Earlier this year I was asked by John Williams to come give a seminar on the topic of my choice at Pack & Paddle in conjunction with a monthly LKFC meeting. Naturally I wanted to talk about catching redfish, specifically sightfishing for them. Well tonight is the night, if you want to up your sightfishing game or have any questions about anything you’ve seen on this blog, come see me at Pack & Paddle in Lafayette tonight at 6:00pm. I know, what a terrible heads up I’ve provided, but it is what it is. I know sightfishing is nothing revolutionary, but hopefully I can help some folks out so that they can catch more fish in the future. If you can’t make it I will basically be expanding upon a post I made back in 2012 on planning a sightfishing trip to the marsh. Below is the write up on the Pack & Paddle website:
While the stinkpot (motorboat to the non-kayak fisher) crowd was having their fun in Grand Isle at the annual Tarpon Rodeo, I participated in the LA 1 Slamboree tournament up the road in Leeville. Named in honor of the highway we love to kayak fish, the event is put on by the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club and sponsored by Lafayette JK dealer Pack & Paddle. The event featured slam, leopard red, and heavy red categories, with the leopard red winner receiving a brand new Cuda 12. Also available to kayak anglers was a speckled trout calcutta for a small additional cost.
The weather for the event was pretty typical kayak fishing tournament weather, steady winds and rain showers. I launched at an area I knew would be protected from the West wind. It was actually an area that I had never fished, but the marsh down here is pretty much all the same. I began the day throwing topwater looking for any resident trout, the only action I saw was from this guy:
Switched it up to Gulp! under a cork and ended up catching some throwback trout. Soon enough I was hearing redfish crashing bait in the marsh and that proved to be the end of my trout fishing. I spent the rest of the day chasing reds, figuring the law of averages would catch up with me and one would either have lots of spots, or be extreme upper slot.
It was a strategy that never paid off, but I had a lot of fun catching slot reds and black drum. I did catch one big red that went over slot, not quite the tournament fish I was looking for, but it proved to be a great fight.
The biggest red I had to weigh only went 24.5″ and was a little over 5 lbs. None of my reds had more than 2 spots. No tournament winnings this go round, but it was nice to see a lot of my friends on the leaderboard:
Speckled trout calcutta – Brendan Bayard
Heavy red winner – Tommy Eubanks
Leopard Red winner – Gairi Williamson
1. Steve Neece – 11.7 lbs
2. Wayne Lobb – 9.13 lbs
3. Steve Lessard – 8.55 lbs
4. Ryan Alleman – 8.3 lbs
5. Toby Armand – 8.21 lbs
Congrats guys! Big thanks to Pack & Paddle and LKFC for putting on a great event. I look forward to fishing more events thrown by these guys.
Picked up my new 2013 Desert Camo Cruise from Pack & Paddle last night. The color is a mix of black, brown, and sand; I think it came out really good. Desert Camo is available in all the Jackson Kayak Fishing line, so with the Cruise being part of the Rec line I had to pay a little extra for it. The only color that really appealed to me in the Rec line was the Earth and I’ve already got an Earth colored Cuda 12.
I’ll have to do a minimal amount of rigging to make it a fishing craft fit for me, but that was one of the reasons I was drawn to the boat. The Cruise is my blank slate, I can rig it out how ever I like. Jackson does provide four inserts screws in typical locations just waiting for Ram mounts, but you’ll have to buy those yourself as they don’t come with the boat, something I failed to remember – I keep thinking the Cruise is in the Fishing line because it just looks like it should be.
While at Pack & Paddle I was able to attend LKFC’s monthly meeting. They’ve got their first tournament of the season coming up this weekend, Marsh Madness in Cocodrie. It’s got a pretty interesting format, click the link to check it out. Wish I didn’t have to work this weekend. Another interesting tidbit I found out at the meeting was from John Williams with Pack & Paddle. They’ve launched a new section of their website dedicated to Kayak Fishing in Louisiana. It looks to be a great resource for both rookie and veteran paddlers. Check that out as well, love those folks at Pack & Paddle.