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Summer fly fishing options in Louisiana

This past summer started off strong with some jacks moving in relatively early and backing fish in ankle deep water(when the tide was right). But as soon as the jacks appeared they seemed to disappear and I was forced to fish in other areas. This paid off. What I found in these “other areas” were first of all more jacks, which was great, but also some very large redfish and plenty of sharks. I also did a nearshore trip on one of those perfect weather late summer days and it payed off with a plethora of species. I continued to occasionally try my typical Jack areas and although it was less action as I would of liked we had some jaction, caught some fish and I loved every second of it. Now I’m just looking forward to next summer and the endless fly fishing opportunities Louisiana has to offer. Above photo courtesy of Sam Collett @collettjsam on Instagram.

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Summer and Early Fall fly fishing in Louisiana

Jack fishing really turned on in August and stayed very consistent until we were hit with an early cold front around mid September.  This slowed it down big time. Luckily the interior marsh fishing really turned on at this point.  The reds were about as thick as I’ve seen them. Singles and doubles everywhere with random meatballs of 10-20 fish here and there. Solid fish size too averaging 8-12 lbs.   The best part about it is they were very willing to eat a popper.   I continually checked on the jacks here and there through early October and had some decent fishing but decided to switch gears to big redfish fishing the second week of October.  Just after Hurricane Nate rolled through there seemed to be big fish everywhere, but as quickly as they showed up they seemed to disappear. I was lucky enough to find them good offshore last week which was short lived due to the winds picking up.   Hopefully the recent cold front will inspire some fish to move in. 

    
 
    
    
    
    
    
   

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Start of Summer Flyfishing

Typically with the start of summer we have the start of Jack season. I guess you could say Jack season has started but it is certainly not in full swing. It seems due to the ridiculous amount of rain we have had the past few weeks we have only had a few jacks move in.  We have boated a couple fish but still haven’t seen the numbers we would like. It does appear the rain is slowing down and the rivers are going down which should help immensely.  So in the mean time we have been doing the fall back redfish game which has been very good.   Also I have been spending some time trying to locate some good bass areas which just last week I found the motherload.   Due to rain on top the jack grounds I stayed inside the marsh and boated 32 bass on popper between 6:30am and 9:30am. Most were in the 1-1.5 lb range with a couple in the 2-3 lb range.  It was a pretty insane bite and another great summer option. 

   
    
    

 

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October Struggle

As many of you know I’m not big on miss leading people into booking with me. I’m all about being as truthful as possible in order to manage expectations. With that being said… This October was by far the worst October I have  ever experienced. It wasn’t a shock considering the water temp pretty much stayed in the mid to high 70s all month.  The big fish do not want to get shallow in those temps so most big fish were happy to just stay offshore. That mixed with almost constant 15-20 mph winds made targeting the offshore fish impossible.   Now we did have a handful of calm wind days which made for good fishing but overall October was a let down.  The only silver lining was with the higher water temps the Jacks stuck around later then usual.

   
    
    
    
   

  

 

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Jack season coming to an end…

I can’t complain about this summer’s Jack season. Although I had to deal with constant west winds and the floods in Baton Rouge pumping dirty water into my main Jack fishing area we had a very successful Jack season.  

    
    
    
    
    
   

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Jacks of July 

Although we have had constant west winds, which is our least favorite wind direction in Louisiana, the Jack fishing has been very solid.  We have had some good pushing fish on the flats and lots of schooling action in open water. We boated a total of 35 jacks on fly in 12 days of fishing.  Biggest was 32 lbs and only 4 were under 20 lbs. If you’re looking for a strong fish that loves to eat topwater flies you should definitely come down and check out our Jack fishery.    

    
    
    
    
    
    
 

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There’s many opportunities during the summer when you’re fly fishing in Louisiana

During the summer months we try to get an early start to beat the heat, fortunately summer is one of the best times to hunt pushing fish. Both Redfish and giant Jack Crevalle become very active at this time. Their mornings are spent cruising flats in search of bait. Although we start earlier with low light seeing a fish pushing water is actually easier with lower light. Not to mention the fish feel more comfortable and tend to swim more shallow in low light. Watching a 20+ lb redfish or Jack pushing a wake from a football field is a sight every fly angler should see. Here are summer pushing fish we have caught in the past week or so…  Also through in a nice sheepshead and triple tail we ran into as well…

    
    
   

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Big redfish season is here…

September is when we start getting very busy. Although the big fish have not moved into the shallows we are still able to target them in open water with the weather permitting(reasonable winds and sunlight)… This will continue usually through mid October when a good cold front pushes the bigger fish shallow. Although we have had some smaller cold fronts this October the majority of the bigger fish have not moved in yet.  This mixed with some serious winds have made fishing this month no easy task… Don’t get me wrong, we have had a couple days with great weather that we have had great fishing but over all it’s been tough.  We have had to grind it out, luckily we have a very healthy fishery and we can usually fall back inside and chase some smaller fish in protected waters.  

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

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Fly fishing for Jack Crevalle in New Orleans’ backyard…

Starting in June schools of mullet start moving into Lake Ponchartrain. Following these schools is one of my favorite and most overlooked gamefish, Jack Crevalle aka Marsh tuna aka Jackie boy…  With the right conditions the lake clears showing its vast sand flats littered with small grass patches.  The jacks cruise up and down the shore crushing bait, pushing wakes, sometimes they just slow swim finning very much like a permit.  The season usually starts mid to late June, peaks july – mid sept then tapers off just in time for big redfish season.  My go to fly is the white popper pictured below but sometimes we do throw large baitfish patterns. I’d recommend at least a 10 wt rod.  If I’m fishing I’m throwing a 12 wt.  All jacks can fight our jacks are big and they fight. Average size is 20-30 lbs. Rarely do we see fish under 20.  

   
    
    
 

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Early October Fly Fishing Report

Although we were still dealing with some water clarity issues, we were able to make it to the cleaner outside areas on most days.  There we found large singles, schools of spawners (15-20lbers), and even the occasional Jack.  On the windy days we stayed inside chasing tailers in the shallows and even got this nice flounder on a blind retrieve.

 

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Fishing not Posting

I’ve been fishing way too much to post recent pics but here are some pics from early to mid October.  Also I had my sisters wedding which also hindered my posting.

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Afternoon Jack Trip

I had an afternoon free and had the perfect wind to fish Jacks in Lake Pontchartrain.  We got out there around 2:00 pm and immediately started seeing blowups down the shore line.  We found one massive school and got one good 28 lber and broke another off.  We saw them a few more times and thought we were in position but they must of got past us.  Called it at 6:00 and was home for around 7:00.  Not a bad afternoon.