MA-NOLA Report: Redfish on the Fly

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by DimeBrite, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 912
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +385 / 0
    On Wednesday 12/11 I fished with guide Captain Kenny Ensminger out of New Orleans (Uptown Anglers) and had a great time. We launched out of Hopedale, LA south of town and motored about 30 minutes into the maze of tidal marsh that is east of the main Mississippi channel. The weather was cold but sunny, so we were able to site fish for resident and bigger migratory redfish the entire day. We quietly poled around the tidal marshes looking for them in the shallows next to the grass line. I had never seen a redfish in the wild before, much less hooked one, so I was pretty thrilled when we spotted the first few fish. I managed to hook and land 5 reds (5, 8, 9, 11, 15 pounds) and had a brief shot at a couple that we estimated were at least 20 pounds.
    Redfish_#1b.jpg Redfish_#2.jpg Redfish_#3.jpg

    These redfish are basically average size for the New Orleans area this time of year, and it is not uncommon to catch them in the 20-35 pound range (big ones migrate into the delta from the Gulf in fall). The fly was a weighted orange prawn pattern cast with an 8wt. The redfish are strong stubborn fighters, but the real fun is dropping the fly in front of their face and watching them chase it around and eventually inhale it. If you drop the fly within 12" of their face, they will usually eat it. I had a surprising amount of difficulty with my accuracy due to the stiff breeze and the boat moving in the wind, my casts always seem to land 5 feet to the left of the target. To compensate, I started aiming my casts behind the fish (like shooting out of a flying helicopter). Site fishing is a refreshing change from the endless blind casting to salmon that we do in Puget Sound from our beaches. I didn't see any black drum, but I did spot a shy Sheepshead near the boat (aka - the Cajun Permit). Anyway, it was a great new experience for me in I place I had never visited. The quality of the fishing is outstanding, with very few other anglers and an enormous area to explore. The size of the redfish can't be beat too. Captain Kenny did a great job and is a real pro.
  2. rotato Active Member

    Posts: 612
    Ratings: +70 / 0
    Looks like fun
    Big time
  3. doublebluff Go Beavs

    Posts: 112
    Corvallis, OR
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    Man o man o man... What a great trip. Thanks for the post.
  4. cmann886 Active Member

    Posts: 422
    Richland Wa
    Ratings: +56 / 0
    I agree---next time dad goes back to visit Oakdale, I'll have to convince him to drive south an hour to have some fun.
  5. Bagman Active Member

    Posts: 366
    Poulsbo WA
    Ratings: +86 / 0
    Looks like a great trip. Also looks like you got into some nice fish. Must have been a blast watching a fish that size grabbing your fly?
  6. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,607
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +383 / 0
    Awesome! I've seen it on TV but never expected the fishing to be as good as you described. Thanks for the report DimeBrite
  7. doublebluff Go Beavs

    Posts: 112
    Corvallis, OR
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    And I just noticed the beaver hat! (Too busy looking at the fish).

    Makes it all even better!
  8. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 912
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +385 / 0
    Beaver class of 1993

  9. biker_dd Member

    Posts: 28
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    Nice work, those are some great looking fish. I had the same experience of so much territory to explore and so few (saw 1 other boat) other fisherman when I was fishing for reds in Florida.
    Your report and pics have me looking forward to another trip back to the east coast for a shot at some more of those.
  10. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,121
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +786 / 1
    Well done. Great pictures. Did you pick up any speckled trout?
  11. Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Posts: 3,861
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,263 / 1
    Great report and pictures. Looks like you had a great time.
    I'm glad you got to add another species to your salt resume.
  12. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 912
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +385 / 0
    The guide mentioned that most of his local clients demand a fast limit of speckled trout, but we didn't see any. I guess folks really love to eat them.
    speyflyfisher likes this.
  13. mbowers Active Member

    Posts: 201
    Jupiter, FL / Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Folks that don't have a better option like to eat them. :) Redfish is better and sheepshead kicks both reds and trout on the table IMHO.

    Good pics and I know what you mean about casting behind the fish. It's tough to force oneself to cast so close to a fish in such shallow water with a weighted fly that doesn't have the most predictable turnover!
  14. Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Posts: 2,167
    out of state now
    Ratings: +217 / 0
    When Louisiana took steps to protect that fishery, they did so in the nick of time and with beautiful results. Great report and congrats on a great fishing trip in the Sportsman's Paradise!
  15. Go Fish Language, its a virus

    Posts: 1,284
    Rheomode, Wa.
    Ratings: +93 / 0
    Great report Tim.
  16. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,102
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +567 / 0
    Great report Tim! That looks like a fun time. I'm glad you got to do it! Nice pictures too.
  17. holtad Member

    Posts: 42
    Ratings: +38 / 0
    Great report and awesome pictures.
  18. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 1,034
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +273 / 0
    Awesome report Tim! Looks like you had a blast!
  19. plugboots Member

    Posts: 67
    Winthrop, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Because of my travels to places that have sight fishing, I have lost all interest in the mindless repetitiveness of steelhead, Coastal species, nymphing in general, etc. Once or twice season is about all I can take. Even blindly throwing big dries to holding spots for cutties doesn't really cut it anymore.