A Labor Day fishing report
Had a chance to get out and fish on Monday thanks to the Labor Day holiday. The weather ended up being very nice; light winds in the morning, picking up throughout the day, partly cloudy skies. It was hot, but it’s always hot down here in summer so you get used to it. Conditions would have been ideal for sight fishing had water clarity been a bit improved. The closer I got to the Gulf though, the better the water looked. The tide fell throughout the day and by the time I picked up it was too low to paddle in some spots.
It couldn’t have been better timing to finally get back on the water as I had just received the new Power-Pole Micro battery pack in the mail this past week. I have been stubbornly waiting on this battery pack to come out for probably around two years now. That’s about how long the Power-Pole Micro has been sitting on a shelf in my garage. I’m not big on electronics in kayaks as I’ve never needed to run them or wanted to fool with batteries or wires, so I initially passed on the Micro. It looked like it would be a great tool for my style of fishing though and was something that could make things a bit easier for me on the water so when I was told that a battery pack was in development for the Micro, I jumped on the opportunity to get one. Little did I know that the folks at Power-Pole still had a lot of hurdles to jump before they could distribute their battery pack.
I got to a familiar spot just before sun up and started to rig up. The plan was to hit some familiar bull red and big trout water and hope for the best. Every trip out is an opportunity to upgrade my fish in the year-long Massey’s Fish Pics tournament run through Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club so I wanted to hit some potential big fish water that would give me a good shot at an upgrade. I caught a red fairly early on, in the first big pond I went in. He was cruising a shoreline and I was able to intercept his path with a Matrix shad. It is always a good feeling to get that first fish on the board. I tagged him, took a pic, and then we parted ways.
While in that same pond I posted up by the outlet and began to fish a spot where the tide was pulling water out into a canal. I noticed something yellow up under the mangroves not too far from where I anchored and after watching it for awhile I noticed it was alive and moving. It was a small tripletail floating on his side! They aren’t unheard of to be in the marsh, but it is pretty rare. So I re-rigged my fly rod with a smaller shrimp imitation and tried my best to convince him to eat, only he wasn’t having it. I finally got hung on the mangrove and he spooked as I tried to retrieve my fly. A pretty neat experience though I was a little bummed to not catch him, but I pressed on.
As I said earlier the closer I got toward the Gulf the better the water looked and when I got out to some rocks I started working the Matrix shad and suspending baits looking for trout. A few ladyfish and a catfish later I changed it up and started throwing the topwater. Don’t let anyone tell you a topwater is only for first light. I ended catching a handful of keeper trout and had a blast doing it. Shoot, it was a hoot to watch the ladyfish blast the topwater out of the water.
I was really hoping to luck into a bull red on topwater, but unfortunately they weren’t anywhere to be found. I headed back into the marsh after things slowed down and shifted my focus to sight fishing. The falling tide was a pretty big one and it had the water clarity even worse than in the morning, so things were tough. Plus the wind picked up and made things that much tougher. Luckily for me there were still a fair amount of active reds patrolling the shoreline and I caught a few reds by sound more than sight. They were crashing crabs around exposed oyster beds with reckless abandon and as long as you got your lure right in front of their face they would eat it.
I had made my way back to that first big pond I went in and decided to go see if that tripletail was still around. Sure enough, I could spot that yellow fish from across the pond. I tossed that same shrimp fly in his direction and he wasn’t interested. Eventually I had floated close enough to where I just assume net him, so I grabbed my landing net, calmly slid it under him, then scooped up and just like that I had caught a tripletail. He didn’t move much while in the water which had me thinking he wasn’t 100%, but once that net hit him he definitely livened up.
A bizarre way to land a fish, but it’s actually not the first time I’ve done it. I caught a black drum like that once in the kayak. Only when I went to net the drum he launched himself out of the water and onto the shore. That’s what I love about kayaks, we can get right on top of these fish at times and they have no idea.
All in all it was a good trip, caught a few trout and a few reds and had an interesting tripletail experience to boot. I wasn’t able to upgrade any fish for the Massey’s tournament, but that’s what is great about year-long tournaments, there is still plenty of time for that.
A quick word on the Micro after the first trip out. It worked well, loved having the ability to press a button to drop anchor or pick up when I needed to. It does take a little bit of time to get use to it while standing. I found the extra weight on the back end of the kayak and the 8′ pole sticking in the air increased the wobble you feel when standing up That wobble increased camera shake on the GoPro – which I actually used for the first time in a long time – but it also threw the boat’s stability off. I was in the Cuda 14 – I’m interested to get it mounted on the Kilroy and see how it reacts. With the Cuda 14 mount from YakAttack, it is actually the Micro is actually off to the side of the back end of the boat and not over center – that may have something to do with that increased wobble. The Micro does come with a quick release mount, which is nice because it came in handy while sightfishing, but I really did not need it while I was fishing for trout. With a boat like the Cuda the 8′ pole stores in the hull without a problem – so if I needed to I could have set it up while out on the water, parked on the shore. I look forward to using it more and being able to give a better review of it down the road.