- Tide: Incoming till around noonish, about 1' range
- Water temp: 70-72
- Wind: SE, minimal.
It's been a minute since I've managed to sit down and make a good report. I was traveling for most of December and some of January, and Mardi Gras took a chunk out of my fishing as well. To be honest, the two trips before this one, while not being skunks, had been seriously frustrating. I was starting to wonder if I had offended the fish gods somehow. Sunday morning, I met up with fellow BCKFC member HillbillyDeluxe, and we hit the water in Delacroix. Ironically enough, the day started off in a similar fashion to my past couple trips - me fishing the same lure and same presentation right next to someone getting bites, and doing nothing but wearing out my casting arm. Now, I know for a fact that I don't fish well when I'm frustrated, and I had let myself fall victim to that scenario on my last trip, so I took some deep breaths, spent some time appreciating the beautiful morning, collected my thoughts, and finally started catching. We found a few trout in a canal, on a Vudu shrimp under a cork for him, and a lemon head matrix on 1/8oz head for me. The bite slowed down, and the weather was more or less cooperating, so we made the move to fishing for reds. It wasn't long before I started seeing evidence of their presence in the marsh - a tail here, swirl and wake there, mud boil underneath the kayak, but the sun wasn't steadily shining, so it wasn't the best day to sight fish. After a couple of near misses, I saw a nice fish tailing in the calm lee water of an island, and pulled him in on a gold spoon. I was pretty psyched to see how aggressively he hit the lure, which was a great sign of things to come. That spoon would prove to be the weapon of the day, bringing in another 8 reds and a handful of bass. It was a beautiful thing to see the reds in a more summer time feeding pattern, crashing bait actively, tailing and crawling; a lot different from how I've been seeing them act recently. I found a couple more fish sight casting, and also managed a couple blind casting into likely spots, and we decided to slowly start heading back towards the launch, working with the wind. As I popped out into another small area of calm water on the back side of another bit of marsh, I had that feeling that it just had to be loaded with reds, and sure enough I could see and hear them chasing bait in shallow water. Of course that changed my plan to head in, and I chased them around, managing to hook two, and LOSE the same two. I made up for those by finding a big fish with his whole back out of the water, chasing something around in circles. I was a bit nervous about where to put the lure in that shallow, shallow water, but I put it past him, crawled it in front of him, and he practically did a backflip in his haste to annihilate it. It was obvious that there was a ton of fish in the area, and we decided to stick around for a little while, which turned out to be a good move - over the next hour or so, we brought in 6-8 reds and as many bass from a small area. It wasn't immediately clear why they were stacking there, but the water was clean and moving, and there must have been a lot of bait holding. At one point we were anchored up, talking about what we were seeing and both caught fish within a couple casts of each other, then simultaneously hooked up to two fish that proceeded to head opposite directions and come very close to causing a complete clusterf*ck with our lines. Good times! The fish were running big - 27-31" or so, and the smaller slots were the exception to the rule. It had already been a great day fishing, but that blast of action really put an exclamation point on it. It felt damn good to get my mojo back. Gave a couple of fish to my neighbors, and kept two for the fridge. When I cleaned the fish, I found them chock full of tiny (1-3cm) shrimp, something I had not seen before. I guess that means the shrimp are going to be thick in the marsh before too long. I was glad I was able to work through the initial frustration of not catching right away, and keep myself focused enough to go on and have a successful day on the water. In so many ways, fishing is a great metaphor for other aspects of life, and allowing yourself to get frustrated and lose focus when you feel like life is treating you unfairly is a great way to perform any task terribly. Failure is a great learning opportunity. Then again, so is catching fish!