Blake and I set out Sunday morning in search of bull redfish. Conditions were very favorable as well, with temperatures somewhat mild for winter and partly cloudy skies, tide and winds low, and water clarity very good. If we could even have a taste of how this same day went down last year for me it would be a very good day.
We fished an area of marsh I’ve been dying to check out for some time now. I initially wanted to hit it for the IFA championship, but weather kept me close to the car that weekend. This would be new territory for both of us and I hoped this exploratory trip would pay off. As I said earlier conditions on Sunday were very good, the only thing that would have been better is if water temps weren’t so cold. We were fishing in between polar vortexes so beggars can’t be choosers.
After a short paddle we made to an oyster lined bayou and began to sight fish. Clouds were thick early on so it was pretty slow going. We spooked a few reds and Blake even had an eat, but he threw the hook during the fight. The size of the fish we were seeing was very promising though, these were above slot reds, junior bulls.
We made our way to another oyster lined bayou and soon saw what every redfisherman loves to see, a tail out of the water. Blake made a good cast, but the fish spooked and took off, just like all the others before him. As my drift carried me past the commotion I realized that I was about to run over a pair of reds suspended over oysters. I stuck my paddle down in the mud to stop my kayak and picked up the fly rod, hoping they wouldn’t run off on the little flip cast. Sure enough one took off, but the other inhaled the fly and the skunk was off. At 31″, it wasn’t a bad start to the day.
I tagged this red, took a CPR tourney picture and set him back on his way. After a bit of re-organizing/re-situating I took off in pursuit of Blake, sightfishing along the way. Blake was some distance ahead of me and called to tell me the bayou became narrow and featureless and that he was turning around. I decided to wait for him at a wide bend and investigate the area a little further. Sure enough, hanging behind some oysters and tucked up under some mangrove was a nice redfish. I laid out a good cast that managed to lure him out of hiding. He followed the bait and ate it on the swim. A nice upgrade from the earlier redfish at 33.5″.
I tagged this fish as well, took the terrible CPR picture you see above and set him on his way. Things were going pretty good, we had seen a fair amount of fish and I just boated two in a short period of time, but as was the case for the past two weekends, things just sorta stopped. The tide came in and the number of fish sighted dropped off sharply. We still had good clarity and now we had water over the exposed oysters, but that didn’t translate into success.
We were hoping for an aggressive redfish bite, but it never happened. I thought they might warm up when the sun was at its peak and things were warmest, but they remained laid up, usually around oysters, tucked out of the current – almost like trout in a river. Fishing the winter of 2014, the coldest I can recall for South Louisiana, continues to perplex and leaves me wanting for the warmer days of Spring.
Two redfish is still better than no redfish and I was very happy to have boated a couple of junior bulls on the fly. Plus it really was an incredible day to be outside, the weather was gorgeous. And knowing that another cold front is about to sweep across the state I’m glad I was able to get out. We had icy conditions two days last week and right now we are forecast to potentially have 6″ of snow – unbelievable.