Blue Skies

Blue skies match the blue tails of fired up reds!

By Jay Potter

I snaked down the narrow road toward what Google Maps told me was a small kayak launch, brush clawing and scraping the side of my vehicle.

The road and the launch were remote and kind of unsettling at first light, but the mosquitoes and horseflies told me I was probably in the right place.

I dragged my kayak over the mud and shells and made the drop down from the bank to the water without getting wet. I paddled around for a couple hours blind casting and fishing a popping cork, waiting for the sun to illuminate the pleasant brown water and hopefully the predators below it.

For us at KC Kayaks, fishing the marsh is mostly about sight fishing. With high water and a not so slight northwest wind, I had my work cut out for me. Once I was enveloped by blue skies, I was in the office.

Right about 9:30, I pulled out of a shallow bay, and drifted up onto a small pool off the edge of the main channel.

There they were, two big ole reds, one behind the other. Facing away from me, they headed further into the pool.

With my baitcaster, I quickly flipped an LSU Gulp! shrimp in front of them, assuming I would let them keep swimming and trick one with a quick twitch. I never got the chance as the front fish, a 7-8 pound red, quickly covered the 6 feet to my bait and walloped it.

Few things feel as good as setting the hook on a fish that’ll pull back just as hard. After a 5 minute Cajun sleigh ride, I boated that awesome kayak fish and my day had changed dramatically.

For the next few hours (I had to get home for the LSU game) I saw fat orange footballs all over the small area I worked. Plastics along any bank or off of any point or inlet were just what the doctor ordered.

Tournament fish were cruising around Dularge in numbers.

All day I was literally less than 10 minutes from my launch and managed to sight fish a few nice reds before the game. I caught fish on LSU Gulp! and H&H LSU Cocahoes.

I ended that day far earlier than I’d have preferred, but I was happy and I knew I had a new spot.

Of course the next weekend I trekked back down LA Hwy 315, also known as Bayou Dularge Road.

I waited a little later this time and brought a buddy. Upon arrival the sun was up and ready for us, the water was lower and muddier and the wind was doable. I paddled straight to a spot I had seen fish the last weekend. and stuck one immediately, about 5 minutes off the boat launch.

Rowdy Reds in protected cuts. This guy had tons of fight but nowhere to go.

Going through a cut into one of these back pools, while standing, I saw a fin under the water and saw it sink quickly. I held my paddle and dropped an LSU Gulp! in front of where the fish appeared to be heading. Sure enough, there he was. I never would’ve seen that fish had I not been standing. Victory for the K12!

I iced down that good eating-sized fish (the K12 has room for a full-sized ice chest in the back and a smaller one in the front for drinks) and headed further down the main channel. When I pulled up to a deep spot where it opened to a bay and looked across, I saw three big reds cruising the far bank. I put a nice cast just in front of the leader, but his left flanker out swam him and assaulted my plastic. You can really feel the violence and power of this predator fish with a strike on a taut line.  He put up a great fight.

El Perro Grande! Le Grand Chien! This fella gave the K12 a pull and me a workout, but he sure makes for a nice hoist pic.

Here is the video of my first two catches. On the second fish you can see the all the commotion, that group was good sized. KC Kayak Sight Fishing

This day we worked a much larger area and found  some awesome cuts and ponds about 1-3 feet deep, several holding a fish.

The area was protected so I stood to paddle most of the time. Like I said earlier, a K12 puts you in a great position to sight fish. You can ease into a standing or seated position because you’ll have your balance. When entering a new fishy area I always stand up and at least have my rod in one hand, sometimes the paddle in the other if I need it.

This method allows me to be as prepared as possible for the moment I actually see the fish. Because of this, we picked up a couple more nice reds on Gulp! Nuclear Chicken  jerk shad before starting the paddle back, ending a pretty great day on the water.

I thought there had been fish everywhere that day. Until the next trip…

Stray the Course.

Gar!... Gar? Well from a distance I couldn't tell he wasn't a red. Next thing I know I'm dealing with a dinosaur.

 

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