Following up on my last fishing report -
In my last blog post, I wrote a report on a great day of sight fishing that Josh Reppel and I had, along with a couple of anglers. To follow up on that, I asked Josh if I could embed the video he created with footage from that trip, along with a short description of the day and his approach to fishing this new area for the first time. Check out the fantastic information on finding good clean water, and what to do when you find it!
If you don't have a kayak yet, are interested in kayak fishing or are visiting from out of town, check out New Orleans Fishing Charters via the links below, and Josh and I will be happy to take you out for some great redfish action.
From Josh Reppel:
Hunting clear water is the constant for a sight fisherman. If that fisherman is a kayak fisherman, the hunt is even harder. Picking up and running your boat 30miles to the next clear pond is not an option, you must learn from your experiences and be analytical about the spots you pick to make your trip. For me, the most important thing is learning the biology of the plants and the hydrology of the environment you plan to fish. Here in Louisiana, we have a complex hydrologic system of river levels, tides, mud and sand substrate, man made canals, and more. When those variables begin to mix with wind, rain, air temperature , and other environmental factors, one can start to see the many variables that have an effect on water clarity.
If you are looking for grassy ponds you need some level of fresh water influence. In Louisiana, the large looming giant that is the Mississippi River is the first freshwater source that comes to mind. Along with the river itself, diversions, meant to redistribute sediment back into the marsh is another source of freshwater influence that creates those clear grassy ponds we all long for. Along with freshwater influences you have proximity to salty gulf waters, man made canals, tidal fluctuation , and air temperature that all play a part in the health of the grasses that clarify water and create those aquarium like sight fishing conditions.
So you did your homework, and now you're in a crystal clear marsh pond, there is submerged aquatic grass everywhere. Red tails are popping up all around you, and occasionally pods of 6-8 marsh pumpkins float pass you nonchalantly as if they are mocking you. Immediately you grab the popping cork your father gave you as a young boy and toss it out in front of the school of reds, no cigar! You reel your line back with 25lbs of Eurasian milfoil. Damn!
You are going to need something weedless, to penetrate the thick grasses, get your lure in front of the fish, all while not doing any gardening. My go to, is a weighted Texas style swim bait hook and a soft plastic. Pierce the front end of the plastic slide it to the front of the hook shank and then bring the point up through the body of the bait with the point resting on top. My favorite soft plastics are any type of shad, pogie, or minnow imitation with a paddle tail. The action of the tail thumps in the water attracting fish, they are extremely weedless, and it is one of the main forage species the reds are use to seeing in grassy ponds. You also can't go wrong with a shrimp, crab, or craw style soft plastic, especially when the fish are finicky and want a slower presentation.
Now get out there, find some crystal clear water, catch some reds!
- Josh Reppel