myself enough time. I finished out my limit and headed back to the launch. The best redfish I had went 24.5″ and had 5 spots.

Fishing was tough for me early on and for awhile there it was smelling skunky, but I was glad the redfish were there in the afternoon to bail me out. I went to the weigh in knowing that I probably didn’t have a shot, but you never know, so you always weigh your fish. Sure enough my red came up short in both categories and it wasn’t even close. The redfish category had some of the heaviest slot reds I’ve ever seen weighed in.  The winner, Jason Austin, brought in a slot red that went 8.73lbs! The rest of the results are below:

Cajun Slam

1. Rick Dembrun – 11.38 lbs

2. Brendan Bayard – 11.06 lbs

3. Tommy Eubanks – 11.05 lbs

4. David Torregrossa – 9.92 lbs

5. Donnie Elliot – 9.7 lbs

6. Mark Delatte – 9.37 lbs

7. Sherman Walker – 9.24 lbs

Redfish

1. Jason Austin – 8.73 lbs
2. Joseph Chevalier – 8.12 lbs
3. Sean Rasanis – 7.92 lbs
4. Adam Rockweiler – 7.89 lbs
5. Brian Sherman – 7.83 lbs

Trout

1. Smokey Cook – 3.32 lbs
2. Devon Beltz – 3.18 lbs
3. Joe Cantino – 2.87 lbs
4. Eric Muhoberac – 2.65 lbs
5. Chris Holmes – 2.43 lbs

Flounder

1. Toby Armond – 3.6 lbs
2. Steve Neece – 2.79 lbs
3. Gary Williamson – 1.64 lbs
4. Danny Ziegler – 1.21 lbs
5. Todd Lewis – 1.14 lbs

Leopard Red

1. Clayton Shilling – 11 spots
2. Eric Stacey – 10 spots
3. Jonathan Craft – 10 spots
4. Kenneth Owings – 10 spots
5. Nathan Grammes – 10 spots

Ladies Slam

Barbara Johnston – Red 6.76 lbs, Trout 1.11 lbs

Kids

Rory Craft – Trout 0.73 lbs

A big congrats to all the winners and a big thanks to all those that helped make the tournament possible. It takes a lot of volunteer work on the part of BCKFC officers and members to make events like this happen and often times it’s a thank-less job. It’s cool to see a lot of names on the leaderboard that I don’t recognize. The sport continues to grow and as it does it brings in a lot of great fishermen which will make each tournament down the road that much more competitive. These things should be a lot of fun for years to come.

One last thing I have to point out is that Rick also paddles a Cuda 12, so for two years in a row the slam division at Fall N Tide was taken by someone piloting a Jackson Kayak!

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