Headed over to Lafitte today from Pensacola for our annual fishing trip - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 05-28-2009, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default Headed over to Lafitte today from Pensacola for our annual fishing trip

On the way over, we hit Salvo'son the West Bank of New Orleansand enjoyed a soft shell sandwichbefore heading down toward Lafitte. We got settled into our cabin and then walked down to the dock where we found our guide cleaning a mess of redfish from today's catch. He said it looks good for tomorrow. We're heading out at 6 am. Hopefully, we'll have some good pictures of abunch of specks and reds to post tomorrow.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:30 AM   #2
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Default RE: Headed over to Lafitte today from Pensacola for our annual fishing trip

Best of luck. Hope ya'll get em!
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:55 AM   #3
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Default RE: Headed over to Lafitte today from Pensacola for our annual fishing trip

We had a rough two days of fishing over in Lafitte, Louisiana. This was our third year, and by far, the hardest fishing we've ever had to do over there. Usually the redfish are a no-brainer,but that was not the case this time.

The first day started outlooking pretty good. As usual, we decided to try for some specks before looking for reds. That was our first mistake. We always say we're simply going tolisten to our guide and follow his lead since he does this stuff every day, but we always get greedy rightbeforepulling out of the dock and try to get a homerun on both specks and reds, and in the past, we've alwayssuccessfully pulled out a limit on reds in spite ofspending a lot of time looking for trout, but not this time.

The water was stillvery muddy due to the heavy rains on Memorial Day weekend, and to add to that, we had a thunderstorm on Thursday night. We got up to clear skies on Friday morning for our first day of fishing,but on top of the muddy water, we had a stiff breeze. Instead of listening to our guide who kept trying to tell us that we should targetreds or specks but not both, we ended up with,

"Let's just try for a few specks and then we'll hunt for some reds."

Since the reds are usually so easy over there, that strategy has alway worked in the past, but it was a big mistake this time.

So off we went at about 50 knots in CaptainTodd Dufour's 25' Ranger flats boat equiped with a Yammy 250 four-stroke, trolling motor andpower pole. Aftera blistering, eye-watering, 30 minute ride, we stopped around some grass flats in a vicinty of the Mississippi River Delta called Hackberry and started fishing for specks. We were usingbeatle grubs undercorks and casting to pockets, points andcuts in the grass line and popping the cork.

We immediately hooked up on some small specks. We had a $15 pool on the first keeper fish, and I landedtwo or three specks that were just under the 12" limit, before my son landed a keeper to win the "first fish" pool. With five or six keepers in the box, theaction slowedand we moved to another spot and resumed trout fishing. Wegot into them at the next spot and landed about a dozen keepers. I landed one nice trout over 20 inches that ended up being the biggest of the weekend. Since the trout seemed to be going pretty good, we moved several more times, but only landed a fish or two at each spot. It was nearly noon before wedecided togive up on trout and look for reds. We had 31 nice trout in the box, so we weren't feeling too badeven though that was only a third of our 100 fish limit.

The first spot we stoppedfor redfish was an omen of what was to come. Our guide had fished an area the day before that had some fairly clear water, and had some reds. We pulledup into a little coveand put out the trolling motor. The captain was on the front of the boat and my son and I were on either side of him. My brother in law wasin the back of the boat.

Immediately the captain called out "reds," and sure enough a school of five or six big reds swamin front of the boat in about 3 feet of clear water. My son got off a cast and immediately hooked up on a very big red. We all started casting; we had switched to lead-headed tails with no cork.All the commotion spooked the fishand nobody else hooked up. My son'sbig red ran right for the motor asmy son tried to move to the back of the boat to fight the fish. The red beat him there partly because the rest of us had "buck-fever" and were casting like crazy trying to hook up and didn't get out of his way.To add insult to injury, my bro-in-law and I got tangled upcasting over one another.

The reason we love this captain is because he's the only guide I've ever seen that wants to catch fish more than the people paying to be on his boat, but he doesn't suffer foolseasily. He was nice about it, but let us know that we needed to be a little more on top of our game if we were going tocatch our limit of reds.

We moved several more times to areas with varying degrees of water clarity. In the muddy water, blind casting was not productive at all. In the past, we've caught most of our redfish limit just blind casting to likely spots with a flashyspoon that attracted their attention, but this time blind castingonly produced one or twofish each day. You had to sight cast to fish and you had to hit them on the nose -- not the head, not the back, not the tail, not a foot in front of them -- you had to hit them on the nose. The bait had to drop right in front of their nose or they would simply ignore it. Often, the only sign of a redfish wasthe"wave" the fish made as it moved through the water. The "wave"was often soslight, I couldn't see it, but the captain would point it out and show us where to cast. Needless to say, we never mastered thistechnique, but we did get better at it.

We only got six reds the first day to go with our 31 trout, but we ended up with about 10 the next day butonly a few trout. The wind had picked up which made precise castingthat much harder, and we again stupidly tried to "catch a few trout" before trying for reds. As we talked with others, we found that the ones that targeted either specks or reds, but not both, did much better than we did. One group went all the way down to the Gulf and limited out on specks.

What was great about this trip was that we all learned a little about sight castingand at least once or twice, did it exactly right and hooked up on nice reds. There was an incredible feeling of exileration atthrowing a lure at a moving fish from a moving boatand putting it in exactly the right place and sometimes seeing the redfish suck it up. This made usresolve to do more inshore fishing over here and to go back to Lafitte with a little moreexpertise.

Total for the two day tripwas about 40 trout and 16 reds. By Pensacola standards -- not bad -- but not good for over there where the limits are25trout per person per day and 5 reds with one over the slot, and you can count the captain, so we could have brought home 200 trout and 40 reds, but didn't come close to that. I expect the fishing over thereto improve greatly when the rain slows down and water clears up, but the way things are going, that might be next year.

I didn't get anypictures this time. I think our captain would have confiscated my camera if I had stopped fishing to take pictures, but here's some from last year.

This is a massive school of reds. We caugth our limit in about 10 minutes and then caught and released at least 100 more.





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