Reggio marsh, 5-2-2019
Wind: 10+ mph early, dropped to near 0 at noon, then back to 10+ from SE
Tide: little range using Shell Beach Station
Water Level: high
Water Temperature: ~70 F
Water Clarity: poor, but crystal clean back in the marsh
Water salinity: none
Weather/sky: clear, sunny, a few clouds
Temperature: ~ 82 F for high
Moon: waning sliver
Solunar period: good period at 4 pm
Time on the water: slipped the Hobie Outback in at 7 a.m., out at 3:30 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 4.5 miles
Other fishers: Jeff W.
Gear: 2 #8 weight fly rods
Lures: Olive rabbit zonker worm fly, bubble-head popper, brown “shrab”, purple/gold Waldner spoon fly.
Strategy/ patterns: Find redfish.
Launched off highway 300 and headed west into the shallow stuff. Water was up so getting over there was no trouble. Water was beautifully clean, but the wind was blowing enough to make standing and casting difficult. I tried to get into some tighter marsh to get some shelter from the wind. I could stand and cast if I put the stake out pole down, but it was a little tricky. I positioned myself cast to a redfish coming through a little pass between some small islands, but it wasn’t into the popper.
The spotted and alligator gar were everywhere – must have seen a thousand. The alligator gar were making lots of noise as they mated. A few of them looked like they were interested in the kayak. Most of the alligator gar were 4-5 feet, but I saw one huge one that was close to the length of the kayak.
The wind was dying down, so I started poling along through the ponds. As the wind dropped the biting gnats came out and I had to go to the Vicki’s Amber Romance to repel them. There were some brief attacks from biting flies too.
I saw several reds, sheepshead, some small bass, and some big blue catfish as I poled along. There were also lots of bream bedding in groups of 20-40. Got a 22” redfish to eat the spoon fly as I reached the end of a pond. Today the redfish were hanging out on the windward sides of the ponds and at the junctions that opened into ponds.
I worked my way through the little bayous and ponds. Caught three more upper slot fish, lost 2 more, and fought a nice 28” redfish that buried itself in the vegetation several times before coming to the net. I use a 20 lb. mono tippet to help get fish out of the grass without breaking off. The advantage of being in a kayak is that I can get over to the fish and free it from the vegetation if it buries itself. I released all my fish today, and they swam off in good condition.
I headed back in and checked with Jeff. He caught 10 redfish using conventional tackle and a few bass. One of the bass weighed about 3 lbs. I came across some good sized alligators (7-12 ft.) on the the way back to the truck, but they just sank down as I approached. Overall, it was a pretty good day in the marsh.