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Big Spring

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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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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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Late Spring/ Early Summer

It has been a pretty good spring and not a bad start to the summer.  The fish have started grouping up and we have had plenty of clean water to work with.  The gator population is certainly not hurting as well. It seems like they have a gator on every turn.  The Sheepsheads have also been real active.  We recently just upped my boats personal best sheepshead day from 4 fish to 6 fish which I was pretty pumped about.

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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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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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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.

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Trophy Redfish Hunter From Japan

I had Mr Tadayoshi Sakurai on board for a stretch of 4 days.  Although he knew little english he did bring a translation book that he gave to me after i tried to explain left, right, 11 o’clock, etc.  So I looked up some directional words and went to work.  The only words I focused on was left, right, out in front, close, and far.  He was able to see the fish well so as long as I got him looking in the right direction he could usually lock in and make the cast.  We fished a new area each day due to conditions and did well each day.  The trophies for the trip were a 27 and 34 lb redfish and a monster 8.5 lbs sheepshead which would of been a state record had I known that the state record was only 8.15 lbs.

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Solo Scout Trip = Some Great Stills

Headed out on my own to get some footage of these beasts swimming around and maybe sticking one or two.  The weather was on and the fish were there.  Here are some stills that I thought came out pretty sweet.