Place: Hopedale, LA
Wind: 5-10 – East / Southeast
Tide: no detectable range, but water looked like it was falling out of ponds
Water Level: about a foot below average, water line was below marsh grass
Water Temperature: neutral to touch
Water Clarity: generally poor, <1’ visibility, a little cleaner up bayous and in pond
Weather/sky: sunny early, then scattered clouds and high overcast
Temperature: ~ 80 F with a little breeze that helped cool it.
Moon: Waxing, new moon
Solunar period: major period @ 2-4 p.m.
Time on the water: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 7 miles
Other fishers: solo
We had some guest in town and my wife sent me out to get a couple of fresh redfish for dinner. I noticed the water was very dirty when I launched my Hobie kayak into Bayou Laloutre, and it was only a little better back in the marsh. The wind was not bad, but sometimes it seemed to suddenly gust up to 15-20 mph and then would drop back down. No sight fishing today unless the reds wanted to show themselves above the surface. I did spot one “creeper red” that was about half way out of the water and wriggling along on its belly grass chasing minnows, but I could not get to it . I saw lots of big swirls that were due to mega mullet, gar, reds, or other fish, but I could not determine which even when standing up and looking down at them.
I fished the ‘ol reliable Waldner spoon fly, thinking that its wobble would create more pressure waves that might be sensed by the redfish. That’s all I threw today on my #8 weight fly rod.
I had a good battle with a fat 26” redfish in the mouth of a little bayou that intersects a canal, a 14” one where the bayou opens into a pond, and an 18” one near where I caught the first fish as I was leaving. I also got a gar, about 2 ft long, on the spoon fly up in one of the ponds. I’ve had several gar hit my flies before, but this was the first gar on a fly that I actually landed and released. I’ve seen lots of these “Cajun pike” this year, and some were 5 feet or more in length. Gar are generally regarded as a trash fish around these parts, but a few people do eat them and say they are pretty good. This is making me think about targeting them with some special gar flies. At any rate, catch and release could be fun. I looked the state records for different species of gar taken on fly tackle. It looks like there is a great chance to make the state record books in these categories.
It was a great day to be out on the water. I’m expecting some fantastic fall fishing in these next few months.