Archive

Tag Archives: Sunrise

I saw a good weekend day to go fishing a couple weekends back and pounced on it.  The weather looked pretty cooperative and usually if you can catch mild weather in the winter luck will be on your side.  I woke up early and got on the water shortly after sunrise.

img_8644

It was a chilly start, but I knew the day would warm up so I wasn’t too bothered by the cold.  Besides, the winds were light and the clouds were nowhere to be seen, it was looking like it could be a pretty good day to sight fish.

img_8646

The tide was low, which is normally not a bad thing for sight fishing, however this tide was extremely low.  This extreme low had the water pretty dirty.  I knew it was low when I launched, but I didn’t realize that it would continue to fall throughout the morning.  There were entire flats that were exposed that I’ve never seen exposed.  The fish were nowhere to be seen and even when I did see them it was too late for me to make a cast.  Fishing was tough.

I did manage to avoid a skunk though.  Right around lunch I had made my way to a flat where I’ve always found fish.  It is off of a deep canal, so even if the flat was mostly exposed, there was still some refuge that could be taken in the canal for the fish.  Sure enough that’s where they were.  There were a handful of big black drum (they looked white in the water) with their tails up in the canal.  I moved into position and dropped my fly in the path of one of them and he vacuumed it up.  The fight was on.

img_8648

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

img_8651

It was a hefty fish.  It gave me a couple of good strong runs and put a solid bend in the old TFO Mini Mag.  The drum was a square, nearly as heavy as it was long (35 lbs, 37 in. long).  It was a fun catch and I was glad to have caught something, even if it did slime up the boat and my pants.

img_8652

After that I tried to make my way through the marsh back to the launch, but without any water it was futile.  I headed back the way I came, through the bay, and ran into Scott from Bayou Chronicles and his neighbor on the paddle back.  We chatted and fished for a bit.  He ended up catching a beast of a redfish later in the day as I was already loading up the boat to head home.  The tide was coming back in after lunch and if  I were patient enough I probably would have had better opportunities at redfish in the afternoon.  It had been a long day on the water for me though and I packed it in.  There’s always next time I guess.

We spent Labor Day weekend up at Lake Rosemound where I had a couple opportunities to get back out on the water in the Kilroy DT and chase some bass.

Saturday I got out just after sunrise, armed with my favorite buzzbait, I headed toward a big flat where I saw some fish holding the last time I was out here paddling Marin around.

IMG_3300

IMG_3301

It didn’t take long to connect with a little male, who despite being blind in one eye, knew exactly how to slam a buzzbait.

IMG_3302

The dink bass topwater action continued all over this flat and another and around the grass edges of the lake.

IMG_3304

IMG_3306

IMG_3307

IMG_3308

IMG_3310

IMG_3311

It was nice to spend a couple of hours catching bass before the sun really began to heat things up.

I made it out again the next evening, but didn’t have the same luck I had the day before.  I only connected with one bass and missed three more fish on the same buzzbait I was using the day before.  I guess I fell into the “one bait wonder” mold again this weekend, but that’s how I wanted to catch them.

IMG_3314

I may not have caught many fish Sunday evening, but I did catch an awesome sunset, which is a fine substitute for a nice fish.

It’s late December which means it’s time for the annual year-end review, so let’s look back at the posts of 2016 – click each pic to see more:

img_7191_zpsx9okfdos

img_7312_zpsqjkviqhh

img_7368_zpsk6628rbx

DCIM100GOPRO

408f4c3c-f17b-4f99-91f3-859beb6ed530_zpsqiysz56u

2nd_place_zpskcy5rjai

img_7896_zpsp8ymvrju

img_8188_zpsa20n4mua

DCIM100GOPRO

img_8589_zpsiiuunvwr

img_8627_zpsdolo5m68

img_8887_zpssycad7y9

img_9288_zpsv3pcxyes

img_9349_zps6tpnemq7

img_9366_zpsdvbma5o4

img_9831_zpsefk3t5jl

img_3455_zpsfca2jpbe

img_0299

Fishing-wise 2016 wasn’t a bad one, I took some nice trips, fished a lot of new water, and had plenty of run-ins with some big redfish.  Outside of fishing it was tough here in Baton Rouge and for that I’m ready to see 2016 go.  I already know 2017 is going to be better as my wife and I are expecting our second child in January.  I’m excited to see what being a dad of two is all about.  Things may slow down here at the blog, but trips are still in the works and I’m sure I’ll continue to find a good balance between family, friends, and fishing.  I want to wish everyone who reads a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope you’ll find your way back next year.

Trout wasn’t what Blake and I were originally targeting, but sightfishing conditions just never presented themselves so we adjusted  our gameplan and proceeded to wax the trout.  Trout fishing in the marsh is insane right now.  Just find moving water with bait and they will be there.  It’s been like this for a few weeks now.

The view of the sunrise on 308 was pretty spectacular until the sun got high enough to be hidden by the clouds, where it stayed hidden the rest of the day.

img_0091_zpstje6gygf

We started the day on a flat that I knew has held bull reds in the past.  It didn’t take long to get a follow from a good red and then an eat on my She-Dog, unfortunately for me none of the six hooks that bait carried penetrated flesh and Blake was there with a quick follow up cast and subsequent hookset.  After a strong fight with a fish in tidal current we boated the first bull red of the day.

img_3451_zpslhgctiht

It was a very distinct fish, one I’d seen before.  I even remarked to Blake during the fight that if we catch a bull red with a big dent in his head at this spot, there is a good possibility he’s been caught before.  This is the same fish Hays caught on one of our trips back in January.  He’s still sitting on the same flat, some ten months later.

img_7219_zpsyc1a51ss

I kept throwing the topwater after that and began getting hits from keeper trout fairly regularly.  Knowing I’d be fishing with the boys from Alabama the next few days I decided to start keeping fish, just in case the rest of the weekend was unproductive for us.  Since we couldn’t really effectively sightfish, catching trout was not a bad consolation.

We drifted a shoreline picking up trout here and there, then had an unsuccessful effort in a shallow pond for reds,  at the outlet of that pond we stumbled onto a trout gold mine.  It wasn’t all keeper speckled trout, there were plenty of white trout too, but it was a fish every cast and that’s hard to beat.

img_0099_zps33wqcq1l

img_0097_zpsquhfgz71

Blake was catching them on a double rig and I was wearing them out on a Matrix shad, I think you could have thrown anything though and had the same results.  That bite did eventually slow down and we drifted on down the shoreline.  Things were kind of quiet for a little bit then Blake had another big red inhale his bait.

img_3455_zpsfca2jpbe

img_3459_zps19lvrgxg

Almost the same size as the first red, this one, however, was much prettier, it was another fantastic fish.  We continued our drift and eventually moved into another bay.  This bay had a little island in the middle of it and water was being blown around it.  The water was pretty shallow throughout, but that didn’t matter much to the trout.  We were on them again and decided it was time to stop and count our fish.

img_0102_zpssdn7cv3r

We needed less than 20 to finish off a two man limit and we weren’t leaving until we did that – this sightfishing trip had turned into a meat haul.  The good news was that it really didn’t take long to accomplish that.

It was a great day on the water with Blake and the start to what would be a great weekend.

 

 

 

Fished my first tournament abroad last weekend and headed over to Dauphin Island to compete in MBKFA’s Bagwell tournament.  The Bagwell isn’t all that different from BCKFC’s Paddlepalooza or Fall N Tide, except that instead of a traditional slam category, they have a super aggregate category in which you can turn in one slot red(16-26″ in Alabama) and any combination of four trout or flounder for a five fish stringer.  It places more emphasis on trout, which in Alabama is not a bad thing, as it is an inshore area that has been known to produce big trout, and more consistently than southeastern Louisiana.

In preparation I spent some time scouting Google Earth, but really relied on a fellow Jackson teammate from the area, Justin Seiffert, to impart whatever local knowledge he could to a Bama rookie like myself.  The plan was to maximize my time on the water (always my strategy with any “go anywhere” tournament) and fish the west of Mobile Bay, hoping to catch my redfish, trout, and flounder all out of one launch spot.

I launched in the dark early Saturday and was greeted with a nice sunrise as I made my way across a bay.

img_8188_zpsa20n4mua

As I got to my destination I started out by throwing topwater while the sun continued to rise.  I missed a decent trout early on, but managed to connect on the next one, and at 16.5″ it was a fair start to the day.  I continued to throw the topwater, but the action was very inconsistent, I switched it up with a swimbait and caught a 14.5″ trout targeting a small area of slick water.  I alternated between the topwater and the swimbait and missed one really nice fish on top that was truly a heartbreak, it was a brief fight but in that short time I could tell it was a good fish.  A few good, slow head shakes later and my line went limp.  It was a bummer to miss those few fish as I could have had my four trout that I needed, but I only had two.

img_8189_zpscrolahrd

I fished my way down the shore and finally made it into a small cut that headed into the marsh interior.  One cast into the cut and I was connected with my first redfish.  He was a keeper at 20″, I knew I’d need an upgrade, but Alabama lets you keep three slot reds, so he went in the fish bag.

Unfortunately after that fish everything went quiet for me.  The action slowed down big time, despite how nice the water looked.  I finally hooked up with another fish as I saw a nice red heading my way, cruising down a shoreline.  I made a good cast with the swimbait and he pounced on it.  Immediately I knew it was too big to keep, but he made for a fun fight anyway.

img_8190_zpsvj5rpbm6

img_8193_zpsskizuqgs

img_8194_zpsg5be09xs

He ended up topping the 30″ mark and after a few pics I lowered him into the water and sent him on his way.

That would be my last fish on the day, but I continued to cover some really pretty water.  From healthy interior marsh to grass covered flats with good water clarity, the spot I chose to fish seemed like a good one, I just didn’t produce the results.  I think it is fair to say that the redfishing comes a bit easier in Louisiana.

img_8195_zpsil8fpx0o

I headed back to the launch and got packed up.  I was pretty hungry at this point and was really looking forward to the crawfish boil that the MBKFA guys were planning on doing at the weigh-in.  Although I knew my fish wouldn’t sniff the leaderboard it was nice to know there would food and drink waiting for me when I got there.

img_8199_zpsbze0lsgk

The MBKFA crew put on a first class event and although I didn’t take home any hardware I had a great time on the water and at the weigh-in.  It was good to see Justin rewarded for his efforts with a third place flounder.  I wasn’t the only Louisiana angler along for the ride.  Tyler Drude took home first place redfish and his buddy placed in the redfish category as well.  Brendan Bayard took home first place trout with 5+ lb stud caught on the East side.  That’s where all the better trout came from as the overall winner, Nick Creamer, had five solid trout pulled from that way too.

Big thanks to Justin on the solid advice and to MBKFA for hosting the tournament, really enjoyed fishing and hanging with you guys.  There is some really pretty water south of Mobile that I’d like to explore a little further.  I’ll have to make a conscience effort to start bringing the kayak on our Alabama beach trips, now that I have some clue as to where to go.