DEAR NOVEMBER, I LOVE YOU

There’s a lot of great reasons to look forward to November in Louisiana – it’s finally cooling off, the summer thunderstorms aren’t as prevalent, and redfishing is still great at the same time that speckled trout are moving into kayak reach in the marsh.  Another reason I was very much looking forward to this November was a chance to repeat last year’s awesome trip with fellow Jackson teammate Drew Ross. I had not had much of a chance to fish in the weeks leading up to this trip, and I was extremely excited to finally have a full day on the water, some decent weather, and some great company.  Drew is a total wizard with the fly rod, and a great, stealthy person to fish around. It’s always a pleasure to fish with someone that gets the approach to sight fishing in a kayak, and we have had great success fishing close enough to each other to get great photos, without stepping all over each other’s feet.

Cuda and Kilroy looking good next to each other.  They would not look nearly as clean by the end of the trip.

Cuda and Kilroy looking good next to each other. They would not look nearly as clean by the end of the trip.

Since I had not had a chance to fish much in the preceding weeks, I was a bit apprehensive on choosing a spot, but with Drew’s agreement we decided to take a chance on a spot that I have had success in the past with, rather than fishing the same spot he had success in the day before.  We reasoned that it was worth exploring new ground and potentially finding some big redfish rather than going with the sure bet. It’s always a bit of a nerve wracking paddle out to a spot when you haven’t been in a while and are bringing someone that you really want to put on fish, but shortly after we started making our way into the shallow marsh, we knew we had made a good call.  Redfish were plentiful, and while the water was incredibly turbid, it was also very shallow, and redfish were easily visible pushing wakes, tailing and even “crawling” with their backs out of the water.

Redfish chasing shrimp around the shallow water, showing its back.

Redfish chasing shrimp around the shallow water, showing its back.

Drew  with a nice redfish

Drew with a nice redfish

While Drew worked his magic with the fly rod, I stuck with a baitcast setup, having the most success on a Buggs lure, which is essentially a fly for conventional tackle.  In the extremely shallow water, they land really subtly, and give you a better shot at not spooking the fish as you work it towards them. Despite the water having very low clarity, the fish were not responding favorably to flashy lures, perhaps because they were startled at how quickly they appeared out of the cloudy water.   The day turned into one of the best sight fishing trips of my year fishing – plenty of challenging shots in the shallow water, with plenty of rejections and misses, but fish in such great numbers that the next opportunity was right around the corner. Drew and I were also able to stay close enough to get some good photo/video opportunities.   One of the most interesting things I saw the whole day was several 2-3’ sharks in a foot or less of water. Between the absolute plethora of redfish (at several points throughout the day, they literally swam into my kayak), seeing the sharks, and tons of dolphin on the paddle in and out of the marsh, it was a beautiful day of experiencing natural life in the marsh.

I did say it was shallow, did you not believe me?

I did say it was shallow, did you not believe me?

Drew and I were both using paddle kayaks – in my case a Kilroy, and in Drew’s case a Cuda.  While I could have easily utilized my Coosa FD, and pulled the drive up and out of the way in the shallow water, the Kilroy really shines in this scenario, with a very shallow draft and turning radius.  Fishing this shallow often results in getting stuck in the mud, and the Kilroy is light and stable, so I can typically easily rock/push myself off the high spot.

Here’s a couple of nice captures from Drew – check out his blog HERE

Until next time!

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