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Spring fly fishing New Orleans’ backyard

I am loving this spring. Overall we have had more sunny days then cloudy days and the fish are exactly where they are suppose to be.   Average fish size has varied depending on what region of the marsh you are fishing but overall I’d say we have had about a 8-9 lb average.  We have had many 10+ fish days and actually a good number of 20+ fish days(I think 4-5 days but I’m not sure and you can’t come down here expecting to catch 20+ fish on fly in 1 day).  All you can do is book your days and hope for good weather. Because as usual in Louisiana with good weather brings good fishing. It’s hard to beat a 70 degree spring day with blue bird skies and floating redfish in gin clear ponds…

P.s As per usual the topwater trout bite has been pretty good in the clouds. It’s a very nice fall back plan if you lose your vis.

   
 
    
    

    
    
    
    
   

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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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Spring + bad weather = put up the fly rod and grab the plugs

With the right conditions it’s hard to beat spring sight fishing for redfish…  That being said the weather is not always conducive to what you want to do. Lucky for us when the skies cloud up and the wind picks up, this makes for a perfect topwater situation.  Although you can’t see the fish before you cast you will certainly see the fish eat your lure which will still get your heart pumping.  It’s common to catch a multitude of trout in the 3-5 lb range and also redfish in the 6-12 lb range.  Topwater fishing can turn a bad weather day into a successful day on the water, you just have to be willing to try. 

    
    
   

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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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February

As usual during February the weather has been somewhat an issue.  But as usual when the weather was good the fishing was good.  February is still considered prime time for big Redfish in the marsh.  The water is still clear and the big fish are still holding in their normal winter spots.  What also happens in February is the Sheepshead come in, big ones!  These are what we like to call marsh permit.  Even if everything is in your favor and you even make the right cast these guys may still refuse your offering.  But if you keep at it you will be rewarded…

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December Fly Fishing Highlights

Starting from the top… Cindy came down and for the 3rd year in a row, nailed some great fishing.  This time was especially good timing because we were fishing the redbone, which is a non profit tournament held to raise money for cystic fibrosis.   Well we got the big one!  34 lb 46 in red which is actually the biggest redfish ever to be caught in this tournament to date.  We were both very excited about it.  Next is Christian’s 37 lber which took the title as the heaviest fish caught on fly on my boat during 2014.  Good work Christian!  The next pictures are of some very happy redfish just being hungry in the marshes of Louisiana.

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September fly fishing to Remember

Early this September was probably some of the best fishing I have had in a while.  It was by far the best September fishing I have ever experienced.  This was immediately followed by some of the worse weather which in turn made for some very difficult fishing.  Here are some fish we put in the boat this month.  This includes my first 40 lb red on the boat and the biggest gar I have ever had on the boat.  It has been a pretty inedible month so far.

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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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Big Fish Season is in Full Swing

As long as the weather allows us to get out on the water the big fish have been waiting.  We have seen big fish floating, pushing, and even tailing, which is somewhat rare for us.  It has been very windy recently but as long as you get the fly in their face they usually eat it.

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The Fishing is Good

The fishing has been good!  The big fish have moved in and even on cloudy days we have been sticking some really good fish.  As long as the weather is somewhat consistent the fish have been very happy… Here are some pics to prove it…

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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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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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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.