A week in St. Bernard
So this will be the third time I will have written this report, hopefully this one sticks. Prepare yourself for a picture dump.
I got an opportunity to spend a week working in lower St. Bernard parish back in October. Normally work trips to rural parts of the state are not met with such enthusiasm, but I was downright excited for this one. Mainly because the marshes of lower St. Bernard are full of life and excellent fisheries. Redfish, speckled trout, largemouth bass, and even flounder all share the same water down that way. I’d have some downtime during the days, so I brought my Kraken 13.5 along for the ride. I was able to grab some much needed seat time each day exploring just what this part of Louisiana had to offer.
What makes lower St. Bernard such a great fishery is it’s proximity to both the Mississippi River and Lake Borgne, well, really just saltwater in general. It is right in between the two, basically where they mix together. This mixing of salt and freshwater creates a myriad of intermediate and brackish marsh that is some of the finest inshore fishing you’ll find anywhere. It’s hard to beat catching reds, specks, and bass out of the same ponds.
In the above pic you can see the amount of submerged vegetation that’s found in lower St. Bernard, most of the time I had to fish weedless baits. One of the baits I liked to throw in the really matted up areas was a Stanley Top Toad topwater frog bait. Seeing the red below blow up on the lure was amazing, one of the best strikes I’ve ever witnessed, such fun, I’ll be throwing that lure in the weeds more often.
I fished a lot of different places around the parish – Shell Beach, Yscloskey, Delacroix, and Hopedale. Each spot was similar, but they also had their own unique qualities. I found clear water and lots of submerged vegetation in Shell Beach and Yscloskey. Submerged vegetation, but dirty water in Delacroix and Hopedale. As you’d expect fishing was much better where the water quality was better. Fish were still caught at each stop though.
Baits like topwater poppers and weedless rigged flukes and other soft plastics worked well throughout the week. Flies worked pretty well too, especially on trout. I used an EP-style shrimp that my buddy Hays had given me way back in January to do most of my damage. Finding clean, moving water was the ticket. Whether it was in a deep cut or bayou or on a flat where a cut or bayou was draining into a pond or bay – finding those conditions meant finding fish.
It was an awesome week of fishing and yes, I did manage to get what work I had to do done. It’s too bad these kind of projects don’t come around more often. It was SO nice to fish during the week and have every spot I fished essentially to myself.
Hmm, let’s see, only 25-30 years before I can retire…. sigh.
Great to see you got back on the water. This time of year is my favorite! Can’t get out very often though, due to work obligations, but when I do… 🙂 I started fishing St. Bernard this year. I went during the hot summer and didn’t fare so well, but I’m looking forward to fishing there in the spring. Another thing I’m starting to like about St. Bernard is the proximity to Baton Rouge. It isn’t a long a drive to and from. Hard to beat the fishing down on the LA 1 corridor though, this time of year.