Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Little Pre Holiday Fishing Trip to the Big Easy

Back in July while tarpon fishing with Greg Dini in Florida,  he casually mentioned that an opening had just materialized for Nov 30 and Dec 1 down in Louisiana-  a prime time trophy redfish and he had a spot available.  Greg is a rather sought after guide, and I had heard great things about "bull" redfish in the early winter, so naturally I booked the days.  (Greg owns / operates Fly Water Expeditions)  Really a fishy and fun dude!!

A few months later, when I mentioned it to my wife, she nearly fell out of her chair.  "That is Thanksgiving weekend you  !!%$#"   Oops - but what was done was done.   She needed a break from me anyway, with all of the pre Christmas stress and all.

My buddy, Chris (A.K.A "Tangles") miraculously got a hall pass and signed on to try his hand at the saltwater game.  Game on!

A short flight to New Orleans, a room in the French Quarter, and all we needed to do was not to over eat/drink and we would be fishing less than an hour out of downtown Big Easy.  If you have never been picked up at 6 am from a hotel in the French Quarter by a two ton truck towing a flats skiff, that alone is worth the trip!   A quick trip to this beautiful fun filled city was the smartest thing I have done in a long time. 

We fished with 9 wt Sage Salt Fly Rods which we over-lined with 10WT Rio Gen Purpose Tropical and SA Redfish Warm Fly Lines.  Normally, I hate overlining rods, but the average cast to these fish was 20-30 feet and the rod felt great uber overlined on the short casts.  Again - I can't tell you how important it is to use the right line for particular fishing situations!

The water was fairly clear, but there was a ton of overcast hazy skies, and visibility was generally lousy.  I don't understand how 3 sets of eyes had a hard time seeing 25 pond fish - but they would magically appear really close to the boat.  I think the longest cast we made in two days was probably 40'  Short quick casts were usually instantly rewarded.  It was nothing short of amazing to watch these fish charge the purple 4" streamers!

That was the first fish of the trip after 5 minutes on the bow!

Chris landed his very first redfish a short while later - not a bad start to his young saltwater career!

We didn't catch a million fish -but the action was fairly consistent.  We managed to set personal bests, second bests, third bests etc etc

A 9 wt rod seemed to be the perfect option, and the Nautilus NVG 8/9 , the Loop Opti Speedrunner and Sage 4210 all got some serious workouts!   Unlike battling bonefish or permit, we quickly learned that applying a lot of drag and a lot of pressure is pretty important when duking it with heavy redfish.  30 pound leaders also hep!

There are literally hundreds of square miles of shallow water flats from New Orleans down to Venice, and basically all along the Gulf shoreline from Texas to Florida.  Redfish are the perfect gamefish in many ways.  They readily eat flies, they are not to picky usually, they grow big, they give anglers second and third chances, and they pull hard!  If you are ever in the need for a quick, easy and infinitely fun getaway, you might want to check out a redfish destination!!!! 

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