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Spring has Sprung

The grasses are here and the water is beautiful.  This time of year the fish are very active cruising banks, tailing and sometimes backing showing almost half their body. It’s a good time for all types of topwater action including Poppers, Topwater plugs, and even frogs.  The variety of fish is also good with the possibility of catching bass, trout, gar

or redfish on the same lure or fly.  Here is a picture of a triple header that turned out to be a spring marsh slam.  This was my first time ever seeing this, we have certainly slammed before but never at the same time.  It was awesome!!!

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Late Winter Sheepshead Madness

Sheepshead aka Marsh Permit aka Convicts aka my new obsession.  This past winter, we constantly saw these big heads tailing and cruising all over the place.  Unlike some guides out there, I encouraged my clients to cast at them.  Most of the time they would spook before you could get the fly to them or they would follow it all the way to the boat without even a peck. But sometimes the stars would align and they would eat almost anything presented.  I had a couple of days when we focused only on Sheepsheads, throwing small crab patterns on lightweight rods with lightweight line.  It’s totally different then trying to feed a Red.  We had some success: a couple of 3-4 fish days with an average weight of 7 lbs.  If you’re looking for a challenge on the fly, come down to the Louisiana marshes in late winter and try to stick one of these bastards!

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Top Water to Save the Day

The past few weeks have been anything but pleasant.  Seems like our weather is just punishing us for having such a nice fall.  Well, when you have guys that have traveled hundreds of miles to just have the opportunity to catch one of our big Bulls you have to try and make a day, no matter what the weather is.

Our days have been starting with me explaining to my guys that we will not have it easy today and we will have to work for our fish.  The key to topwater fishing is never lose the faith.  You always have to work it expecting that a fish is following it and is about to eat it.  You may go 50 casts with not even a boil and all the sudden bam a 25 lb big angry Bull has just inhaled your plug.  Our usual day is about 10-12 blowups with only about 2-3 getting to the boat. You don’t get the numbers but you certainly have the opportunity to catch a big fish on what would normally be a day you should of canceled.  This bite lasts through the winter months as long as you have the right factors in place.

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End of December Pics

Here is the rest of my December pics.  Sorry it took until February to post them but we have been busy.  We had the usual big fish bite in the ponds but on certain days we were able to pop outside and chase birds which is always entertaining.  We mainly caught redfish from the 18-26 lb range under the birds and every once in a while we pulled a jack out.  There was one day though that the gulf was slick calm and I just ran around the anchored shrimp boats and looked for pushes that turned out to be monster jacks just looking for something to eat. It was awesome!

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Ridiculous December Double

 

Here is a day back in December that although started cloudy we had calm wind and very happy fish.  The fish were floating so high they had the tips of their tails breaking the surface.  Both casters were very talented and hit most the shots we had.  We actually became a little bored catching the big reds so we changed flies and stuck a head.  We also got a little popper action in as well. We ended up landing 1 sheepshead 4 reds over 30 lbs and countless 20+ lbers.  Great December day!

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Catching up on some Fly Fishing Reports

I had the pleasure of fishing with this motley crew during early December.  It was composed of business men, guides, and even had a casting instructor in the group.  Well with blue bird skies and relatively calm winds it was easy for these very experienced casters to just have a stickfest.  In two days we caught more then 500 lbs of fish with 3 going over 30 lbs.

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Going for Fly Fishing Records

I’ve had the pleasure of having some women anglers on board that were willing to attempt some record breaking.  We did it but come to find out you haven’t done anything until you document.  Tejal and Kevin were the first group to attempt the record and although Kevin caught 2 that would of done it Tejal was about 4 lbs shy with the one good one she landed. She did break off a few that may have done it but I guess we will never know.  Cindy and Buddy were the second crew.  We caught a few 20s early in the day and about mid way through the afternoon we hook a good one.  We land it and weigh it and it did it!  30 lb bull redfish on 20 lb tippett.  We run to a beach to document the weight and we video ourselves measuring the length and girth, or so I thought.  Turns out we had the Iphone faced backwards while filming so instead of a video of measuring a fish we have a video of an arm going side to side.  It was pretty devastating but you live and you learn.

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More November Slobs

 

November was an absolutely incredible month as usual.  We had both single big girls floating around in back bays and schools of males busting under birds on the outside edges.  It’s crazy how much different these fish fight and look.  The males under the birds don’t have the size of the females but they make up for it with their unwillingness to give up the fight. The males also have a much more brilliant color.  It is something to see when a school of about 1000 bright red male redfish start busting up in front of you.

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Fly Fishing for Redfish in November

Here is some pictures from the first 2 weeks of November.  Had one flat full of sharks so we decided to stick one of those too. Trying to do a little picture catch up.

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Dennis and Jack Catching not Fishing

Dennis and Jack come to fish.  They are both very experienced fisherman and both fish hard.  Right out the gate Jack hooks up with a nice 25 lb fish.  After that we kinda had a slump with big fish.  We were consistently sticking fish but none were over 15 lbs.  Day 2 was better. The wind died and we were able to fish an area that I love to fish but it’s extremely weather dependent.  We had shot after shot on 10-15 lb fish and at a certain point we just started passing on the smaller fish looking for 20+ lb fish.  We stuck 2 good ones before the mullet boats moved in on us and ruined the fishing.  These mullet boats have to be some of the most inconsiderate fisherman I have ever seen, I’ve been burned too much by these guys this season.

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Happy Thanksgiving!!! Redfish Picture Catch Up

These pictures cover about 5 or 6 days during mid to late October.  We had a variety of fish with Mike catching a bunch of 18-24 lb fish and one that went very close to 30.  Jason came in on a less then desirable day with windy and cloudy conditions.  He made the most of the shots we had and he stuck this 24 lber.  Mark and I had a very interesting day… His wife kim was a mild Birder and after letting her off on the beach to check out some birds we take our eyes off of her for about a min and just like that she was about a mile down the beach which I was unable to get to due to the shallow water.  So Mark and I had to sit and wait.  Luckily earlier that day Mark got this 31 lber and Kim actually hooked (I SWEAR) what would of been a 20 lb tippet world record for women!!! Lost it on one single blade of grass.  Maybe next time…

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3 days Booked = 3 Incredible Days of Fly Fishing for Red Fish

It’s not too often you have clients book for the first time and arrive just after a bad weather window and leave just before the next front.  Jake and Samer nailed it!  Not only was the weather great but the fish were thick.  The first day we hit my usual spots and did well.  I think we caught 9 with about a 20 lb average.  The second day we were running to the usual spots and I scared a school of fish the size of a football field.  We shut down and started sticking.  We double up I don’t know how many times and I even pull a stick out and we get a triple once.  We spent all day in that area and ended with 27 fish (majority on poppers) with about a 20 lb average which equals 500+ lb day.  So the start of day three I didn’t know how to top day 2.  We decided to go for a 30 lber. The school fish we were fishing seemed to be maxing out at 27 lbs.  We went searching for big girls.  I check an area that I always drove by and never fished and we found them. Laid up sitting still in 5 ft of water with their tails barely scratching the surface.  It was incredible.  We push around passing on plenty hoping the next would be the 30.  We see one that looks good but I had to convince Jake to cast at it and Samer had to convince him to hook it.  Well once we get it in the boat I knew we had it.  A big headed 31 lb Louisiana Bull Redfish≥  It was a great way to end the trip.

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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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Hunting For Big Fish With Larry Dahlberg

I Had a great time with uncle Larry again.  This time we had had bad weather but more time (one full day and about 4 hrs his last day).  We made it happen.  We caught a fair amount of 15-20 lbers on a 10 inch wide glide which was just ridiculous because it is a huge bait and they weren’t hesitating at all.  We threw the fly a little and we did land about a 26 lber.  Larry has a great cast and we should have had more but our tu=ime ran out.  The highlight for sure is this 36 lber we sight casted with a small wide glide.  It was awesome.

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Some Offshore Fishing In my Inshore Boat

After putting a hurting to slot fish on spin gear and fly.  (Im talking tripling up on just straight jigg heads) we decide to go out and look for big reds.  We spot a huge group of birds working and found Bonitta, Spanish Mackeral and look down jacks tearing up bait in a school the size of a football field.  Needless to say we had to stop and get in on the action.  After many doubles boated and my finger almost getting bit off by a Spanish we make another move to some close in rigs to see if we couldn’t scare up a Cobia, well we got one.

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The Kerns Come fish Louisiana

After staying with Matt and Candace Kern in Rockport I told them they should come over and do one day Inshore fishing and we will do one day Offshore fishing.  Well the Inshore fishing was less then great due to a front that pushed the fish down, we did manage to land this nice size gar on the fly. The Offshore fishing the next day more then made up for the slow inshore bite.  This time of year brings in the shrimp boats that if you find the right one you can not only catch giant Blackfin Tuna on fly but if you have heavy enough stand up gear you can catch one of these MONSTER yellowfin tuna. This one went 165 lbs.

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Rockport Trip

I had the pleasure of traveling to Rockport Texas to Swan Point Landing Outfitters to give a presentation about Louisiana’s redfish fishery.  I stayed and fished with Matt Kern, a client turned friend, who is not a guide but might as well be.  With reports of slow fishing we did not have very high expectations I was just excited to see the gin clear water everyone was talking about.  Well the fishing was awesome and the water was gin clear.  We probably saw around 200-300 fish with about 20-30 legit shots and ended up catching 7 or 8.  I had a hard time making the shots early so I’ll take the blame for the bad shot to catch ratio.

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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.

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Best Days EVER!

Tuesday – Thursday of last week were the 3 most ridiculous days i’ve EVER had.  David Mangum, Greg Dini, and I went out to see what the fishing was like after the storm.  David brought along all his camera gear so naturally I figured if there is this many cameras on board the trip was destine to suck.  Well I was extremely wrong.  The first spot we stopped at was game on with schools of redfish pushing towards us as far as the eye can see. You have to wait and see what happens when the film comes out.  Here is one little guy we got.

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Third Place Finish LASS Redfish Tournament

Nick La Rocca and I finished in Third place in this weekends Louisiana Saltwater Series out of Cocodrie LA.  We upgraded all day  even with 5 minutes left to finish with 16.35 lbs.  With only one day to scout the area I was not expecting a big showing but I guess sometimes the stars aline and we caught the right fish.  Great day on the water!

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Fly Fishing For Jacks in Louisiana

Recently we have had some Jacks coming in and crushing schools of mullet on the same flats we are catching monster bull reds.  Although these creatures are fast moving and only give you a small window to get a shot on them if you put the fly in the right place and move it fast enough you can sometimes get a bite.  The key is to get the fly moving fast enough.  Sometimes you have to actually sweep the rod so the fly is moving fast and steady.  This makes it hard to get a good strip set on them but usually when they take it they turn and run, so after the initial run you can usually dig the hook into them.  Here is one of the bigger ones we have caught going about 28 lbs.

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Bull Redfish on the Fly in the Summer?

Had the pleasure of fishing Boman Lapp on the bow of my boat this day.  He is an ex-guide who was very able to cast the 12 wt we were throwing.  I knew with the perfect conditions and the ability of my caster we could pick and choose our fish(25+ lbers). We did just that.  We landed 5 equaling over 127 lbs.   I even got to stick one myself while Boman was getting his in.

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June Red Hot for yellow fin Tuna

Ran across a school of whale sharks covered up with tuna. Ended the day with a limit of snapper.

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Redfish Topwater Popping in the Shade

I had two days of fishing with Carlyle and with great weather the first day it wasn’t a problem getting to the big fish grounds and even sticking a few of them.  Day two presented a challenge with overcast skies and varying winds from calm to 15+mph.   We decided to stay close, mostly due to a storm that was headed right for us.  We ended up having about 4 hrs to fish.  When we reached our spot we started to notice redfish coming up and sipping at the ends of these coon tail grasses in the water.  You could watch them go from grass to grass inspecting the tops for any creatures stranded with the incoming tide.  Well we started taking shots and as soon as we popped the popper they would spook.  So after about the third spook we changed presentation to a slow long strip.  As long as you got the fly in their sight and had it slowly moving away they would pounce on it.  It was crazy to see such a different reaction.