By Jay Potter
It was an early morning Saturday October, 20 for the Fall N Tide VII kayak fishing tournament. We left Baton Rouge at 3:30 and headed to Delta Marina in Empire, LA. There, we met Dave Underwood of the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club and dropped off a donation kayak to be used as a prize, along with some other kayaks. Dave took the other kayaks and some adventurous women who wanted to use them to Joshua’s Marina to launch.
The KC crew kept trekking Highway 23 and onto Tidewater Road in Venice. We pulled over and launched off the road, then paddled out to some broken marsh in the Yellow Cotton Bay/Wagon Wheel area.
Corey and Andrew debuted KC’s newest addition, tentatively named “The Swamp Scout,” a true tandem boat designed for the Boy Scouts of America. It was designed to help the scouts store camping gear on long trips, but the guys equipped it with rod holders and the like to make it easily fishable. They took turns standing to fish and easily out-paddled Daniel and me back to the launch at the end of the day.
Appropriately the tide was falling all day, and we immediately found some good water. The first point the four of us fished provided action, two tourney reds were promptly taken on popping corks. We also picked up a trout or two and Corey hooked into a monster red that dragged the tandem boat for about 15 minutes before the fish wrapped the line around something and broke off.
The water was clear enough to sight fish the shallows and I found a football field-sized area that was teeming with reds. I noticed a couple other of the tournament’s participants whose kayaks had pedal drives check out my spot, but they were unable to draft shallow enough to fish this area and moved on. I didn’t mind having it to myself.
Reds were crashing up and down the bank, and for a couple hours I stood and paddled up and down, sightfishing nice 20″-24″ reds, but none that would help me in the tournament. I was pleased to snag a couple nice flounder too, though that impression would change once we hit the weigh-in.
The tide dropped pretty quick, but even as the water dirtied up more, I was still able to find reds and cast to them. Of the other three KC Team members, everyone caught some good fish. None of us could put together a solid slam though, so we weren’t too hopeful because it was such a nice day.
Daniel, Corey and Andrew found good reds eating up plastics on points also, both under corks and tight lining. They also picked up some speckled trout and Daniel got a big black drum too. Dark colors and chartreuse plastics (LSU colors are always good) and the pink and green electric/nuclear chicken color.
I had some decent reds and even one with 7 spots, and those two flounder, but I never did pick up a trout. Over 150 kayakers fished the tourney and most everyone got some big fish. We called it a fairly early day and headed back to Delta to watch the LSU-Texas A&M game and eat a cheeseburger.
Big thanks to the BCKFC, especially Dave Underwood for assisting the women’s division and producing the awesome prize setup with the K12, and congratulations to Rebekah Cox, winner of the women’s division and a brand new KC Kayak.
1st Ben Roussel 12lb 10oz
2nd Benton Parrot 12lb
3rd Tommy Eubanks 10lb 4oz
4th Butch Ammons 9lb 14oz
5th Brendan Bayard 9lb 8oz
6th Elliot Stevens 9lb 6oz
7th Blake Walters 9lb 2oz
Ladies Cajun Slam
1st Rebekah Cox 6lb 4 oz
Kids Cajun Slam
1st Jacob Cox 5lb 28oz
2nd Joshua Robles 5lb 4oz
3rd Rory Craft
1st Devon Beltz 4lb 4 oz
2nd Mike Behrnes 3lb 6oz
3rd Chris Weaver 2lb 10 oz
4th Derrel Thomas 2lb 6 oz
5th Don Hanson 2lb 4 oz
Stray the Course.