Wind: 0-10 mph from NNW, high in the morning, dropped to nil in the afternoon
Tide: 1 ft. range dropping to -0.5 ft based on Shell Beach station. Actually much lower. Low was forecast ~ 3 pm.
Water Level: a foot below grass line to start start, fell 2.5 ft. below average.
Water Temperature: ~57 F to start, up to 61 F
Water Clarity: pretty clean in canals, but dirty in the ponds.
Water salinity: did not check, likely very fresh
Weather/sky: sunny, no clouds
Temperature: ~62 F for high
Moon: 1/2 waning
Solunar period: minor period around noon
Launch in and out: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 7:30 a.m., out at 4:30 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 9 miles
Other fishers: solo
Gear: 3 #8 weight fly rods
Flys: pink Charlie, Waldner’s spoon fly (LSU colors), and white laser minnow
Strategy/ patterns: fish deep for trout, sight fish for redfish
I tried one duck pond and saw fish on the Lowrance at the mouth where it joined a canal. The fish must have been pushed out of the pond due to low water but I could not trigger a bite. Might have just been mullet.
I went about a half mile to another pond and located fish in the bayou that ran to the pond but again no bites. These deep spots in the bends of the bayou tend to hold trout. I have not been able to get them to bite in the morning but they seem to get going in the afternoon when it gets warmer.
I stood up and sight fished cuts off the pond but could not spot anything but gar and large mullet. Naturally, the leeward end of the pond had cleaner water and it became more turbid as I moved downwind. After a hundred yards or so I couldn’t see anything on the bottom and the water was only about 1.5-2 feet deep. It was looking like this trip might be a skunk.
About noon I tried going up a bayou into another pond in the upwind direction in search of cleaner water. I was standing and poling and the water was dirty but somehow I twice spooked redfish that were hanging out along the bank about 50-75 yards out. That’s pretty spooky. So I decided to sit and pedal up the bayou and just see what I could find. I trolled the spoon fly about 20 feet behind and as I saw a little disturbance on the water in front of me the fly rod doubled as a fish struck behind me. I brought in a mid-slot sized redfish and released it.
Just for luck I made a couple of blind casts and hooked and landed another one. Another blind cast produced another fish. The redfish were stacked up in a trough about 3’ deep that the duck hunters cut through the bayou. At normal water level it would be more like 5-6 feet deep. I stopped and made a bad video of the 4th redfish (it took 4 casts), caught a couple more and then decided to let them rest a bit. All this took about 45 minutes. I went down the bayou a couple hundred yards, didn’t catch anything although I spooked some large UFOs that might have been reds, and then started fishing back toward the hotspot. I got one more redfish where I caught the others but they were no longer biting or had dispersed. I worked my way back out of the bayou and picked up two more redfish. They seemed to be spreading out and moving toward the original pond as it warmed up.
I fished my way out of the pond and into the deeper bayou that held the trout. I had a new fast sinking line (Orvis Depth Charge) with the laser minnow attached. I was able to get three smaller sized specks to take the fly and then I broke off the fly on what was likely an old crab trap on the bottom. I took that as a sign that it was time to head home.
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