Saturday afternoon (June 8) my new fly fishing buddy Conor (USMC0302 on the BCKFC forum) and I made a recon trip to a new spot in Delacroix. We got on the water about 4 p.m. and were going to try for some redfish on the fly rods. As we prepared to launch I looked up at a dark cloud crossing the marsh in the distance and noticed a large water spout coming down. (Zoom in on the first photo and look in the central part to see the waterspout.) We debated whether to launch and watched it for a few minutes as it grew larger. After a bit it was apparent that it was going to take a track that took it away from us, so we shoved off. It would be a sort of surreal day on the water. We often saw two and as many as four rainbows at one time. It was a bit windy (10-12) and it would be hard to fly cast, but it was doable. The water looked pretty clear but was a little stained, sort of like very dilute tea. The filtration and wave blockage due to the large clumps of aquatic grasses probably help maintain water clarity. It did not take long to note some nice wakes, bait crashes, and occasional fins to let us know we were in the right spot. I fished a gurgler (top water foam shrimp pattern to float over grass beds) and missed a couple of strikes from some little bass right off the bat. Then I tossed the fly around a little clump of grass and a decent sized redfish bopped it. I was a little fast on the strike (shoulda let him take it a second longer) and so I shot the cast right back to the same spot, missed again, and repeated the process once more. Dang! There were reds cruising around and clearly working schools of small minnows. Several large fish closed on my fly but didn’t take it. I moved to a new spot and a nice keeper sized red sucked in the fly. I got a photo and released it. My partner Conor caught a nice black drum on a chartreuse Clouser-like fly that Music Doc sent him. Conor also released his fish. A Nemire spoon or other weedless lure would have probably torn ‘em up. It is shallow and very grassy out there. Some places were passable with the Hobie fins, but I spent lots of time without them and the rudder. I’m happy to report we had no sightings of gators or snakes. The reds were all around as soon as we started fishing, and we had a very light work out. We might have covered a mile, but probably less.
Sunday (June 9) the alarm went off at 4:30. I looked at the radar and there were several lines of storms on Lake Pontchartrain, making it a no go. My buddy Joe texted back that he wanted to go fishing, and that it was clear over at Delacroix. So we went back to the same spot where I fished on Saturday. It was clear to start and the water looked nice and clean, but it was a bit a bit too breezy for the fly rod and so it was spinning tackle instead. We hit the water about 7 a.m., and in retrospect we probably missed a good early morning bite. I headed upwind and planned to drift and fish. I got to some broken marsh and saw several active reds. They hit at my gold spoon but wouldn’t really get serious. Several followed the spoon to the kayak and then swirled away. Finally I got a nice 29” red to strike, and it put up a really good battle. I had to chase it down in a weed bed and managed to land it on 10 lb. test braided line. He had a big brother with him, but I could not manage to get it to bite. The big boy stayed up in the weed beds out of casting range most of the time. I moved on to a cut through some of the grass beds, which were sticking up more and more as the tide dropped out. With the wind, it was easy to tell the location of the “highways” that ran between the large mats of aquatic vegetation. I tried an LSU colored Gulp shrimp about 8” under a cork without much luck at first. I retrieved it really fast over some weeds and it drew a strike from what I thought was a rat red, but then it started with the familiar headshake and the silvery speckled trout came up and danced for me. The trout was a real surprise given the conditions and location. We fished a few more minutes and then I mentioned that a black cloud was headed our way. We headed in but did not beat the first rain that started to fall. Fortunately, we did get loaded up and rolling before the lightning started cracking about 10 a.m.