Delacroix, July 25, 2017

Wind: 5 mph picking up to about 10mph, from the W

Tide: very little water moving, starting to rise a bit later in the morning. Range over a foot, high scheduled at 4 pm at the Shell Beach station

Water Level: low, lots of bank showing.

Water Temperature: ~88 F

Water Clarity: poor, a foot or less, but some spots were relatively clean

Water salinity: N/A

Weather/sky: sunny with a haze

Temperature: ~ 78, going up to 93 F for high

Moon: new

Solunar period: minor at 9 am, major period @ 4 pm.

Time on the water: 6 a.m. to 11:30 am

Water covered: ~ 5 miles on the map, but did a lot of extra pedaling and paddling due to wind and to hold a position while casting.

Other fishers: solo trip

Game Plan: I picked Tuesday to fish because it was the first day in a long time without much chance for a thunderstorm. Woke up about 4 am, got in the truck and headed down to Delacroix, stopped for gas in Chalmette and then grabbed some coffee and donuts at Gerald’s so that I would have lots of energy for fishing. As I was flying down the highway I saw a flashing sign that said something about roadwork ahead but I was going so fast I was past it before the message finished. Good thing the message didn’t say “Bridge Out”. As I passed the last stop sign and got on the Delacroix Highway (Highway 300) I started seeing orange cones on both sides of the road and patches of new asphalt. The roadwork continued all the way to Delacroix. When I got the place I wanted to combat launch off the roadside I was stunned. Construction equipment blocked the site and the area was prepped for some paving. There was no way to launch there, so I headed to Lionel Serigne’s Marina and put it in the water. My game plan was shot and I would have to freelance it on this fishing trip. So I just pedaled the Hobie Outback down past Sweetwater Marina, turned right into Bayou Gentilly, made a quick left into the big pond, and went on until I found some fish.

Gear: 2 x spinning and 2 x bait casting outfits.

Lures: I started with a gold spoon and cast it parallel to weed beds. I had a few taps and missed a redfish that bit it and then buried itself into the weeds and came off. Later I put on a purple/chartreuse Gulp rigged on a weedless 1/16 oz weighted 2/0 worm hook and got a couple of small redfish. Then I tried the Seein’ Spots in line spinner bait with a Saltwater Assassin (plastic) in “chicken on a chain” color and it worked pretty well.

Strategy/ patterns: Not much possibility of sight fishing today. Redfish were hanging off the banks in the dirty water, waiting for the tide so they could get back up in the grass. I spotted a few feeding, but all of my fish were caught by blind casting to fishy looking spots. I passed over several redfish that were bedded down on the bottom. They spooked and drummed a bit as they took off in a big cloud of mud.

It was a good day for seeing animals. Lots of ducks and marsh hens were working the mud banks. Later I saw two otters come down the bank and quickly disappear in the water. Then some piglets came out, and a few minutes later some big hogs came out of the grass. I snapped a photo of two of the big hogs and a small 3’ alligator with its head sticking out of the water to the lower right side of the picture. As I was fishing in a shallow area I saw two really big wakes being pushed by a pair of fish swimming together, but they were moving pretty quickly and were out of casting range and going away from me. A few minutes later I see this large mullet leap really high and for an instant I think “That’s strange” and a millisecond later a big jack crevalle breached right behind it, flashing silver and yellow. I was stunned that such a big fish could have been sneaking around in such shallow water. The big wakes I had seen earlier were probably jacks rather than monster reds. I started back because it was getting hot and I had some stuff to do at work in the afternoon. As I worked my way in I cast the weedless Gulp under a cork along the weedbeds as I approached Bayou Gentilly. I was in sight of Sweetwater Marina when I got the last redfish of the day. It had 8 spots.

I ended the day with 5 redfish, 2 of them were undersized, a 20”, 22” and fat 26”er and a bass. All were released. The fish seemed to like the Gulp and the in line spinner the best today.

On the way home I stopped at the Fish Shack in Chalmette and tried the “Top Feeder”. It was great. They cook some good catfish there – highly recommended – but catfish is all that’s on the menu.

 

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Pointe aux Chene (Oak Point) marsh

 

Wind: 10 mph mostly, with an occasional lull, coming from the S then shifting to SW

Tide: very little

Water Level: a bit above normal, redfish could move up into the submerged grass.

Water Temperature: ~80 F

Water Clarity: good, 2-3 feet visibility in places, but the wind muddied open water

Water salinity: very little, maybe 1 ppt by taste test

Weather/sky: overcast, a few scattered showers around, got a little wet in the morning – breezy and overcast conditions made it comfortable but harder for fishing

Temperature: ~ 85 F for high

Moon: half, waning

Solunar period: major period @ 8 a.m.

Time on the water: 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 5 miles on the map, but did a lot of extra pedaling and paddling due to wind and to hold a position while casting.

Other fishers: My tournament partner was Allan Simon (pro fly tyer and bowfishing guide). There were about 20 teams participating in this event.

Special Fly Fishing Tournament hosted by Eddie and Lisa Mullen’s Point aux Chene Kayak Rentals (http://packayakrental.com) and Mission Six/Troll Squad Group (a non-profit that benefits first responders and military, https://www.facebook.com/TrollsquadKayakFishing/). About 20 2-person teams participated. Kayakers Catch Cormier and Kevin Andry won the tournament, and Kevin also had the largest slot red for the day. They beat out several teams with the fancy “flats” boats. Congratulations!

Gear: 2 x #8 weight fly rods

Lures: I fished a gold spoon fly most of the day. I also got a speck early in the morning on Clouser minnow fished as a dropper under a Pole Dancer (topwater fly that mimics a spook).

Strategy/ patterns: Redfish seemed to be working upwind to feed on crabs and shrimp. The smaller reds I caught were sometimes in groups. A couple of times I saw their backs out of the water or a tail go up as they were feeding. I worked myself upwind and planned a drift to put me in good casting distance. The fish took the spoon fly like they were supposed to do it.

I ended the day with 7 redfish: 5 were small slot sized redfish from about 16.5 to18”, and 2 were 15”, and 2 speckled trout. Most were released. One of the specks came on the Clouser dropper under the Pole Dancer. All the other fish were caught on the spoon fly. Allan had a good day too, catching several small reds.

 

 

 

Delacroix Marsh 6-10-2017

Wind: 5 mph early, 10-15 mph starting about 8 a.m., coming from the SE

Tide: High was at about 3:00 pm based on Shell Beach station. Range 1.5 ft.

Water Level: at the normal level, rising through the day.

Water Temperature: ~80 F

Water Clarity: fair, 2-3 feet visibility in places, but the wind muddied open water and visibility went to about a foot

Water salinity: not a hint

Weather/sky: sunny

Temperature: ~ 85 F for high

Moon: 1 day after full moon

Solunar period: strong major period @ 3 pm.

Time on the water: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 5 miles on the map, but did a lot of extra pedaling and paddling due to wind and to hold a position while casting.

Other fishers: Sean R. Also saw David L. when coming in from fishing

Gear: 2 x #8 weight fly rods

Lures: I fished a purple and gold spoon fly most of the day. I also got a speck early in the morning on a Pole Dancer (topwater fly that mimics a spook).

Strategy/ patterns: Once again the fish were scattered along banks, but I found some small groups of fish working in more open water too. Redfish seemed to be working upwind to feed on crabs and shrimp.

Ended the day with 5 slot sized redfish from about 18” to 26” and an undersized fish, 2 surprise speckled trout (didn’t expect to find them in shallow marsh this time of year), and a gar fish.

Sean had a good day using conventional tackle with double-digit redfish, including one that went 32”. Most of his fish came on the old reliable gold spoon.

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Delacroix marsh 6-4-2017

Wind: 5 mph early, 10-15 mph starting about 8 a.m., coming from the SE

Tide: High was at about 2:00 pm based on Shell Beach station. Range 0.2 ft.

Water Level: at the normal level, rising through the day.

Water Temperature: ~75 F

Water Clarity: fair, 2-3 feet visibility, but the wind muddied open water

Water salinity: not a trace (heavy rain lately)

Weather/sky: mostly hazy, cloudy, with brief sun

Temperature: ~ 82 F for high

Moon: 2/3 waxing

Solunar period: minor @ 10 am

Time on the water: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 5 miles, but did a lot of extra pedaling and paddling due to wind and to hold a position while casting.

Other fishers: ran into Bubby Douglas and his entourage at the launch again– hope they did well.

Gear: 2 x #8 weight fly rods –ignored the wind and stuck with flyrods.

Lures: Spoon flies did all the work today. I also unsuccessfully tried a gurgler for a while.

Strategy/ patterns: Once again the fish were scattered and sitting tight on the bank. Picked up a few fish in cuts between islands with wind blown water pushing through.

Ended the day with 2 undersized reds, 2 slot sized redfish of about 18”, a small bull red of 28”, 2 10” bass, and a gar fish.

Spotted several alligators, lots of bird life, including a pair of purple gallinule with two tiny baby chicks.

Strange event of the day: I saw a tailing redfish in front of me and it went under water for a few seconds so I let my back cast fall into the water and waited. When the redfish came up in front I tried but couldn’t make my forward cast to it. I thought my back cast was snagged but another redfish had come behind me and it bit the spoonfly. I landed it, but wished I had a shot at the larger redfish in front of me.

Delacroix Marsh 5-27-2017

Wind: 10 mph early, 15 mph later from the S and SE
Tide: High was at about 4:00 pm based on Shell Beach station. Range about 1.5 ft.
Water Level: pretty low to start and rising through the day.
Water Temperature: ~75 F
Water Clarity: fair, 2-3 feet visibility, but the wind muddied open water
Water salinity: ?
Weather/sky: mostly hazy, cloudy, with occasional sun poking through
Temperature: ~ 90 F for high
Moon: new
Solunar period: minor @ 9 am, major period @ 4 p.m.
Time on the water: 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 6 miles, but did a lot of extra pedaling and paddling due to wind and to hold a position while casting.
Other fishers: solo

Gear: 2 x #8 weight fly rods, did not use much due to wind – should have left them in the truck, and Revo baitcaster w Falcon rod, 15# Powerpro braided line.

Lures: I fished mostly with a Seein’ Spots in line spinnerbait rigged with a Saltwater Assassin plastic (chicken on a chain color) and caught 3 reds and a bass on it, then proceeded to lose the next 6 reds that I hooked. I had crimped the barb on the hook to reduce damage to the fish (and to me in case of accident) and am not sure if this was the reason the last 6 fish came unglued. They seemed to be hooked well and I lost them as they were coming in to be landed. I kept tension on the fish at all times. ???

Strategy/ patterns: The fish seemed to be scattered as singles and were hugging tight against the banks during the morning’s low tide. Later I got several fish (or hook ups at least) fishing parallel to weed beds, which are really starting to thicken up now that summer is coming. None of the fish were especially big. Most were around 18-20” – starting to see the more typical summer time sized fish in the marsh.

Delacroix Marsh, 4-15-2017

Wind: 10 mph early, soon 18-20 mph from the E, SE

Tide: Low was forecast at 1 am and high was at 5 pm based on Shell Beach station. Range about a a foot on the chart, wind pushing in cleaner saltier water.

Water Level: in the grass to start and rising through the day.

Water Temperature: ~70 F

Water Clarity: great (3 feet visibility) everywhere to start, but quickly deteriorated as the wind kicked up, cleaner water around weed beds with 3-4 ft. visibility.

Water salinity: ?

Weather/sky: mostly sunny, and more clouds in the pm

Temperature: ~ 80 F for high

Moon: waning 2/3 of full

Solunar period: fair period @ 5 p.m.

Time on the water: 7 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 6 miles, but did a lot of extra pedaling and paddling due to wind and to hold a position while casting.

Other fishers: solo

Gear: #8 weight fly rod, never used due to wind – should have left it in the truck, and Shimano Sahara 4000 w Teramar rod, 15# Powerpro braided line.

Lures: Started with a Seein’ Spots in line spinnerbait rigged with a Saltwater Assassin plastic (chicken on a chain color) and caught 7 on it, then switched to a Nemire Red Ripper spoon in black (the ol’ black spoon of death, or BSOD) and it got the rest. Both lures are weedless, which helped a little to avoid the filamentous algae in the shallow ponds. The algae fouled the lures if they hit bottom, but it also served to keep the water in the ponds clear. I had crimped down the barbs on both lures so that it was easier to remove the hook.

Strategy/ patterns: I headed to smaller ponds and eastern/leeward shorelines for wind protection and cleaner water. It also made the trip in to the launch easy with help from a hard tailwind. Redfish were hanging out in between small islands positioned where wind was pushing water through the gap. They were also roaming in smaller sized, protected ponds that had clean water. I tried to work the lures as slowly as possible while avoiding the algae on bottom.

Fish caught: 15 redfish, all slots, 10 were 17-20” range caught early, 5 in the 24-27” range caught from about 2-4 pm. Kept 2 of the smaller reds for dinner, healthy releases for the others.

Hopedale Marsh 3-26-2017

17554242_1656026707746322_2217920357240801639_nWind: 10 mph early, quickly rose to about 15-20 mph from the S

Tide: Low was forecast at 11 am and high was at 6:00 pm based on Shell Beach station. Range about a half a foot on the chart, wind pushing in cleaner saltier water.

Water Level: started a bit below the grass line, up in the grass by afternoon.

Water Temperature: ~70 F

Water Clarity: fair, 2 ft. in main canals, clarity declined in windy shallow areas, cleaner water around weed beds with 3-4 ft. visibility.

Water salinity: ~ 5 parts per thousand

Weather/sky: mostly sunny, a few clouds

Temperature: ~ 80 F for high

Moon: almost new moon

Solunar period: good period @ noon to 2 p.m.

Time on the water: 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 9 miles

Other fishers: Jeff W.

 

Gear: #8 weight fly rods, floating lines, probably should have fished conventional tackle due to high winds.

 

Fish caught:

10 bass from 10 up to 14”,

4 speckled trout (10-14”)

1 redfish, 26.75”

 

Lures: bass and trout caught on natural (bucktail and white) and a purple over chartreuse clousers with #4 sized hooks. Redfish came on spoon fly with gold glitter/ chartreuse marabou. Lost another nice redfish that broke off the spoon fly. (note: make more spoon flies).