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.

 

 

 

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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).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopedale 3-18-2017

Wind: 3-5 mph early, quickly rose to about 10-15 mph switching from the SSW, W, N, SW

Tide: Low was forecast at 2 :13 am and high was at 6:40 pm based on Shell Beach station. Range was about a foot on the chart, but it came up more like 1.5-2’. Rising all day.

Water Level: started super low, up to the grass line about 4 pm.

Water Temperature: ~70 F

Water Clarity: very dirty, clarity declined in windy areas, found some cleaner water around weed beds.

Water salinity: ?

Weather/sky: mostly sunny early, by noon a few clouds

Temperature: ~ 80 F for high

Moon: Waning, almost half moon

Solunar period: good periods @ 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Time on the water: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Water covered: ~ 6 miles

Other fishers: solo

I stopped in a Gerald’s Donuts in Chalmette to load up with some fast carbs and caffeine and buzzed my way down to Hopedale. The light sugary donuts gave me the energy to literally toss my kayak off the truck. The water level was super low and I had to ease the kayak out on the bare mud for about 20’ to launch. It was supposed to be a day with light winds that would pick up a bit as afternoon came, so I brought only fly rods. I had visions of sight casting flies to redfish in clear water, but that fantasy ended after I made it to the first pond. The weatherman tricked me again. The very low tide coupled with a quickly rising wind made it a difficult day to fly fish, but I stuck it out and caught a few. It was difficult to pole along the bank with increasing wind, and hard to spot fish in the muddy water. I spooked a bunch of redfish that were resting on bottom in the pond. Even though the water was dirty, I could still see big muddy swirls and wakes as fish took off. I tried my old trick of working upwind and then drifting downwind quietly while blind casting or casting to wakes made by fish. I was slinging a gold and chartreuse spoon fly that I had tied. The wind blew me over to a bank and just as I was ready to paddle off the bank I spied a nice redfish coming right toward me down the shoreline with its back out of the water. I picked up my rod and the line tangled, so I scrambled to get ready to cast as the fish came closer. It was a little more than a flyrod’s length from the kayak when I flipped the fly in front of its nose. It immediately ate it and took off and I stuck the fly home with a strip strike. It took about 5 minutes to land the fish and when I measured it went a little under 28”. It was pretty chunky and I guessed it went about 9 lbs. It had a mark on its lower lip from a previous battle with another angler, and I’m glad I got a chance to catch this recycled redfish. I released it for another angler to have a chance at it. I fished the pond hard but could not come up with another fish even though I knew they were there.

I went to another pond and the water was still trashy and coming up fast. I drifted over some weed beds and spooked a few reds before being able to get a shot at them. I went over to a little bayou off the pond that connected to another pond about a half mile away. I spotted a few reds “bank crawling” and got a shot at a nice one but this time I muffed my chance by being a little off target with the fly. I tried a second time and spooked the fish. I got a smaller redfish of about 17” that was hanging around in the same spot. I went down to the pond and saw a number of fish working in the pond – some of the best redfish surface activity that I’ve seen in a while. The problem was that the pond was pretty shallow and the wind made it hard to be stealthy. I would try to move up to a fish to get a cast and it would disappear. I ended up empty handed when I left the pond, but I will be back there for sure when there is a little more water for maneuvering. I went back down the little bayou, switched to a natural colored clouser pattern, and made a few casts where it opened into the second pond. I spooked another nice redfish, and threw another cast and caught a small speckled trout. I would catch and release about 10 there. Unfortunately they were all small, with only about half of them being above the 12” keeper mark. The “big one” was a tad under 14”. I also got a surprise redear sunfish (shellcracker, chinquapin) on the clouser.

I went looking for more redfish but found some marsh bass, landing 4 on the clouser. I missed a few and also missed a few redfish that somehow missed the hook. It was getting late so I headed in and got to the truck about 6 p.m. I don’t like the daylight savings time shift except for the ability to fish later in the day.