Monday, January 28, 2013

End of January second trip Murpy's law works overtime

Morning run perfect weather
Once again the weather was perfect. Some of my gin clear water was now tinted. The big bull redfish were out in huge numbers. It was a glorious day to be alive and guiding in the Biloxi Marsh. Today D Gallagher was on deck. After the last trips smashing success, my confidence was at an all time high. The day proved to be one of the best days of the year.

I began the trip by polling a tried and true bank that always holds big redfish. With the sun and the wind at my back I was in guide heaven. There were 2 or 3 big fish  holding on every point that had shallow water out to 20 yards from the bank. I began to key on these points because the spaces in between only produced a few shots for a lot of polling.

The client was casting pretty well but so far no eaters. We idled up on the next point and saw suspended bull redfish everywhere. After a few shots Gallagher was hooked up and into the reels backing. The big bull was on and pulling hard. Suddenly the rod went straight. The fish was gone. I looked around and could see the floating fly line moving up wind on its own. The backing knot had come loose from the fly line. Gallaghar had the new backing and fly line replaced for the trip at a fly shop called TCO. He later informed me the guy who tied the knot wrote a book on fly tying knots. This lends credence to the adage Those who cant do should teach. Do not believe everything you read or the person that wrote it. 

We chased down the fly line and the fish was still on. I attempted to tie to the backing  but Murphy's law would have its way. Gallaghar attempted to hand land using the fly line but the fish was just too big and broke the leader. Defeated we motored over to the same spot for round two.

Tailing redfish
 Sure enough fish were still on the point. After two casts we had an eater. The fish was making good runs and my backing knot of coarse held. After about 20 minutes of major fighting the bull redfish came to the boat for its photo shoot. The rest of the bank produced well over 20 shots at bulls in 15 minuets. This is a personal best for me. The shots were extremely close within 15 feet. This type of shot is the most difficult for all clients. I changed tactics and polled closer to the bank in cleaner water.

Hooked up

There were fish near the bank but not in the huge numbers. The deeper tinted water held the most fish but they were not conducive for my client's abilities. I called one at 40 feet and a good cast ensued. A massive hook set snapped the tippet just below the knot. These big fish don't move and too much pressure will break 20 pound tippet. Oh well all in all a great day!


Nice one!!


End of January 2013 trip one

This week was absolutely amazing. Giant redfish were everywhere and all good guides were reaping the bounty. Perfect weather and tides are rare this time of year. The week had it all which leads to unbelievable fly fishing in the Biloxi Marsh. May we all bow our heads in a moment of silence to thank the fly fishing gods for these last few days. This week was the premier week of the year. If you missed it too bad, there is always next year. Fly fishing guide's live for days like these. Life just does not get any better.

Giant redfish on the surface

I took Brian S. out for his day on the water. He was in New Orleans to fish after he spent four days with Harry Boyd of learning to make bamboo fly rods. I knew the conditions were spectacular for catching Bull redfish. I could not tell Brian due to my superstition about bragging on how the day may be a great one. Unbelievably nice and polite, Brian had no idea of the events that were to unfold on that glorious January morning.

I qualified Brian over breakfast. He was obviously concerned about his casting ability. He preferred getting lots of shots over chasing big bull redfish. Ever the accommodating type I had no problem with this. We began the day fishing drains that opened up into the large bays. Fish were abundant but spooky within Brian's casting range. He missed a few hook sets and busted out a lot of fish. He was having more than his share of difficulties getting the fly into the Nerf ball sized strike zone of the redfish. As the day wore on he got better and caught a few redfish.

I decided Brian had sufficient practice. I came out of a drain opening flat and Brian got off the octagon casting platform to put down his fly rod. I explained to him we were about to look for the big boys in deeper water and to remount. He had barely closed the platform's gate door when I saw several giant redfish within his range. Brain probably cast at six or seven fish but only had two follow the fly. He casted one more time and I saw a big boy rise from the depths its gills flare as she ate that chartreuse crab pattern. 

I screamed excitedly "He ate it" which seem to be my catch pharse pardon the pun. Brian later admitted he did not recognize the fish had eaten and was happy I called the strike. The fish was on and pulling the boat into open water which was OK by me. After 2 or 3 times into the fly reel's backing and  30 minuets or so I hand landed a 22 pounder to Brian's absolute delight. Brian later wrote " Thanks for the best 30 min this old boy has had in along time. I've never caught a fish that fought better. Great Job thanks Brian."


Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Hopedale Redfish Report

Late January 2013

This week in the Biloxi Marsh proved difficult for many of the area's guides. The redfish were cold, sluggish and not on the move. I found the pattern and saw plenty of fish. Not all the fish were cooperative but good numbers produced lots of shots and some great hook ups. The fish wanted to lay in calm water with lots of sunshine to warm thier bodies.
The 22 pounder with the heart shaped tail spot is one of my favorite photos. It was caught with its tail waving in the wind at the entrance to an oyster reef filled pond. I called the fish tail flicking at 50 yards. Client Gary Peters did not pick up the bull redfish untill that entire tail was out of the water waving back at him as if to say "Hey look at me, I am over here." We lost the fish momentarily. Gary made a fine cast and boom the line went completely tight. The fish began to run and I saw a problem. The fly line was of coarse wrapped at the reel. We were sure to lose this beauty. Luckily his partner made quick work of the situation and for that moment murphy's law was defeated. Needless to say a lengthy tug of war ensued. The results are in and Gary landed his first redfish on fly.
Fishing with the Stubbs brothers John and Ken was an absolute joy. They are from my home town of Monroe Louisiana so I could relate to their stories. We had alot in common such as people and places. It was a beautiful day with plenty of shots. John was new to the sport but proved pretty deadly with his short casts producing this fine 12 pounder. I was having such a good time showing them the sites and seeing all those fish that I forgot to make a long run to the islands outside of the marsh. All worked out fine. By the end of the day we had seen well over 100 fish. Not bad for a week that had alot of guides crying in thier beer because the fish were not "active".   Book a Redfish Charter with me now to catch fish.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mid January 2013 Redfishing

Redfish Bogagrip
Redfishing around New Orleans

Wow what a great day in the Biloxi marsh. The winds were brutal the sky was partly cloudy and all looked bleak leaving the launch. We were hitting 1 foot white caps in Bayou La Loutre. I first stopped to check some clear water for that east wind direction no fish anywhere. After 30 minuets or so I had resided to chat up Jeffery S because I feared this half day trip was in vein. The wind was so high I had to continually idle up wind just to stay close to banks that may have had 5 feet of calm water next to them for 10 yards. The tide should have fallen to 0 but instead rose at an unbelievable rate. The water was into the grass before the sun was high enough to illuminate 15 feet past the boat. I knew I had to change tactics and find areas small enough to pole. I picked a small pond and saw a few nice fish as they hauled ass from the boat like we had leprosy. Every time JS raised his rod to cast it looked like he had thrown a stone at the fish. I eventually had to go down wind in drains holding deep water.

Boom Shaka lacka. There was a nice 10 lb fish in the mouth of the drain. JS shot was off but at least we now had hope. The next fish I saw was a monster guarding the gate to a drain. I called the fish at the 11 o clock position 50 feet. JS did not pick it up at first but then made a fine cast. The fish ate but JS missed the strike. I called a second fish but JS went back for the first. To my surprise the bull ate again. It was on like donkey kong. JS never had a redfish near that big. I screamed for a better hook set and JS stuck that big boy. After and average fight for a 27 lb fish I hand landed her to Boga grip for pics. I turned the boat and polled Tring to go back upwind and blew downwind into a nest of nice reds. Mud puffs went everywhere as the fish scattered into deeper water. Oh well.
I idled back upwind and did everything I could to keep the boat on the calmer bank. Big fish after big fish blew out. I think the wind was just too much for the 8wt St Croix because JS never got upwind enough to properly present the fly.

I changed tactics again to better position my caster. The water was so high now I went over an oyster reef flat that is usually inaccessible. Fish scattered like someone hit a hornets nest with a baseball. Still no eaters. The winds fell below 20 kts so I tried a downwind bank that always holds fish. Two 20+ lb fish were under the boat before I was even on my platform. Scanning as far as I could I picked up 2 more good reds at 40 ft. JS saw one and took a shot. The wind was still rough and the shot was short. His next shot actually hit him in the back but landed perfectly in front of the fish that was now way to close for comfort. The fish ate so close JS could not set the hook at first. Luck was on his side as the fish made a strong run allowing a line set. Another 20 lb redfish landed for his moment of fame in front of the camera.

JS had to get to a meeting for 2 pm so time was basically out. The water was so high I ran to shallowest area I could before the clock struck 12. Boy It did not take long for JS to call his own monster red. I did all I could to stop the boat but that damn wind was too strong. JS made a perfect cast on his first attempt. The fish ate aggressively and quickly had JS into backing. Most big boys fight but this was an exceptional 28 lb competitor. It probably took a good 20 minuets before I touched the leader. Several clicks of camera and the day was over. I idled off the flat tired for a half day but what a half day it was.

Second Trip

The next trip started early due to a 5pm date with an airplane. Our first stop I spotted a crawling redfish at 50 yards before entering the pond. Once I polled into the pond Jeffery casted at a fish tail flicking in about 8 inches of water. The cast was 4 feet in front of the redfish but he charged like a pit bull and ate the fly immediately. The water was at about -1 foot on the outside of the marsh by the islands. I could only get in the mouth of the opening due to low tide. We blew out a nest of about 10 reds. JS got a few shots at the singles as they did not want to leave the area. The fish knew we were in their home turf and their attitude had changed so it was time to move to another location.

The next stop was a deep drain that lead to the same pond. We blew out a couple at the mouth as I slowly polled the deep side of the narrow channel. At an intersection I spotted a nice bull red on the right side with its top fins exposed swimming the middle of the drain leading to a dry pond. I think Jeffery really did not pick up the fish. When the 20 pounder got within 15 feet I could see his fly was beside not in front of the small bull. At that time some other fish we did not see sitting in the deepest part of the intersection blew out. This scared the little bull and that spot was done.

The next couple of stops did not produce any shots. The tide was slack and the fish were on the bottom. All we saw were mud puff after mud puff. I ran back toward the inside of the marsh in hopes of catching a tide change. The tatic worked. Although the fish were not at the surface they were there. Jeffery took a shot at the tail end of a nice 30 pound redfish. When the fish did not move Jeffery declared it was not a fish and perhaps a red log. I called for him to shoot again but he was convinced of the log theory. You should have seen the look on his face when that big boy spun around and hauled ass creating a wake the looked more like a dolphin than a redfish. On  that stop JS hooked one other bull that came straight at the boat and ran down the left side. Before he could clear his line for a hook set the fish came off. After a few more shots the spot was done so we went scouting which some call prospecting for more fish.

We stopped at another intersection and the bottom turned into nuclear mud puff city. I may have polled 20 yards farther when JS spotted a big fish up high and swimming at 20 feet in the 11 o'clock just like you like them. He made a good cast and the fish followed. He stripped all the way into his leader. The redfish saw the boat and spooked. JS took another shot at the bolting fish. To my amazement the fish did a 180 and followed again to within about 7 feet of the boat. The red wised up to the situation and sank out of sight. After a long period polling we picked up a few fish but they really just were not cooperating. There were only 1 or 2 legitamate opportunities for bull redfish. JS had to catch a plane so we packed it in around 2 pm for the long ride back to the dock. Not much luck was to be had on this particular day in the Biloxi marsh.

Mid January summary

This was an amazing week in the Biloxi marsh. Plenty of bull redfish can be found in the shallows. This time of year that is not uncommon. The weather was tough to say the least with higher than average winds but the fish were out in good numbers. Early in the week bull redfish were on the move and aggressive. Later in the week I actually saw alot more big fish but most of them were on the bottom which made for shorter casts which require more accuracy and quicker reaction times by the client. Needless to say this is a much more difficult situation especially for people who do not constantly sight fish redfish in Louisiana. Jeffery Sherman fished two days this week. Monday he went 3 for 3 on the super aggressive bull redfish. I am sure he felt like superman about his casting and presentation that day. The next day a front came through and mid week was unfishable. The next day we fished Jeffery caught some nice fish but  when it came to the bulls he probably went 1 for 12. That one fish ate so close to the boat Jeffery never got the hook set needed for the car tire like mouths of a redfish. The fish were there but most of the big fish were just not moving high enough to be easily seen until we were 15 to 20 feet away. Still in all this week was a great week. On the way to the airport it was abundantly clear Jeffery wanted to stay for another day on the water.