I had to work in Monroe last week and I brought a kayak just in case there was down time. Unfortunately there wasn’t much down time and I was only able to get out for a few hours one day. I elected to spend that time on Caney Lake, launching from Jimmie Davis SP. It was chilly post-front conditions that day which resulted in some quality time paddling and no time reeling in fish.
Although I didn’t catch any fish, I did see a few deer, a beaver, and several nutria. I had no idea they were on freshwater lakes too, but Caney was ate up with ’em.
I fished a lot of good looking water, maybe it was a case of right place, wrong time, or maybe I have no idea what I’m doing, it was my first time fishing Caney so I wasn’t too bothered to not catch anything. This is a lake known for big bass and I could see why, even if I only explored one branch of the lake.
The rest of my time in Monroe was spent working, but I did make it a point to stop by Flying Tiger Brewery one night to see how the local beer scene fared. I went in with low expectations just based on where I was and maybe a breweries location shouldn’t matter, but I don’t typically expect to get great beer from anywhere in the bible belt. I came away pleasantly surprised as they had several quality beers. The saison, IPA, DIPA, and milk stout were all very well done, enjoyable beers. On top of that the building was fantastic with a great big outdoor seating area too. I’d recommend a stop in there to anyone heading to Monroe.
On my way home from Monroe I did manage to fit in another short fishing outing, this time on Lake Rosemound. I had to make sure I could still catch fish and I’m happy to report back that I can.
I’ll just need to work on catching bigger fish now.
I was not planning on fishing this past weekend, there was way too much going on for me to even consider it, but it’s funny how plans change.
We took a family trip to Disney last week and I assumed that the long road trip back would have eliminated the desire to pack for a fishing trip and drive down to the coast. I underestimated the power of social media though.
The Bama group was down in Grand Isle this past weekend and it seemed whenever I had a little down time to glance at my phone all I saw were fish pics and good times. It was during the drive back on Friday that I happened to check the weather. Near-perfect conditions meant that I had to try to make it happen, even if it was for just a day.
We made it back to Baton Rouge around noon on Saturday after having spent the night in Mobile. What should be a 10-11 hour drive turns into a 14 hour one when you have two small kids. I unloaded our vehicle then packed my stuff and took off hoping to squeeze in a little time to fish that evening.
I made it down to Leeville, pulled off the side of the road and squeezed in about an hour and a half of missed topwater strikes, wind knots, and otherwise dumb mishaps that hurried anglers make. I did catch the smallest rat red in the world to eliminate the skunk, but I really probably would have been better off just holding off until Sunday.
Shortly after the last light of day dwindled on me I met up with the group at the camp and had a great time catching up with everyone. This year brought a fresh batch of new faces mixed in with the old and all the talk was about how nice it was to not have to fight Mother Nature.
Since the weather looked fortuitous on Sunday I pitched the idea to some of the guys to try and hit some water that really required good weather like in the forecast to access it and found a few brave souls interested in the adventure.
Armed with our fly rods, James, Bjorn, Drew, and myself, headed out on Sunday hoping to find some big reds in shallow water. It didn’t take long to find the shallow water and run into the reds, but they all seemed to be the same 18-22″ size.
The reds were roaming the marsh in small packs of 3-5 fish and were terrorizing the massive amount of bait that was holding tight to the banks. After landing 5 mid-slot clones I began sightcasting the outside waters hoping to run into a bull red. I saw a few bulls, but was never in any position to make a cast at them, usually seeing them too late.
I posted up on a shell island to get out and stretch my legs. It had a good bit of current running around it from an incoming tide and I ended up catching a few decent trout tight lining a Matrix shad across a hard sand/shell flat.
The tide was very low at the start of the day and it rose throughout the day, allowing access into areas that were previously inaccessible. With that incoming water though the clarity decreased and spotting the fish before they spotted you was becoming more of a challenge. We headed back to the launch shortly after satisfied with a pretty successful day on the water.
My parents are in the process of selling their home in Alpharetta and when they do finally hand over the keys to the new owners there will definitely be a mix of emotions for the family. Alpharetta was home to me for nearly half my life and home for them for nearly 30 years, so for them not to have a residence there will be a pretty strange thing. The bright side of their departure from suburban Atlanta is that they have a new home on Lake Rosemound, here in Louisiana, just an hour north of Baton Rouge, so we’ll have the chance to see and be with them a lot more often as they split time between St. Francisville and the cabin in Suches and we are excited about that.
They’ve had the house at Lake Rosemound for almost a year now and we’ve made a few trips up that way, but never for more than a day or two. It’s rare to find an entire weekend free it seems, but we were able to do just that this past weekend. We loaded the car up Friday morning and headed north on Hwy 61 after work only to be greeted by a nice thunderstorm upon arrival.
Amanda took advantage of us being stuck inside to whip up a fantastic shrimp creole for dinner, which I can attest paired really nicely with a Ghost.
The next morning I was able to take out the new Kilroy DT we bought for Rosemound and see how she performs as a solo boat. With dreams of big bass in my head I tied on a black buzzbait and began working it around the docks and other structure. It seemed like a good morning for topwater as it was a little cloudy and not even the faintest ripple on the water from the wind. I found out early on that the bluegill were going to be fairly aggressive today.
After a while I wasn’t feeling the love on the black buzzbait so I switched colors and downsized and went with an oldie but a goodie, still a buzzbait, the Wolka double buzzer. Terry Wolka, who use to frequent the Riverbassin forum, made custom lures and sent them out for guys to try. I’ve managed to hold on to mine after all these years and have caught a number of fish on it. It’s still in pretty good shape and is a testament to the quality craftsmanship that went into this lure.
I’m not going to say that it was like a light switched on, but things certainly were better after the lure change. I think it also helped that I moved into a shallower, grassier part of the lake, especially given my lure choice.
The clouds gave way to a bluebird sky and I probably shouldn’t have still been throwing topwater, but I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to lures and I just wanted to catch them on top so I stuck with it and am happy I did. I really didn’t leave myself much of an option though as my gear was pretty minimalist on the day. If I wasn’t going to catch them on top, I wasn’t catching them at all.
For about an hour the fishing was great, which was what I needed, because this was just short pre-lunch fishing trip anyway.
That last one was the biggest on the day. I’ve got no clue on the size as I didn’t pack a scale or a board. It was great to finally dedicate some time to bass fishing the lake and I was pretty happy to have some relative success. I know there are much bigger bass in the lake and I look forward to the challenge of trying to fool one.
We spent the rest of the day with a lakeside lunch at Satterfield’s in New Roads and then a Lake Rosemound beach trip with the kiddos. The eggplant nelson appetizer at Satterfield’s is pretty damn good and this is coming from someone who’s not that big into eggplant. I would recommend stopping there to eat if you’re ever in the area.
The next morning I took Marin for a paddle in the DT. It was super easy to shift the seat trays from a solo position to a configuration where I could have her facing me, which was perfect for a toddler, but probably not something I’d do with someone who could actually help paddle.
The DT paddled very well, even with a kid leaning out of the boat putting her hand in the water the whole time. As with the 12′ Kilroy the DT holds the distinction of being one of the few kayaks out there that is both fast and stable. I’m thrilled to have this boat at Rosemound and can see it getting a lot of use as my kids grow up.
At Marin’s request we hit the beach again before we headed on back down to Baton Rouge. We really enjoyed our weekend up at Rosemound. I look forward to spending more time up that way, learning the lake, and of course spending time with the family.