Over the past 4 years a tight knit group of Drakiens and one Lurker have gathered to fish the Louisiana Marsh in early December, and in pretty much every one of those years we spent a good chunk of the trip getting our asses kicked by a front that brought cold weather, or high winds, or sleet, or snow (yes we had sleet and snow in the marsh on the fucking Gulf Coast 2 years ago) or all of the above. This year we decided we would wizen up an planned for mid November instead of early December. The weather in Late October through Thanksgiving is alway glorious in South Louisiana, freezing cold fronts never come through this early. So this Wednesday morning I loaded up to make the drive to the marsh and this is what my dash thermometer was reading Go fucking figure. Attending this year were Lurgee, Ruddy Duck, LAFLYGUY, Careless Ethiopian, Fatman, Fishwater, Willi, Lurker Mike an myself. Willi, Fatman and CE were flying to NOLA in Wednesday so LAFLYGUY volunteered to pick them up at the airport. Lurgee and I both had Wednesday pretty much free so we agreed to drive straight to the boat ramp, launch and get a little fishing in. FIshwater was going to be an hour or so behind us so we told him to call us when he got to the launch and we would come back and pick him up to fish.
Lurgee and I made a short run and started poling up a bank. It was cold and there was no light, but at least it was windy too. We got to the mouth of a small cut in the bank and there was a redfish floating, face into the current waiting for food. I flipped out a quick cast and the fish at greedily. Shortly after that Fishwater called from the launch, we picked him up and ran back out. We fished a few spots and moved a few fish, but with zero light, and the fish not being active, it was impossible to actually get a shot. After a bit we loaded up and headed to fish camp. It didn't take long before 8 of our group of 9 had all arrived. Ruddy Duck would be driving in Thursday evening.
When LAFLYGUY went to pick up Fatman, Willi and C.E. at the airport, he made a sign that said "Huge FLy Fisherman" and taped it to the window of his truck, it was pretty freaking funny. After everyone arrived and settled in a bit on Wednesday we went to a nearby bar/restaurant/poolhall/video poker casino to get food. While we were sitting at the bar eating there were a couple of guys across the bar that were obviously guides. One had walked outside for a minute and when he came back in he looked over our way and said "I like the sign on the truck...the Huge Fly Fisherman one". A little later the two of them came over to introduce themselves to CE since he's a Huge Fly Fishing celebrity and they recognized them. One of the guys also remembered talking to me at that same bar sometime last winter. Apparently I wasn't very chatty at the time. After talking a bit we decided that they weren't douche's and were ok to talk to. We invited them to join us for Gumbo the next night.
Thursday morning dawned cloudy and windy, but at least it was raining too. None of us being in too big of a rush to get out in that weather, we loitered a bit, then drove down the road to a fine breakfast establishment where we proceeded to eat them out of biscuits. We returned to fish camp and semi-reluctantly loaded up the boats and headed to the launch. Fatman was in my boat on Thursday. We went to a small creek that's lined with mangroves and full of oysters that has a couple of flats that empty into it. As we were idling up to the first small flat on the edge of the creek a large tail popped up in front of us. I killed the outboard and jumped on the platform, numerous fish were tailing sporadically right on the edge of where the flat met the creek. Fatman took shots when he could, but the grey sky and rain made the light flat and the surface of the water like a mirror. We pushed around quite a bit looking for fish, getting only the occasional fleeting glance. Finally on our way out Fatman spotted a fish, it started to cut toward our right and Fatman laid out a great cast and fed the fish, the line came tight, the fight was on....briefly, they the fish dragged the leader across the sharp edge of an oyster and the fish was gone. We tried a few more spots with no luck and finally called it a day when the wind climbed to an excessive amount.
Thursday night we ate gumbo and boudin and potato salad and were joined by the new friends we had met in the bar. Apparently Lurgee really liked the potato salad. On Friday morning came with clear skies and low tides. Friday was probably the windiest day we had, but with sunlight we could make things happen. On Friday Willi was in my boat. When you have to pole someone around all day it's really good if they can cast. It's even better if they can also see fish, but if you're really damn luck they will be a decent caster, able to see fish, and know how to FEED fish. Willi is all of these in spades, that's what makes him so damn fishy.
As Willi and I were idling into the protected creek I told him "Yesterday Fatman and I were still idling into here when a tail popped up right in front of us" and no sooner were those words out of my mouth when a large tail popped up in front of us in virtually the same spot it had before. I quickly killed the engine and grabbed the push pole as Willi grabbed his rod and got on deck. I didn't even have time to climb the platform so I was poling from the rear deck. Willi fed the large black drum that had been tailing and it took off, pulling the siff away from the shallow shelf to the center of the creek, then the fish came unbuttoned. I cranked up and idled the boat back up to the top of the small flat. I staked us out for a second so we could get situated, the climbed the platform, spun the boat and made about 2 pushes with the push pole when we spotted a nice redfish. Willi made a great cast and hooked up. While Willi was fighting the fish I spotted another coming toward us so I grabbed my rod and we were doubled up. That set the tone for the rest of the day. I would pole a short distance and hear "Dere's One", Willi would make a quick cast and hook up. Willi was even able to scratch something off of his bucket list, catching his first black drum The numbers of fish around, and coming into the boat were just silly. We doubled again And WIlli kept catching It was a good day. Returning to camp we found out that everyone had done really well.
Reports from Saturday to come later.
"Put in the effort and good things happen"... Hogleg
"Salinity is proportional to sanity for sure" ..The Volfish