Monday, May 21, 2012

Bayou Love

Last week I got a rare Friday off from work and made sure to use it to its full potential.  I woke up at 6:00 am just like I was going to work and was paddling by 7:00.  I had a flight to catch in the afternoon, but the whole morning was free.  As if to reward me for my efforts, the bayou finally showed me some love.  When I entered my secret spot, the place was alive.  Schools of baitfish covered every square foot of the marsh.  Wading birds were strategically positioned to spear themselves some breakfast.  And most importantly, redfish were feasting.  Every minute, I would hear an explosion as a redfish broke the surface chasing bait.  The volume of noise was shocking in this isolated, unpopulated section of marsh.  My first bit of success wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it broke the ice.

A small speckled trout, joining the feast
The amount of activity was unbelievable.  I was being torn in different directions by all the hunting redfish around me.  Despite their high level of activity, they were still a challenge to catch.  This one struck my fly after revealing its presence with an explosion of bait. 

The next bit action occurred when I spotted a redfish cruising across the 6 inch deep mudflat directly toward me.  Before I could even cast, he swam under my kayak, bumping into the bottom as he past!  A few seconds later, I spotted two more cruising along the same line.  This time I dropped my fly in front of them, and pretty soon, line was peeling off from my reel. 

2 spots on one side
3 spots on the other
Soon after, I hooked another red, this one taking me on by far the most powerful run of the day before turning around and coming straight back at me.  I couldn't reel fast enough to keep up, and slack quickly developed in the line, which managed to tangle itself around the handle at the bow of my kayak.  I scrambled to untangle the mess, and I could see my line moving from left to right as the fish continued to swim with my fly in its mouth.  However, by the time I managed to recover and pull the line tight, the fish had managed to shake free. 

I continued to search out the explosions of water that signaled the presence of predators.  Upon seeing one such explosion within casting range, I pulled up my fly to recast only to snag one of the many baitfish.  The fish and fly sailed past and landed just behind me.  When I pulled the line tight, I was surprised by the heft of the fish on the other end.  Sure enough, a red had taken the baitfish, and it started pulling drag.  Unfortunately I lost this one as well, as I never really set the hook, and the hook was well buried inside the baitfish.  I never intended to fish with live bait, but boy is it effective! 

As a consolation prize for the two nice fish lost, I caught a couple micro-redfish.

Sooooo cute
Soon it was time to go catch my flight.  On the way back to the dock, I saw two alligators and three dolphins, although they didn't pose for me.  It was a perfect morning on the bayou.  Alligators, dolphins, and redfish willing to take a fly - pretty much everything I dreamed of before moving to Mississippi.  The only thing missing was sweet tea.  I'll have to bring some next time.

More bayou love

1 comment:

  1. Gah, I'm so jealous. Looks like an awesome trip!