When I think of Louisiana a few things quickly come to mind: casinos, Mardi Gras, Cajun food, and thousands of acres of ripe estuaries. No place in the US boasts more marshland than the Louisiana Delta. The Delta is a creation of the many creeks and rivers that dump their nutrient-rich contents into in the area. The most notable waterway is the Mississippi, which is one of the largest rivers in the world. All of these unique characteristics construct a redfish haven for both numbers and size. There’s no place quite like it.
When I set out for my journey east thoughts of bull reds crushing any fly placed in their path filled my thoughts. The trip developed at the last minute after a late invite giving me only a couple days to prepare. With my mind congestion with the image of big bulls and the particulars of the trip I didn’t bother to check the weather or conditions prior to our departure.
Any fisherman worth his salt is also a part-time meteorologist, so instinct told me I’d better make note of the forecasts before we arrived. I pulled out my smart-phone and scrolled through my phone looking for my weather and tide sites and apps. Upon first inspection the conditions appeared to be in our favor. Forecasts showed light winds and clear skies. The stars appeared to be aligning, so expectations were high.
I fished with an entertaining group of guys whose, like myself, primary infatuation is waving a long, graphite rod in the air. We left Texas shortly after midnight for the long drive to our destination deep in the heart of Louisiana. Our prospects quickly faded shortly after seeing the water for the first time. The front that blew in a couple days before our arrival muddied up the water making sight fishing nearly impossible in the first area we intended to fish.
Our only option was to look for clear water. In three days we ran about 150 miles looking for clean water. We found a few areas that were holding decent water clarity. We saw quite a few slot fish on shallow shorelines, but we didn’t make the voyage all the way to Louisiana for fish we can catch back home. We did more boat riding than fishing; if we didn’t find the right size fish we kept moving. Between the group we spotted less than a dozen bulls the whole trip and only one was landed. Some big black drum, sheepshead, and smaller redfish were also landed.
I’ve never been one to pout about a bad situation, especially when it involves fishing. I had a great time. Any day on the water is a good day no matter how miserable the conditions or how slow the fishing. Exploring new water always excites me. I had fun hanging out and fishing with five other salty addicts. Half the fun is just sitting around at the end of the day telling stories and recounting the tales of the day, with a cold beverage in hand of course. I will be back soon; better equipped, better prepared and more seasoned.