Rocking in the wind at Reggio, 5-15-2016

Fishing Report

Date: 05/15/2016

Place: Reggio, Louisiana

Wind: 10-20 mph from NE, gusty

Tide: Rising about half a foot, high at 3:30 p.m.

Moon: Waxing, 2/3 of full

Solunar period: minor period 9- 10 a.m.

Weather/sky: very sunny

Temperature: 83 F for the high

Water Temperature: ~75 F

Water Level: normal and rising a bit

Water Clarity: good, 3’-6’ visibility depending on spot

Time on the water: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Water covered: about 5 miles, continually pedaling

Other fishers: solo

Got on the water and had not pedaled far until I ran into a small gator, then a couple more 4’ers, and finally a 6-7’er. I was going minimalist today. I brought a #8 fly rod and a medium weight Shimano spinning outfit. I had the trusty Waldner spoon fly on the fly rod and an Seein’ spots in-line spinner bait on the other rig. I did not realize how minimal I was until I discovered I left the lure bucket with the spoons and other lures for the spinning rig back at the house. I did have my fly boxes, though.

It was too windy to be very effective throwing the fly rod, but I started with that since I only had the one lure for the spinning rod. I fished down a canal and then took a cut and let the wind push me for a bit across a very shallow and weedy flat area where I could not use the fins. I moved into deeper (4’) water that was a little stained and dirty but I could still see the bottom. I was flipping the spoon fly downwind around some crab traps when the line went tight and I set the hook on a 25” redfish. It fought well and was going in and out of the weeds as the wind pushed me along. Finally got it to the kayak and released it.

I fished more in the same area but had no more strikes so I moved on. The water was pretty clean but the wind made it tough for sighting fish at any reasonable distance, and it made for tough casting too. The weed beds are really coming along, and good accurate casts are important for keeping the hook free of vegetation. I would pull a lot of salad off the hooks by the end of the day.

I found a flat shallow area with very clear water (due to vegetation) and saw some wakes but could not tell the types of fish that were making them. The wind was pushing a sort of current across the flat that was 1-1.5’ deep. I flutter kicked the fins of the Mirage drive on my Hobie Outback to slowly work up and around the fish and then drifted back toward them. I broke out the spinning rod and made some long downwind casts and it was not long until I saw a wake that was closing on my spinner bait. It hit and missed and then hit again and it turned out to be a 24” redfish. Again the fish fought really well and did the old bury in the weeds and take off again routine a few times. I got it in and decide to keep it for the grill. I “field dressed” it there in the kayak, stuffed a blue ice pack into its body cavity, and put it in the small cooler in my front hatch.

I worked around some crab traps in deeper (5’-6’) water without success so I moved over to some small broken islands with wind pushing the water between them. I saw a large redfish working a bank but spooked it with a cast that landed too close (@#*$ wind!). I drifted and paddled into some really shallow water and picked up a couple of small marsh bass. I was looking for a route out of the marsh that would lead me back into the more open water and got stuck a few times. The water sort of ran out and was less than 4” deep around me. So I plowed, paddled, and backtracked and got to about 6” of water that was deep enough to traverse and worked through the muck and salad and back into open water. You must not be averse to shallow water and thick weeds if you fish Reggio and Delacroix in summer.

I started working upwind and heading back toward the truck. I was pedaling and paddling parallel to a mat of weeds in about 4’-5’ of water when I spotted a gang of slot redfish. I threw the fly at them but they slipped away. It is hard to approach fish heading upwind without them knowing you are there. A minute later I spotted a really nice bull redfish, but it too moved away as I tried to cast the spoon fly to it. I was getting frustrated so I switched to the spinner bait and got a nice strike on the next cast. The fish pulled the plastic lure half way off the in-line spinner, so I gently re-rigged it and the same thing happened again. It seemed there were multiple fish holding off a small point that stuck out into the weed bed. Perhaps the wind was pushing a little current with the help of the weeds and the little point. At any rate, something was causing fish to congregate at this spot. I hooked into what I thought was a nice speck, but it came off. Then I had a few more missed bites – maybe they were bass? Finally I stuck a hook into a 17” redfish. Not too remarkable a catch, except it was one of those all copper ones with no white on its belly. The plastic Saltwater Assassin on the spinner was getting pretty ripped up about that time. I worked it back into a semi-fishable position and made a few more casts and then headed for the truck. I wanted to get the fish home grill it so that my wife and I could have it for supper. Redfish on the half shell is our favorite. I passed by the gators on my way back in and they sank down and slithered away as usual. Not too bad for a windy day and one lure on the spinning rod.