Wind: 10-20 mph from the S
Tide: Low was forecast at noon based on Shell Beach station. A large range was forecast at about a foot and a half, but it didn’t happen. It was rising through the day. The hard S winds trapped the tide and did not let it fall.
Water Level: high, a little bit up in the grass
Water Temperature: 70 F
Water Clarity: dirty, about foot and a half of visibility, clarity declined in windy areas, cleaner on leeward shorelines around drains.
Water salinity: ?
Weather/sky: mostly sunny with few clouds
Temperature: ~ 75 F for high
Moon: dark moon
Solunar period: good period @ 1-4 p.m.
Time on the water: 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 5 miles
Other fishers: solo trip
I decided to try a trip on Lundi Gras. The wind was forecast to be high (it was) and there was a good chance of a shower or thunderstorm (it did not happen). It looked like most of the rain would stay north of New Orleans, so I gambled and it paid off nicely this time. I left the fly rods at home due to the howling wind. Today I threw a chartreuse spoon on the baitcaster and had a Seein’ Spots in line spinner with a Saltwater Assassin fluke (purple sparkle/chartreuse tail) on my spinning rig.
I combat launched my Hobie Outback kayak off the bank and had been fishing about 10 minutes when I landed a small slot redfish on the chartreuse spoon. I unhooked it, tossed it back into the water, made a long cast downwind, and immediately hooked into another one that was a couple of inches longer. I released that one and fished the area carefully but that was it for the action at that spot. I worked a windward bank with no luck and then went into a little pocket that frequently produces fish. I hooked into a nice 26” redfish on the spoon and got it with the fish grip, keeping it in the water. I recognized the fish from a previous encounter at the same spot. I could tell it by the unique scars on its belly that looked like cuts from braided line. They seem to be healing well. I released it and moved on.
I went through another inactive period while fishing a wind-sheltered bank and then I crossed some wind-whipped open water and made it behind an island that looked promising. The wind was pushing water through some grassy spots there and I casted parallel to the shoreline and picked up a nice 20” fish. I moved through more open water to another island and saw a redfish working after bait with its back out of the water. I made an unlucky cast that immediately snagged in some roots, so after spooking the fish and getting my lure back I worked along the island and got a nice 22” fish about 50 feet on up the bank. I guess it didn’t go far when it spooked. This fish was hard to unhook because the large hook went longway through the fish’s jaw. Another 100 feet or so I caught its twin. I fished around this area and got another 24” redfish that put up some good resistance. I had trouble getting the hook out of this one. The hook had gone through its mouth and then somehow rotated and was hooked a second time. This “second hooking” made it hard to get the hook out. After I finally got the fish released I decided to crimp down the barb on the spinner bait so that it would be easier to remove next time. About 15 minutes later I hooked a nice redfish and got it in on the crimped hook – so far so good. Then I lost 3 reds in a row and was wondering if I shouldn’t have messed with the barb. I tried to pay attention to keeping the line taught and landed a few more nice reds on the crimped hook. They were really whacking the inline spinnerbait and I was glad I could get the hook free pretty easily. Reds have tough mouths and it can be hard to unhook them when they take baits deep in their mouth.
I ended the day with 10 slot redfish (a double limit!) landed and about half a dozen misses. Three were nice ones between 26-27 inches, and all were looking healthy and well fed. I brought one of the 20″ fish home for the grill and released all the others. Glad it worked out that I got to fish and didn’t get stormed on today.