A couple of Hopedale trips – 10-11 and 10-18-2020
Wind: both trips were windy, 10-15 mph from W on 10-11, E on 10-18
Tide: rising the first trip on 10-11, falling hard on 10-18
Water Level: High (up in the grass) both trips
Water Temperature: ~75 F
Water Clarity: poor to fair on the first trip, beautiful in the ponds on 10-18
Water salinity: a little salty to the taste, ~ 3-5 ppt
Weather/sky: clear, scattered clouds
Temperature: 73 degrees F at launch, up to ~84 F for high
Moon: half waning and new sliver on the later trip
Launch in and out: put my Hobie Compass in about 7 am, out at 4 p.m. on both days
Water covered: ~ 8 miles each trip
Gear: #8 and #10 weight fly rods
Lures: Capt. Rich Waldner’s spoon fly, Olive/white Clouser Minnow
Strategy/ patterns: sight cast to redfish
On the 11th I fished a large pond and eventually went down a bayou that lead to another pond. I was searching to find some leeward shoreline to get a break from the W wind. The water was pretty clean in the leeward corner of the pond and I started seeing blue crabs. The redfish were in that area and were after the crabs. I caught 10 redfish that day, including 3 that were right about the 27” mark. All were nice slot fish. In addition to throwing the spoon fly, my homemade Clouser Minnow (named after Bob Clouser, it’s the fly fisher’s version of a bucktail jig) worked well too. I was using the Clouser to search for trout, but it only found redfish.
On the 18th I fished the same area but went to some different duck ponds. Water clarity was good to great everywhere today. Later the shrimp trawlers in the main canals muddied it up, but the water in the ponds was flowing out so they didn’t impact conditions there. The water was flying out so fast on the dropping tide that I could not fish the bayous but the open ponds were great. I went up the windward side of the first pond (left the lee side for the trip back out) without seeing much action, hit a second pond and the water was crystal clear. It wasn’t long until I saw my first redfish cruising by – landed a nice 27” fish. I spent most of the morning going around the edge of the pond chasing a school of redfish. There were some larger reds in with the smaller ones, but of course the greedy smaller ones beat out their bigger brothers and sisters to the spoon fly. I caught about 10 redfish here – lost exact count. At one point I got above a deeper cut of about 6 ft that was draining rapidly into the pond. I’d watch redfish and sheepshead come up the cut to feed. I caught three redfish just by letting my spoon fly drift down current and sort of jigging it. A pair of sheepshead came up the cut and I let my fly drift down to them. There was slack in the line from the current and I started to pick up my line to cast and felt a tug. One of the sheepshead had taken the spoon fly without my seeing it and I missed the hook set. It did a little damage to the epoxy spoon fly by gnawing on it for a few seconds before I could realize it had eaten the fly. I picked up 3 more redfish as I went down the leeward bank of the first pond. There were a bunch of smaller 17-18″ fish working the bank and moving upwind. One was a neat looking multi-spotted redfish that has a darker cast to its coloration, so I held it up for a photo.
I moved down to another bayou but the wind was gusting too hard to do well there. I stood up and saw a few reds but was on top of them too quickly to make a cast and they darted away. The high wind killed the ability to sight fish so I hit another series of ponds and threw a Clouser in hopes that I might locate some trout. I caught three, specks but they were only about 6” long. I also got a couple of bass – the ubiquitous St. Bernard Parish specials of 12”.
I was spent ammunition after poling the kayak around in the wind all day and hit the pillows about 9. Slept like a baby after a therapeutic day in the kayak.
#hobiefishing #hobiecompass #TFOrods #Waldnerspoonfly #redfish #kayakfishing #bayoucoastkayakfishingclub #neworleansflyfishersclub