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The Drake is Dead, Long Live The Drake. Over the past few days I had discussions with a few different people about The Drake message board VS the page in Zuckerville. I mentioned that I prefer this old board because post here seem to have a sense of permanence, plus searchability is nice, I often look up old reports of my own to reference seasonal information, locations, or just to re-live a good time. So here's my portion of a report on the 5th annual gathering of the Gumbopcilce Brotherhood. If you enjoy it, great, if not, it will be here for me to find when I need it. I hope some of the other attendees will add to this.

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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Willi was even able to scratch something off of his bucket list, catching his first black drum
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The numbers of fish around, and coming into the boat were just silly. We doubled again
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And WIlli kept catching
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It was a good day. Returning to camp we found out that everyone had done really well.

Reports from Saturday to come later.
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Last edited by Redchaser on Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Friday evening I made a ceviche with a redfish that I kept and everyone gnoshed on it for a bit until it was time for dinner. We made the drive to sit down and enjoy steaks and seafood. I had a soft shell crab and a New York strip and was fat and happy. While I forgot to take pictures of it, there was also much pie courtesy of LAFLYGUY and Fishwater.

On Saturday LAFLYGUY had to fish a fairly short day because he had to drive home for a Daddy Daughter Dance, he planned to then turn around and drive back to fish camp to fish on Sunday. I offered to take LAFLYGUY on Saturday since I was planning on fishing fairly close and could get him back to the launch in time to do what he needed to. Much like Willi Corey sees fish well, and knows how to feed fish, but he needs to tighten his damn loops.

We started out at one of the spots Willi and I had fished on Friday. The tide was much lower on Saturday and there were a fewer fish around. Corey still managed to get on the board fairly quick.
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We fished that spot for a bit longer, Corey picking up one more redfish, then we made a move to an outside edge hoping to find bigger fish. As we worked the bank we came to the mouth of a small bayou, there was a fish working in the shallow mouth and Corey hooked up, it was a black drum.
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Corey got slimed
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We pushed up into the shallow bayou and there were a lot of fish around, a mix of reds and blacks...but more blacks than reds. Corey continued to get his black girl groove on.
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Corey kept catching black drum and farming just about every shot at a red until he was feeling discouraged, like he had lost his redfish mojo. I told him to take the push pole for a bit so that I could catch a black drum. I got on the front of the boat, and in a few minutes I was hooked a redfish.
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THis made Corey feel worse. Corey got back on the front of the boat and within about a minute we saw a fish wallowing in water so shallow it could hardly move.
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Of course it was a big blek. Corey made a good cast, teh water was so shallow that the fish had to rock side to side to get it's mouth over the fly to eat. The fish ate, the mud wrestling fight was on and soon the big turd was in the boat.
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Corey let me back on the front of the boat, and soon I my blek for the day
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We swapped off once again, and Corey finally got his redfish mojo back
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We had worked all of the little bayou system we were in and were getting ready to crank up to make a move hwen Ruddy Duck, Willi and Fatman motored up. We visited for a minute and told them that they could find fish where we had just come out, we moved a short distance down the outside bank and turned into the next small bayou we came to. This bayou didn't look as promising, it wasn't broad and shallow, it was narrow and fairly deep with far fewer flats and shelves along the edges. The water was also murkier. We came to one small shallow shelf that had a number of fish on it but we weren't able to connect with any. I poled us farther back up the bayou onto a slightly deeper flat on the right. The water here was dirtier still. I pushed toward the back of the deeper flat and caught sight of a duck blind in the back (fortunately unoccupied). I was about to turn us around to get out of there when I saw a huge red tail pop up at 10 O'clock, then the big back surfaced and submerged again just as quick. "Did you see that"? I asked Corey, he turened and looked just in time to only see the swirl left behind, but he could see the dark shape of the fish in the water. Corey thought it was another black drum, I knew better. He made a short cast, worked the fly, fed the fish. When he realized what he had on he got excited.
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This fish had no business being back in the water he was in. If I was planning a day and wanted to look for a bull red, I would never say "hey let's go up this janky ass little bayou", but it was there and this happened.
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The fish was about 27.5 pounds. We released it, then took off to get Corey back to the dock just in time for him to make the drive to be with his daughters.

After dropping Corey off, I went out solo to explore some area I hadn't fished before and was soon on fish
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I fished for about an hour and a half and brought 4 nice reds to the boat. Between Corey and myself 10 redfish and 6 bleks had come into my skiff on Saturday.

It was a good day. Reports poured in from the other boats and everyone had been on fish all day.
Last edited by Redchaser on Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Saturday night we watched LSU get a sloppy win over Ole Miss, Lurker Mike cooked some of the best venison and ribeye burgers I've ever had, and time was spent around a fire
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One evening around that fire I enjoyed a mighty fine cigar that Fatman gave me, thanks Kevin.

On Sunday I had Careless Ethiopian in my boat. I didn't take a ton of pictures, but don't worry the movie will be out soon. Ben has fished with me down here a lot, we always have fun. When I fish with Ben it's a bit different than with the other guys. I make him net and land all of his own fish and just keep my fat ass up on the platform. That climbing up and down shit turns into exercise. However the fact that I stay up top is why we have fewer pictures.

Sunday offered the best weather of the trip. Great light and mild winds, I could have run anywhere in the big bays in my little Carolina skiff. We started out working one of the outside banks hoping to find a big fish but didn't. At the end of the bank we turned into a large and shallow flat that was quickly getting more shallow with the falling tide. Ben quickly caught a nice red to start the day. It was sort of on a blind cast, so yes, he will cheat. We moved along seeing a few more reds, then we saw a large tail pop, we poled over and soon Ben had a nice stinky black drum at the side of the boat.

Right after that some asshole blew through the middle of the flat fucking things up for us. I cranked and made a short run to another protected bank. Working our way up the bank we were just down tide of the mouth of a decent sized shallow lake when we spotted a commotion of bait, then we saw the fish, Ben made a great cast and this multi spot beauty was in the boat.
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We pushed up into the lake working our way toward the top of it where a shallow bayou poured in and Ben picked up a couple more reds and a black drum in the process. We worked through the bayou and onto another large, very shallow flat. There were a lot of fish working and Ben soon had another.
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After landing that fish Ben needed to re-tie and dick around with his fancy schmancy video gear. We were staked out bullshitting and watched a fish happily working the bank with his back out of the water. I casually strung my rod and tied on a fly, the fish continually doing the redfish stripper thing, then I stood on the back deck, made a couple of cast and got it.
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Shortly after that Ben hooked up, and while he fought his fish, I spotted another, made a cast and we doubled. Ben caught another, then we doubled again. During the second double my fish ran, pulling my rod sideways against Ben's fly line while his fish ran in the opposite direction and of course we heard a loud crack, turning my 4 piece rod into a 6 piece, but we landed the fish and it was totally worth the $35 I'll pay to get it fixed. Earlier in the week, Ben had been in the boat when 3 other rods got broken.
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Other than the broken rods, gear was bloodied in battle
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We kept fishing and Ben kept catching, including a 30+ pound blek. After covering much of the shallow mangrove lagoon system we were in we made a run, first a short hop to the west, then a long run north. After the long run north we were working a bowl and spotted a by God huge redfish, unfortunately it didn't present much of a shot. We pushed up a small bayou and back in it Ben caught his best redfish of the day, right at 16 pounds. We spent some time watching a fish crawl and work water so shallow that the fish eventually spooked himself, then it was time to return to dock. I had to get on the road to pick up my kid on the way home. The tally for the day in my boat was 14 redfish and 5 or 6 black drum.

It was a great trip with great friends. We got really fortunate on the weather and caught a shitload of fish in all boats. I can't wait to get back together with these guys.
Last edited by Redchaser on Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
cork sucker :Roll Eyes
good weather AND no trips to the ER? I don't believe it.
Any drive through daiquiri's?
Man, that was a good trip! We always debate on October or November to head down there, and some years we get great weather, and some years we get hurricanes and flooding. Regardless, it's always a cool trip.
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