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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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Big Spring

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This spring has been one to remember… Typically I stay in the interior marsh chasing slot fish in the 6-12 lb range. But this year the grasses grew thick early and choked up much of the interior marsh making many areas almost unfishable.  Although this is a normal process, it usually doesn’t happen until mid-summer. So this year, I started fishing the exterior marshes to escape the thick grass, and what I found was some very good fishing. Instead of the average 7 lb fish, I’ve been seeing lots of 10-11 lb fish and the occasional very big fish in the 25-30 lb range, not to mention a seemingly endless supply of tailing drum. It’s lookibg like the weather is finally stabilizing, as well, so the great fishing should hold up for the next month or two.

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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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Teaming up with Yellow Dog to Bring You Louisiana Redfish School!!!

We are excited to announce that we will be teaming up with Yellow Dog to bring you the first annual Louisiana redfish school!!! 

Click the link below for more info…

http://www.yellowdogflyfishing.com/blog/announcing-louisiana-redfish-school

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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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Summer is here

This has definitely been one of the best spring seasons I’ve seen in a while and it’s looking like the good fishing should continue into summer. The fish in the interior marsh have grouped up and a 20 + fish school has been a common occurrence.  The temperature is the only problem with this time of year. I recommend starting early in the morning and fishing a half day to beat the heat.  The fishing also tends to slow down in the mid-day heat. Here are some pictures and videos from the past month. 

    
    
    
    
    
 

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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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Summer Fly Fishing for Cobia

Summer is hot!  So instead of poling around in the marsh we decided to take it to the big water in hopes of finding something different… We found it! The first buoy we pulled up to had about a half dozen Cobia floating just underneath the surface.  The water only had about 3-4 ft of clarity but you could easily spot these brown bastards from about 100 yrds away.  Every rig, buoy, or piling we drove up to had at least 3 and as many as 12 floating right under it.  As soon you dropped a popper into the area they were on it.  They stayed on it until you hooked someone out of the group then they would sound.  At that point we would land the fish, move to one or two other spots, then come back and sure enough the school would be floating right on top again.  We did this all day…  I had a great time to say the least.

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Offshore Fishing Venice Louisiana

Although the wind was blowing and the fish weren’t eating right, Capt Kyle Smith still got a pretty good haul.  We started the day as usual trying to catch some live bait.  After a couple throws with the cast net we got them.  Menhaden.  We dropped the live bait only to see nothing happen for the next 2 hrs.  We decided to chunk.  Almost immediately a reel started screaming. After that it was pretty consistent and we ended up with 6 Yellow fin from 60-90 lbs.

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The Bull Days of Summer

Recently we have been having some great action all over the marsh.  From popper fishing for small reds and sheepsheads in the ponds to outside fishing for bull reds, we’ve been trying to stay busy this summer.  I had Jack and Denny back in town for a couple of days and when they are here we are catching.  We warmed up fishing for smaller redfish with poppers, which Denny went right to work on.  At one point we even ended up putting a big popper on a spin rod and got them with that too.  We spent the rest of the time looking for bulls.  It certainly was not stacked up but we did manage to boat a couple of fish in the 24-29 lb range.  We also got this stud trout on topwater.

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Summer Action

We have had a great summer with all kinds of fish being thrown at and caught.  The latest being this 26 lb bull that I caught on a calm, hot, summer afternoon.  Slot Fish are around in droves.  I have seen groups of up to 100 fish just milling around in a pocket.  We have also stuck some nice Jacks when we are in the right place at the right time.  The catfish was not a trophy but was certainly interesting.  They are actually pretty difficult to feed a fly to.  In my opinion this 4.5 lb Marsh bass is one of the best trophy fish of the summer because he out weighs any other marsh bass iv’e ever seen caught by 2 lbs easy.  Gotta love Summer!

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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!