Happy Jack, LA 3/26/2020
Wind: 0 early, gradually increased to 10 mph from S by 2 p.m.
Tide: High ~ 10:30 a.m. range ~ 6 inches based on Empire Station
Water Level: normal
Water Temperature: 75 F
Water Clarity: poor
Water salinity: good salt, 6 ppt
Weather/sky: mostly sunny
Temperature: 70 degrees F, up to ~88 F for high
Moon: new sliver
Solunar period: minor 9 a.m., major period 4 p.m.
Time on water: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 6:45 am, out at 2:30 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 10 miles
Other fishers: solo trip
Gear: One #8 fly rod
Lures: Spoon fly
Strategy/ patterns: sight cast to reds with spoon fly
Once again, with no breeze the gnats and skeeters were tough at the launch. DEET and Amber Romance were applied liberally.
I wanted to try some new duck ponds west of Grand Bayou today. I figured that with low wind that the sight fishing would be good. Wrong. There was a fine suspended material (algae?) that made it impossible to see fish. So it was not a good day to assess the ponds. They looked good, though. Maybe I’ll try them again.
I got a small redfish by casting into cuts as I went out to the ponds.
Then I caught nothing as I fished around the duck ponds. I headed down a bayou and saw a big wake in some little islands, so I stood up and poled over. I spooked a couple of redfish (heard them drum) and saw big clouds of mud as they took off. Even though I couldn’t see them it seemed that they did not go far. I just waited a minute and saw one faintly through the dirty water. I made a 20 ft. cast to it and it turned down to get the spoon fly. I stuck it hard with a strip strike and it proceeded to drag me around. It was tough to fight the fish in the broken marsh. It kept going around little islands and I tried to keep up using the push pole to keep me off the bank. The fish moved out into open water and I got a net on it, got an approximate measure of 31”, and then released it.
I figured that after that much ruckus that there wouldn’t be any more fish for half a mile. Wrong. I went back over where I caught the first fish, started to pole, and immediately spooked more redfish. Again, they drummed, stirred up mud, but didn’t leave. So I made some short casts and hooked up again on another bull red. This one took off straight under the kayak and nearly broke my rod. It went around the little islands like the last one and eventually ended up in the open water. It was about the size of the first fish, and I released it quickly.
I tried the little islands for a third time with the same result. This redfish was just a little shorter, maybe 29”. It was really odd that the fish insisted on hanging out there. And most of them were males because they drummed when they spooked.
I was mixed on whether to try it again or to try a new spot where the water might be cleaner. I decided to hit one more spot to look for better water. That turned out to be wrong as well. The water in these little ponds had the same suspended material and I could only see mullet when they were on the surface. The wind was picking up and I knew the water was not going to get better, so I headed back to the truck. Not a bad day with an undersized redfish and three oversized ones on the fly rod. I saw lots of wildlife today, including bottlenose dolphin, an eagle, a pair of loons, ducks, a pair of roseate spoonbills, ducks, pelicans, terns, gulls, and an otter. Nice day on the water and now back to work tomorrow. #tforods #hobiecompass #hobiefishing #bayoucoastkayakfishingclub #neworleansflyfishingclub