Hopedale 4/23 and 4/30/ 22

Just a brief report to update the blog. I’ve been busy wrapping up the semester but have managed to squeeze in a couple of Saturday trips. The weather and water have been nice early, and then the tide comes in and the wind picks up. The southerly winds have pushed the water high up into the grass, and that gives fish an advantage. Dirty, high water, and wind are not friends with the fly fisher. Nevertheless, I have found some weedy leeward banks that provided some protection and cleaner water that allowed me to see some redfish. I’ve also been seeing a few sheepshead, but they have been spooky and fickle. I hooked a surprise flounder but it escaped before I could get a net under it. I also ran into a school of white bass that were hanging out with the redfish. I have been throwing the old reliable Waldner spoon fly and have had some luck on a yellow half-and-half – particularly for speckled trout. The May moon is coming full soon and I expect this will be about the last of the specks in the interior marshes until September.

Reggio, Delacroix, and then Hopedale, LA 4/16/2022

Wind: 5-15 mph from SSW

Tide: little range based on Shell Beach station, high at 2 p.m.

Water Level: about a foot above normal level

Water Temperature: ~ 75 F

Water Clarity: decent in canals, clean in weedy ponds, got nasty as the wind stirred it up

Water salinity: ~3 ppt  

Weather/sky: mixed sun and clouds

Temperature: ~ 83 F for high

Moon: full moon

Solunar period: major period ~ 2 p.m.

Launch: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 7 a.m., out at 9, back in at 9:30, out at 5 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 9 miles

Other fishers: Solo    

Gear: 6- and 8-wt. fly rods

I wanted to fish somewhere other than Hopedale, just to try some new water. I like Hopedale for winter fishing because there are deeper canals that are not affected too much by the low tides often encountered in winter and early spring. So, I combat launched at Reggio and headed to the west of Bayou Terre aux Boeuf. I’ve had some good sight fishing trips out there for redfish there in the past. But after going about a mile out and realizing the light wind was stirring the water to look like chocolate milk, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen again anytime soon. Last summer Hurricane Ida did a number on this area and scrubbed away much of the aquatic vegetation that protects the muddy bottom from being disturbed on windy days. Some of the small islands that served as windbreaks are now missing. Without this protection, the area is now a large, open, muddy lake. It will be a while before it comes back.

I drove to Delacroix and saw a similar situation. The water was really dirty in an area that usually is crystal clear this time of year. Ida had impacted this area too. I reasoned that I would likely need to go several miles before any clean water might be found. So, I headed over to Hopedale.

I launched at Hopedale and pedaled down a canal, intending to “go long”, heading south into the wind, and making stops on way in with the wind at my back. My plan derailed when I passed a pond with clean water that was pushing out into the dirty water of the canal. The area was “two-toned” with a darker spot of clean water in the middle of the dirtier canal water. I flipped a yellow half and half streamer into the clean spot, stripped it once, and caught a 13” trout. I fished around the area and caught 5 more specks, including one that went a whopping 15”(sarcasm). I took the detour into the pond but did not find any trout farther in. Instead, I hooked into a bass but it self-released after running under my kayak and managing to wrap the leader around the fins. I stood and did some sight fishing, but only spotted a few gar in the pond. I was blindly flipping a spoon fly as I left the pond in case there was still a trout around when a large fish struck. I think it was probably a large redfish, but I never saw it. The fish was quickly into the backing and was trying to get out of Dodge. Something (oyster, crab trap?) cut the middle of the leader and the fish went free. More frustration.

I went over to a big pond that usually has clean water and hoped to spot some redfish. The water was beautiful, but the fish were not showing up. The wind was up and gusting from 10-15 mph by this time, making it harder to control the kayak and see fish. I tried poling up a little bayou, but the wind gusts made it difficult to make progress, so I pedaled upwind and then hopped back down the bayou with the wind. I’d plant my stake pole, fan cast downwind, and then drift down about 50 feet and repeat the process. Drifting down, I finally saw a bright orange redfish facing away from me, but I was on top of it too quickly to stop the kayak and it sped away. I drifted downwind a bit more, planted my pole, and waited. A couple of redfish went past me on my right, and I cast to them without any reaction. A few minutes passed and two more fish came at me. This time the larger of the two ate my spoon fly and the battle was on. A few minutes later it was in the net, and I pulled it onboard and measured it. It went 29” and was fat and healthy. I took a photo, but it was out of focus, and I tried again but had the same problem. I didn’t want to kill a fish just to get a stupid photo, so I revived and released it. I’ll catch another one on another day. I saw one more redfish but did not get to cast, and then I called it a day. I watched a dad help his sons catch fish and crabs as I loaded up my gear, wished them luck, and headed home to New Orleans.

It was a day with some success mixed with frustration. I was disappointed that Reggio and Delacroix will be tough to fish for a while, that I lost a bass, and missed a mystery fish due to a sliced leader. But it’s always fun to watch a large redfish eat a fly and then battle with it on a fly rod. As the weather warms and the spring winds calm down the fishing is going to improve. Better days are coming.


Hopedale, LA 4-10-2022

Wind: 8-20 mph from S

Tide: 1’ range based on Shell Beach station, low at 7 a.m.

Water Level: super low, came up through the day

Water Temperature: ~ 70 F

Water Clarity: decent in canals, clean in weedy ponds, got nasty as tide poured in

Water salinity: n/a  

Weather/sky: sunny

Temperature: ~ 75 F for high

Moon: waxing 1/2 moon, waxing

Solunar period: major period ~ 8 a.m.

Launch: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 6:30 a.m., out at 2:30 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 6 miles

Other fishers: Solo    

Gear: 6-wt. fly rod, light spinning rod

I got an early start to avoid the wind that was expected to increase significantly about 10 a.m. (and it did). I knew there would be low water, but it was really low. I was disappointed as I passed the first stop as there were two anglers in a motorboat cruising out of the entrance to the pond I had intended to fish. So, I pedaled on down to the next spot and got in a deeper bayou. Some anglers left just as I came into the bayou. It looked like they had only fished the beginning of the bayou off the canal. I went along the bayou and trolled a Vudu shrimp behind. I caught a speckled trout on the Vudu shrimp, swung around, made another pass, and got the same result. Water clarity was pretty good here. The trout were suspended in a bend in the bayou in a water depth of about 12 ft. I switched to the fly rod with a gotcha with lead dumbbell eyes to get it deeper and proceeded to catch several.

They were not big, but almost all were keepers and were good sport on the 6-weight rod. I was unhooking a trout and left the fly dangling in the water. I released the trout and lifted the rod to cast, snapping off the fly in the mouth of another trout. It’s a good trout bite when you can’t leave a bait in the water without hooking up. I replaced the gotcha with a larger half-and half, hoping to get a bigger fish. They seemed to be about the same size, with the biggest one going about 14 inches. I kept 5 for dinner and released the rest. I caught somewhere between 15-20 specks and then decided to hunt for redfish. About that time the wind rose, and the tide began to come in rapidly. It brought in some filthy water and the chances of sight fishing for reds were diminished. I could only find clear water in the mats of aquatic vegetation, but the combination of low water and thick vegetation did not produce any fish. I searched around a bit more without any luck, cleaned the trout, and headed home. Crabs, gators, and pelicans were plentiful today.

San Pedro, BZ, March 27 – April 3, 2022

It had been some time since Amy and I had a vacation. Storms in September wiped out plans for our anniversary several years in a row, and then came the coronavirus pandemic. Spring break came around and we decided to head to Belize and the beach.

We ended up at Tuto, a coconut plantation and resort on the eastern side of Ambergris Caye. It was a slice of paradise.

We were up early every morning for coffee on the porch and the sunrise. I did a lot of fishing while I was there. The water clarity was amazing and there were miles of flats for walking and casting. Unfortunately, there were spring winds that howled from 20-30 mph most of the time. This made it hard to spot fish.

In the evening I would fish off the lighted dock and caught a few black snapper. These were small fish of about a pound each that would occasionally take a shrimp fly. We cooked a couple for dinner one night.

I was frustrated with the winds after a couple of largely unsuccessful days, so I decided to get a guide who could improve my chances. On Wednesday I fished with Jose (Waggie), and he brought me to some leeward flats where the mangroves provided some protection.

We saw lots of bonefish, although many times they were moving away after sensing the boat. We had the most success when we located fish and then let them move within casting distance. Casting distance was difficult, and I’m not a good caster in wind. At one point there was a school of about a dozen fish upwind of the boat, but I just couldn’t get the fly to them. At the end of the day, I had hooked up with 8 bones and landed 6. I also caught a small barracuda.

I spent a good bit of time prowling the flats off the beach at the coconut platation looking for bonefish and permit. I saw (and spooked) a few bonefish but saw no permit.

On Friday, we went to Secret Beach to try the leeward side of the caye. I could have walked the flats forever and the water was crystal clear. But the ripples from the wind made it tough to spot bonefish. I finally got a small one on a pink Gotcha.

We went into San Pedro on Saturday and I ran across the fly shop. I checked out the flies there and was surprised that the hook sizes were pretty small on the Charlies, Gotchas, and permit crabs. Lots of what looked to be size 8.

We came home, had a nice dinner, and then I headed out to the pier to cast to fish under the light. I wasn’t expecting much until I saw a big shadow cross the edge of the light. I grabbed my 10 weight rod and made a few casts but had no luck. And then a few minutes later I spotted a tarpon crusing by very slowly. It looked to be about 4 feet long. I made some casts to it but the wind was making it difficult. The fish ignored the large clouser at first and then turned and struck. I strip set a couple of times and the fish jumped twice and then shot out into the dark. It got into the backing quickly and I suppose the line was dragging in the aquatic grasses as it sped away. The wind was loud and I could not tell if the the fish jumped any more. It went on an unexpectedly hard run and the reel spun and hit my hand hard, knocking the handle off the reel. We played tug of war for a while and then I sent a quick text to Amy asking her to bring a knife. I managed to not tangle any of the stripped line on the dock at the time when the fish started to run. After a few more minutes I dicovered that I could turn the reel with my hand to pick up slack line. I turned the tarpon and it came in slowly. I got it up to the dock, grabbed the leader, and was going to cut the line, but the fish lunged and did a self-release by breaking the leader for me. It swam off into the dark, and Amy and I walked back to the house.

A couple of photos of the tarpon from the dock before the release.

My wife did a great job as a videographer on the trip and took most of the photos. The next morning we headed home to New Orleans

Two Hopedale trips, Jan. 31 and Feb. 12, 2022

January 31 was breezy, sunny, with cold but slowly warming water that made it to 58 F. The water was low and became dirty as the tide ebbed to a low about noon. The high temperature for the day was about 65 F. There was no need to start early, and I got the Hobie Compass into the water about 9 a.m.

I headed into the first duck pond and found some bass and redfish crowded in a deep spot at the junction between a little bayou and a pond. The water was so low that they were captives in the deeper water.  I got a bass and a redfish here and then I suspect the fish became spooked by the activity in the small area and they stopped biting. I moved on and tried some new spots about a mile away and caught 3 more redfish on a spoon fly. I put on a small Clouser minnow fly with a sinking tip line and caught two small, speckled trout by going deep in about a bayou with a deep channel of 10-15 feet.

On Feb. 12 the conditions were similar. There was low water, it was a sunny day, but the north wind was only 5 mph most of the day. The water was clean, and I could see oyster and clam shells in 3 feet of water. I fished with Kevin Andry today. Like me, Kevin has a passion for fly fishing and enjoys fishing from kayaks. We met up and hit the water about 8 a.m.

We got off to a slow start. The fish were not where we were looking. We both stood up in the kayaks and tried to spot redfish, but no one was home. I picked up a couple of bass by blind casting while going along in a bayou. I released the bass and continued to hunt.

We came to a deep curvy bayou and tried some blind casting for speckled trout. It was about noon and the tide had started to come in. Both Kevin and I were throwing spoon flies, which are probably not the first fly that someone would pick for specks. I’d been casting and trying to fish the spoon fly slow and deep for a few minutes. I was about to give up when the line went tight. At first, I thought it was a redfish and then I saw the spotted silver instead of the copper color of the fish. It was one of the better speckled trout that I’ve caught on a fly, measuring 18”. Not a giant by any standards, but considerably bigger than the usual 12-13” trout I typically get. Before I got my fish unhooked Kevin yelled and he was into a fish. Kevin said he thought it was a redfish, but his fish also was silver with spots. It was a 20.5” trout and his best one taken on the fly rod. We fished here another 30 minutes or so. I caught another trout of 17” and Kevin got a smaller one. We did not get a typical trout school bite going, and after a bit longer we decided to try some new ponds for redfish.

Best trout of the year so far…..

I spied a redfish working at the mouth of a little bayou, but it slipped away without biting our spoon flies. I started slowly trolling my spoon fly as I moved up to a pond, and it was intercepted by a 28” redfish. I released it after a good tussle on the 6wt fly rod. Kevin took the lead and a couple hundred yards later he hooked a fat 26” redfish that was all business. It took off and peeled a good bit of line off his reel. Skillfully, Kevin got the fish turned before it made it around the corner and out of the pond. After about 5 minutes the fish was netted. Later, I caught two more redfish and an undersized “rat” redfish.

Cloud cover moved in, suddenly it felt cooler, and we decided to head for our trucks. Kevin headed for home and I went to the marina to clean the two trout I had kept. I stopped at the carwash on the way in and cleaned up my kayak. We were fortunate to squeeze in a nice day for fishing before a cold front arrived, and it was an enjoyable day on the water. We probably covered about eight miles today, but the temperature and conditions made it a pleasant trip.

1-22-2022, Minimalist Challenge Review, St. Bernard Parish

Wind: 15 mph from N

Tide: 1’ range based on Shell Beach station, low at 1:30 p.m.

Water Level: fell out after noon

Water Temperature: ~ 48-50 F

Water Clarity: good in canals until low tide, clean in weedy ponds

Water salinity: didn’t check – too cold to taste it

Weather/sky: bluebird day, sunny

Temperature: ~ 34 F to start – 48 F for high

Moon: waning 3/4 moon

Solunar period: Minor at 10 a.m., major at 4 pm

Launch: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 7:15 a.m., out at 3:05 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 8 miles

Other fishers: Solo    

Gear: baitcaster and a couple of spinning rods

I don’t usually fish in tournaments, but this one was in my neighborhood, and I didn’t have to drive very far or stay overnight somewhere. I signed up and paid my donation to support the winners and their families. I thought it would be a fun event until the early weather forecasts looked severe. Fortunately, the forecasts changed and, although it was going to be about freezing in the morning, the wind predictions had fallen from 25 mph to manageable rates in the teens.

I woke up a few minutes before the alarm went off at 4 a.m., got it together, and made it to the rendezvous about 4:45. I was the second one to get there, and soon the rest of the anglers rolled into the Last Stop at the intersection of Hopedale and Delacroix highways. We all got the same little bag of lures that day (that’s the Minimalist part) and off we went to our respective launch sites. The launch choices were Sweetwater Marina at Delacroix, or the Shell Beach, Pip’s, and Hopedale Marinas. I picked Hopedale Marina since I was expecting low water, but to my surprise, the water level was good even with the north winds and the tail end of the cold front.

I goofed around and listened to the fish and game report on WWL while the others were in more of a hurry. When I stepped out of the truck the wind hit me and I wasn’t sure if my 3 synthetic shirts and Simms windbreaker would be adequate – turned out they were fine. I also decide to put latex gloves over my fishing gloves and that helped keep my hands dry and warm. I got the kayak rigged up and tied on my lures. As usual, some of the lures looked like junk, but there was a promising looking curly-tail and a creature bait that looked good. I put the curly tail on a heavy Death Grip jig head to use for trolling and deep jigging. I rigged the creature bait (it looks like the offspring of a crab x crawfish relationship) on the weighted 4/0 hook. There was this little orange hard bait with treble hooks that was problematic. It was difficult for me to tie on the line without hooking myself on the sharp little treble hooks, but I finally did it without injury. I let the other anglers take off first and was taking pictures when a fellow angler asked for help. That little orange devil lure had snagged the back of his coat. Both sets of treble hooks were embedded, but I finally got it free.

I launched and headed toward Bernard Lagoon. There are some deeper areas that hold trout along the way. I trolled a good bit as I moved around but nothing hit the curly tail. I mostly threw the creature bait for redfish but ended up catching a couple of bass about 10 a.m. I knew there were redfish around, but the water was cold, and they were hunkered down somewhere else. I went down a little bayou that has produced fish in the past, but the tide hadn’t dropped, and I didn’t see anything. I was watching a beautiful drake scaup and happened to look down below me. I was drifting right over an 8’ gator. It was dormant in the cold and didn’t move as I floated over it. The area seemed to be devoid of fish life, so I moved to another spot about a mile away. I jigged some of the deep spots and trolled but had no luck.

I went into a duck pond that has a deep rut made by the hunter’s boats. There I caught the first redfish on the creature bait. It was about 1 p.m. and I should have headed in. I was sure there were more fish there, so I pushed ahead in hope of getting a second fish. I hadn’t gone far and got a strike and landed a bass. I went to the far end of the pond and worked the bait very slowly to pick up a second redfish. At first, I thought it was too small, but I put on the ruler, and it was precisely 16 inches. I felt like it was just too close and didn’t want to bring in a fish that shrank a millimeter and resulted in a disqualification, so I let it swim. I’d fish my way out of the pond and hope for a keeper. I got my chance about halfway out of the pond. I got a good strike and set the hook hard. The tug lifted the redfish up to the surface and it spit the bait back at me. I took a quick look and saw the time was 2:06. The weigh-in ended in 54 minutes and I was over 3 miles from the marina. There was no way I could make it back, load up my kayak, and drive the 10 miles to the weigh-in at the Last Stop in time.

I headed in as quickly as I could with the north wind in my face, loaded up the truck, paid for my launch, and met up with the other anglers as the awards ceremony was going on. I got to the weigh-in about 30 minutes too late. Several anglers had difficult days, but as usual, there were some that found fish and did well. Fishing after a cold front is usually feast or famine. It was good to see my buddy Chris Cocheran, who makes the famous Tail Chaser baits (https://tailchaserbaits.com/). I came home to find a nice bowl of hot chicken and sausage gumbo waiting for me. I have a wonderful wife!

Hopedale, LA 1/5/2022

Wind: 5-8 mph from S

Tide: 1’ range based on Shell Beach station, low at 2:30 p.m

Water Level: fell through most of the day

Water Temperature: ~ 58-60 F

Water Clarity: decent in canals, clean in weedy ponds

Water salinity: 2 ppt  

Weather/sky: overcast

Temperature: ~ 68 F for high

Moon: waxing 1/6 moon

Solunar period: minor period at 9:30 a.m., major at 2:30 pm

Launch: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 7:30 a.m., out at 4:30 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 8 miles

Other fishers: Solo    

Gear: 6 wt. fly rod, spoon fly

I had a choice between a cloudy Wednesday with less wind or a sunny Thursday with more wind. I picked the former. The water was moving well all day and falling. I went long to a more distant duck pond to start. I didn’t see any activity and blind casting did not produce any strikes.

I worked my way to a large pond and headed for the upwind side where the water would be cleanest. I noticed that despite being early in the new year, the aquatic vegetation was green and thick. It was more like late April’s typical vegetation. This is good because it keeps the water clean even when it gets breezy, and it holds lots of bait. The downside of the plant growth is that it can make it hard to fight a fish.

I started by seeing two fish about 50 yards apart that were cruising the shoreline with their backs out of the water. The water was very clean here. As the first one closed to about 30 feet, I cast about 6 feet in front and beyond it and slowly hopped the spoon fly along until it crossed the fish’s path. There was a big swirl and a cool eat. I did a strip set and the battle was on. It was fun to play a ~ 28” fish that weighed close to 10 lbs. on the 6-wt. rod. After a little sleigh ride, I got the fish into the net and then released it.

I went looking for the fish’s friend and spooked it away. I saw a tail of a fish along the bank, and it turned out to be a sheepshead rather than a redfish. I made couple of casts and eventually spooked the sheep. So, I poled on along the bank and ran into several more tailing fish as I rounded a corner. Somehow, they stayed out of range, and I didn’t get a fish here.

I went down a little bayou that connected two ponds. By now the water was pretty low, and I saw a redfish hunting is some shallow water. Another good cast, a swirl, a set, and a fish at the side of the kayak. This one went 16.5”, and it went in the bag. I have previously been to this spot when the water is low and found it full of hungry redfish. Today was a repeat performance. I caught a fish about every 4th cast. After landing four slot redfish I decided not to pressure them more and moved on.

I tried for some trout on my way out but had no luck with them. I ended the day with six redfish that were all in the slot except for the first fish. I was happy with the first fishing trip of the year.

Hopedale, LA 12/29/2021

Wind: 15-25 mph from SW

Tide: 1’ range based on Shell Beach station, low at 8:30 a.m

Water Level: average to start, fell a bit and then rose quickly due to wind pushing in water

Water Temperature: ~ 71 F

Water Clarity: fair most places

Water salinity: N/A  

Weather/sky: mostly sunny

Temperature: ~ 80 F for high

Moon: waning 1/4 moon

Solunar period: minor period at 8:30 a.m.

Launch: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 8:30 a.m., out at 4:30 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 6 miles

Other fishers: Solo    

Gear: 9 weight fly rod with spoon fly, and a bait caster with a chartreuse matrix shad

It was a windy day and it made for tough fishing. I just didn’t see many fish today. I tried some new spots and saw a few redfish but was on top of them before I could get a cast toward them. I don’t know where the trout went. I fished shallow and deep, but no one was biting.

I tried the matrix shad by trolling and jigging in deeper water with no luck. I caught a redfish early in a drain from a duck pond and then spent the rest of the day looking around. The warm weather has the aquatic vegetation growing in the ponds and the water is moderately clear. Alligators and frogs were out. It feels more like April than late December. I saw a few ducks and a family of eight merganser. We have a harsh cold front coming and that will change the picture on Sunday.

Hopedale, LA, Christmas Eve 2021

Wind: 5-20 mph from S – mostly about 10-15 mph.

Tide: 2’ range based on Shell Beach station, low at 2:45 p.m., falling all day  

Water Level: average to start, fell about 2 feet or more

Water Temperature: ~ 58-63 F

Water Clarity: fair most places

Water salinity: N/A  

Weather/sky: mostly sunny

Temperature: ~ 76 F for high

Moon: waning 2/3 moon

Solunar period: minor period at 11 a.m.

Launch: slipped the Hobie Compass in about 7:30 a.m., out at 4 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 7 miles

Other fishers: Solo    

Gear: 6 weight fly rod with spoon fly, and 9 weight fly rod with sink tip line and a white zonkered Charlie

Strategy/ patterns: blind and sight cast for whatever bites

I spent the day moving and casting for trout, bass, redfish, and whatever else was out there. It started out calm, but by 8 a.m. the wind had picked up. The first pond I reached was a no go. I peeked around some grass and saw decoys and the top of a duck hunter’s head about 120 yards away, so I retreated quietly. I did not see any ducks today and only heard a few shots early in the morning. I was glad to be fishing instead of duck hunting. I caught my first bass about 10 a.m. and a second one a few minutes later. They were fat but short – in the 13”-14” size range.

The third fish of the day was a surprise – a spotted gar. Water was dropping quickly, and I heard a boat motor in the distance start to strain as it hit mud. Then an expletive from the boat’s driver came by on the wind. He eventually got it going again.

I went along a trench that was 3’-4’ deep in a duck pond that had turned into a mudflat. Water was moving out and I almost needed to mend my line it was so swift. Wading birds were feeding on the creatures that were stranded on the flat. I caught 5 undersized redfish and 2 legal ones on the spoon fly and then turned back. I was able to sight cast to a redfish coming along a bank. The spoon fly was right on target and the fish ate it up. This was the largest redfish of the day – about 25”.

A little later, I was checked by a couple of game wardens. They asked about my pfd, I patted the belt-type inflatable preserver around my waist, and we wished each other a good day.

About 1 p.m. I headed down a bayou with a deep meandering channel of about 10-16’. I saw some marks on the Lowrance, and I tried to drop the Charlie to the fish. I caught a 12.5” speck. Just before I got it in a large redfish of about 3’ came up and tried to eat it. I hooked another speck, but it shook free. I tried the pond at the end of the bayou, but it was too low to fish, so I turned and headed back along the deeper bayou. I flipped the spoon fly as I went and caught another small redfish. The sun was getting low, so I headed for the truck. On the way home I filled up just before Chalmette for $2.75/gallon. Much better price than the $3.20 at the Shell station in New Orleans. Ended the day with 9 redfish, 3 bass, 2 trout, and a spotted gar.