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Redfish for the taking at Delacroix
Frank Davis / Fishing Expert
If you're looking to find a mess of trout to catch, you can do that at
Delacroix Island whenever the weather and the water warm up a little.
But I’m here to tell you that on cold days like we've had this week, and
especially on Thursday, it's actually a redfisherman's haven at Delacroix,
particularly amongst the stumps and submerged pilings in Oak River. And the
fishing is simple, too—all you have to do is tie on a Carolina rig and bait it
with fresh market shrimp.
“Your live shrimp are finished,” our charter guide, Ron “Captain Ahab”
Broadus, explained as he jockeyed the boat into position that allowed us to fish
the centerline channel in the River. “So you got to find something else they’ll
readily want to eat. That something else has been plastic split-tail shrimp and
Cocahoe tails for trout, and big ol’ wads of fresh market shrimp balled up on
the hook for the reds. Simply tie ‘em on a Carolina rig, make a long cast, sit
back, and wait for the bite to come. . .and it will come!”
This past Thursday, we left Serigne’s Launch at about 7:30 in the morning,
worked our way out Bayou Gentilly, and—nearly frozen from a depressed
temperature and a fast 20 minute run—didn’t slow down until we entered Oak
River. It didn’t take very long for us to tie into a couple of nice size drum.
“This kind of fishing has been typical of what we’ve been doing down here
for well over a week now,” Ahab confessed. “See, first off it isn’t
necessary to get here before the crack of dawn—we’ve been sleeping in
because the water hasn’t been warming up to feeding temp until about
mid-morning. And that’s what’s governing the bite right now. The right
temperature. Redfish like it about 51 degrees; trout seem to like it closer to
60. And until the water reaches that temperature, these fish are in no hurry to
Captain Ahab also told us that neither species has clustered together yet. He
said it simply hasn’t gotten that cold this month to cause that “clustering”
kind of response in these fish.
“So what a sports fisherman needs to do,” he added, “ is try a spot,
pick up a few, then move to another spot when the action is over. Then try that
spot for a while—I live to give it about 10 minutes at each stop—then move
again. You do that enough in one morning’s time and before you know it you got
yourself a near-ice-chest full of fish.”
Most of the trout that have been caught are averaging 14 to 16 inches; most
of the reds are going 18 to, say, 24 inches; the drum catches are right at 16
inches, with about half of those at throwback length; and for added lagniappe
right now lucky fishermen in the right spots are also boating some hefty,
broad-shouldered, chunky blue cats (or as Ahab likes to call them, “courtbouillion
on the hoof”).
“All this is happening in the cleanest water you can find,” he told me
and my cameraman. “ Oh, I’m not saying you won’t catch any fish in tainted
water, but you’ll certainly find that you’ll have to make fewer moves if you
start off fishing in clean water to begin with. And try to fish in current
Consensus on our boat Thursday was that this weekend is going to be
outstanding. So make your plans to fish now, to beat the rush to the launch.
And if you need a boat, or a captain, or a guide, feel free to call Ahab at
Next week. . .Lafitte!
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