Archive

Tag Archives: Grand Isle

I have not had much time to sit down and write lately as I have been busy – busy with work, busy with family, busy with life in general.  That being said this blog has been nominated again this year in the YakAngler 2014 Kayak Angler Choice Awards.  I’m honored to receive a nomination because it shows that there are kayak anglers out there that appreciate and are entertained by this blog and for that I am very thankful.  I hope I can keep things fresh and promise I will eventually find time to write (and fish) again.  If you’d like to extend a vote my way I would be happy to accept it: YakAngler 2014 Kayak Angler Choice Awards

Yakangler_choice_round2

 

If you don’t know whom else to vote for in each category I will offer some suggestions:

Angler of the Year – Hands down Steve Lessard.  I can’t think of a more deserving kayak angler out there than my friend Steve.  The man consistently whoops our behinds in BCKFC and IFA tournaments and he was up to the task on foreign soil in the Hobie Worlds.  He is an exceptional angler and a great guy – he is my AOY.

Kayak of the Year – I’m a Jackson guy so I may be a little biased  but I’m torn here between the Kraken and the Big Rig.  Each of these boats is a game changer in their own way.  I got to paddle a Kraken at the Dealer Summit and can tell you that this is one slick ride.  They don’t mention it much but guys like me can stand and fish from the Kraken and still have the fastest boat on the water.

Paddle of the Year –  The Manta Ray carbon and the Surge carbon from Aqua Bound have been my two favorite paddles I’ve ever owned.  Surprisingly the Surge carbon wasn’t on the nomination list, so the nod here goes to the Manta Ray. Compare it’s weight and blade size with other paddles that have been nominated – you won’t find another high angle paddle under 30oz.

Forum of the YearBayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club is my local club.  It’s a great group, no surprise they were nominated.

Outfitter of the Year – Another local favorite here – Pack & Paddle.  Why do I love Pack & Paddle?  Let me count the ways – huge kayak rigging section, local tackle and flies, a knowledgeable staff that fishes, great seminars and demo days, Beer & Gear, and one of the best kayak displays I’ve ever seen.

Location of the Year – Grand Isle, easy.  The site of the biggest kayak fishing tournament in the World in Ride the Bull.  This place is kayak fishing mecca and I have some converts from freshwater Alabama that may agree.

Video of the Year – Business as Usual by Team HookedonYak.  I love this video because its fun, original, it comes from regular guys like you and me, not some video professionals who want to blow you away with drones and forced fishing drama.  These are some South Louisiana boys going to work on some reds showcasing the incredible fishing we have to offer.  If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch below.

Got around to editing some footage from a trip in July. While working down in Grand Isle I got an evening to get out and stalk some reds. It was windy that day, the tide was high, and clouds were intermittent – basically conditions were working against me when it comes to sightfishing. However, I managed to one flat that was full of individual mangrove plants and had a few small reds too. This flat probably only floods on a high tide so I was in luck that it actually had water on it. The reds were a bit spooky because the water on the flat was shallow and clear and there really wasn’t much sneaking around I could do. After a bunch of refusals I finally had some success and now have a spot in the back of my mind for when the tide is super high.

kayak-logo-clear

The second leg of the IFA Kayak Tour Louisiana division was held yesterday out of Bridgeside Marina in Grand Isle. 52 anglers signed up to compete in the event and despite weather conditions being horrible, most showed up to fish the tournament. Most brought their A-game as well because a lot of nice fish were weighed in yesterday, it was by far the most competitive IFA event that I have fished. The weather was horrible due to a low pressure system in the northern Gulf, it wasn’t organized enough to be a tropical cyclone, but it produced enough wind and rain to make it feel like it. I made it down to the island Saturday afternoon and was planning to do a little pre-fishing when I got down there, but decided against it due to the weather, ended up just hanging out with some friends until the captain’s meeting.

IMG_1584

IMG_1583

I had two gameplans to choose from for Sunday, one being tried and true and the other being new to me. Since I didn’t get a chance to pre-fish the new area I opted to fish a spot I’ve done well at in the past. With a low pressure system in the Gulf the high tide was somewhat magnified. The water at the boat launch was spilling into the parking lot when I went to launch the kayak in the morning. I actually got off to a nice start in the morning with the World’s smallest slam.

IMGP8261

IMGP8262

IMGP8265

The action on dink trout and reds was fast and furious where you found moving water in the marsh. It was nice to be catching fish as the rain was non-stop throughout the entire day and I don’t want to think about how miserable I would have been if the bite was slow. Thankfully it was usually just a drizzle, but a few times it would open up and really come down. Interestingly enough I caught two fish when it was raining hardest, the flounder and my big red on the day. I was waiting out the heavy stuff, tucked against the marsh grass, I just tossed my popper in a cut to do something instead of just sitting there Eventually it went under and attached was a 12″ flounder. I saw the big red cruising the shoreline of a pond I was in and as I made a cast to him the skies opened. I was laughing as I fought him in the rain – I didn’t think I’d be able to do any sightfishing on a day like yesterday. 

IMGP8264

IMGP8266

I had a 13.5″ trout and a 27″ red by 9:30am and because of the weather I seriously considered just packing up. I kept at it though heading to areas where I thought bull reds might be hanging out. The weather seemed to improve as the day went on, unfortunately though the fishing (for me at least) did not. I was never able to upgrade either fish, so I ended with a 40.5″ aggregate. My consolation for staying on the water was one more slot red. He gave himself away as he was crushing crabs against the bank.

IMGP8269

I wasn’t sure where my agg would hold up against the rest of the guys, but I figured with the weather we had anything was possible. As it turned out a lot of folks had great days, here are the results:

grand_isle_kayak_2013_results

I ended up 17th, not bad, not great either, but I’m happy with it, it was about where I expected 40.5″ to be. I was pretty excited to see my buddy Brendan take first, no one works harder on a tournament day than he does, nice to see him at the top again. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy seeing my name above his whenever possible.

One thing I’ve noticed fishing these tournaments is that you have three levels of angler that enter. 1 – You get your new guys and guys that aren’t there for the competition – they are there to learn and have a good time.  2 – You get the guys who are pretty good anglers and are getting better. 3 – Then you have the next level guys, guys with a do-what-it-takes-to-win mentality – these guys take risks, paddle far when they need to, and are motivated to win. I like to think I fall in category 2, but trust me I’m a category 1 guy at heart. It was obvious this weekend that I don’t fall into category 3. Mad props to the guys that pushed themselves in that weather to get after the big fish.

IMGP8271

IMGP8273

From left to right: Casey Brunning(big trout), Brendan Bayard(1st and big red), Steve Lessard(2nd), and Scott Harper(3rd)

Back in June I had the privilege of filming an episode of Sportsman TV with host Greg Hackney that was focused on kayak fishing. Sportsman TV is a fishing show that airs locally on Cox Sports Television. I got the invite from Blake Gill of Massey’s Outfitters in New Orleans, one of our local Jackson Kayak dealers, who was generous enough to provide kayaks for both Greg and his cameraman/producer/jack-of-all-trades Jared Serigne. I’ve really enjoyed the new format the show has taken this year so helping them out was a no-brainer. Besides Blake and myself, Louisiana Sportsman’s kayak fishing guru Chris Holmes was also on hand.

Due to the presence of Tropical Storm Andrea in the Gulf, we decided the night before to head somewhere we could take cover from the relentless wind conditions we were experiencing.  As we got the launch that morning it was pretty evident that wind wasn’t going to be a factor, in fact it turned out to be a pretty awesome day. The only negative, for me at least, were the high tidal conditions we were experiencing.

IMGP8142

IMGP8143

IMGP8149

The water was high but we still had a really good day catching redfish. They were holding extremely tight to the grass. Greg picked up on that early on and wore ’em out. I think Greg really enjoyed his time in the kayak. It was his first time in one, but I’m pretty sure he outfished us all.

IMGP8147

I started the day off throwing topwater. I had a few throwback trout explode on my spook. One was right at the boat which was pretty cool to catch on camera. I picked up a couple reds later on and even ended up with a decent flounder to complete a slam.

IMGP8146

I’ve been holding on this report until the episode aired, which ended up being last week. I think Jared did an incredible job editing it all together, the episode came out really good. Anyway, check it out, let me know what y’all think:

I parlayed the trip down to Leeville for the Slamboree into a week of work on Grand Isle. Blake came down to fish on Sunday, unfortunately the wind that morning was relentless and forced an early exit from the water for us.

IMG_1155

The wind let up a bit after lunch and I made my way to Elmer’s to see if I pick up a few trout in the surf. I caught some trout, mostly throwbacks, but the highlight of the day was this juvenile Jack Crevalle that came on the fly rod.

IMG_1156

The next day meant the start of my work week and I found myself on an island full of these little guys.

IMG_1157

The tides were low and falling fast and had these little hermit crabs exposed on all the tidal flats. Low tides also meant potentially good sight fishing, so that evening I went back to where Blake and I had planned to fish and with better conditions I was able to boat three reds between 18-22″ long. They were tagged and released to fight another day.

IMG_1167

The next island I worked on was full of these black skimmers. They had a large nesting colony not too far from where we docked the boats. Most of their chicks had been fledged, but a few were still too small, including one stubborn guy who plopped down right in our work area.

IMG_1182

IMG_1211

A storm forced us off the island a bit early, but fear not, that just led to more specks in the surf – this time off of Grand Isle itself.

IMG_1192

IMG_1202

IMG_1194

That concludes another fun filled week on the island. It must seem like I don’t do a whole lot of work while I’m down there, but I’m actually putting in roughly sixty hour work weeks while I’m down there. I’ve realized that the extra twenty hours I work is the time I had set aside to update the blog, so forgive the dead air.

IMG_1205