When You Shouldn’t Be Fishing

BY Jay Potter

When the weather says you shouldn’t be fishing, you really shouldn’t be fishing in a kayak. As long as there’s no lightning, though, I am probably still going fishing in my K12.

With an extra day off (or two) for the Mardi Gras holiday last weekend, many of us in South Louisiana were ready to get on the water. Inclement weather had been the norm and of course struck again, rain and thunderstorms were forecast for Sunday, Monday and Fat Tuesday.

Saturday would have to be the day, despite the expected clouds and 15-20 mph winds. KC Pro Staffer TJ Harris and I loaded up and left Baton Rouge about 3:45am, trucking it down the Mississippi River to Pointe a la Hache.

Upon arrival, it seemed even windier than was forecast, but we were already prepared to be tossed around.

TJ’s kayak has some of the trolling motor customizations now offered by KC. Internal wiring and a motor mount with a 45 pound thrust motor would enable us to cut through the chop.

Perhaps the best way to travel by kayak.

Yes, I said us. That motor was more than enough to pull two K12s with all of our gear and the extra battery that sat in the front of my kayak.

Even straight into the wind and the tide.

Normally, the clip on the end of the rope on my “Stick It Anchor Pin” cajun anchor would be hooked to an eyelet on the back of my kayak.

This time, we clipped my anchor rope to TJ’s kayak, I put the anchor’s hand grip in the kayak’s front handle, and we were into the marsh. Gray clouds covered the sky as the sun apparently rose somewhere further down the river. We chugged against the wind and the tide for a mile or so until TJ angled us up to a nice protected bank.

As expected, no clean water was to be found anywhere we went, and the wind and strong tide made this a Gulp! and poppin’ cork or bust kind of day. I am usually sight fishing or tight-lining plastics on the bottom, but TJ always has a rod with cork rigged and in no time he was hooked up.

I headed over for some pictures and before I even got my line back in the water TJ’s cork was down again and had a trout on his line.

Setting up as nice a drift as one can in roughly 20 mph winds and trying not to be outdone, and I managed to stay near the bank for a few casts each time before paddling back out of the wind.

Finally, I dropped a cast next to the grass in a couple feet of water and my cork with a New Penny Gulp! shrimp below went under.

As I set the hook, the cork torpedoed off out into open water and my drag screamed.

Never rush one of these moments.

I try to savor it and enjoy the hurt a good red can put on lighter rod and a bad shoulder. This guy pulled me out into the wind and tried running against it. I eventually wrangled him up and we measured a chubby 26 and 3/4″ redfish. A perfect tournament fish.

Over the course of the day, the sun made brief appearances, but winds stayed up and my luck down. TJ boated my fish’s twin and had a couple strikes but mostly it was a day of cruising around, sipping a couple of cold beverages. Sitting in the back, I had an extra leisurely day as TJ steered and pulled me around.

All told, we traveled 8.1 miles and didn’t even get too far into our second trolling motor battery.

Luckily with our K12s, we had the ability to hook up a motor and get out and about on the nicest day of the weekend, even if it was blowin’ 20.

Stray the Course.

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