Thursday, June 07, 2007

Louisiana Redfish

On June 26th, my partner, Al Neves, myself, and 4 other hearty fly fishermen, met in Gulfport, Mississippi, for our first trip for red drum or redfish.

Originally, we had planned to fish the Chandeleur Islands, some 30 miles offshore, but a strong east wind, made that area unfishable; so Capt. Drew headed east to the Louisiana Marsh, where we hoped to find protection from the wind, and hopefully, some eager redfish.

The 75 ft. Southern Way was to be our home for the next 4 days, and with the skiffs stacked on top, we pushed off with great expectations.

On the first morning Al and I found a nice pod of redfish, and they were eager to eat our offerings! I tied on an orange Neutralizer, a new pattern designed specifially for redfish, and on the second cast a fat 5 lb. red ate the fly and proceeded to tear up the small grassy pond.

Finally, I was able to get my hands on my first Louisiana Redfish!

Several years ago, I was able to "sight cast" to, and caught, redfish in Florida Bay with my old friend Del Brown, and guide Steve Huff, but these fish were bigger, and since we were unguided, Al and I found great satisfaction with our success!

The Orange Neutralizer, dressed with burnt orange flash on the bottom half of the fly, proved very effective! This fly, along with a Gold Neutralizer, are the start of a new redfish series of patterns, called the Red Meat Series.

.......Fishing with Al, priceless!

Although the water was only 2-3 feet deep, redfish tend to be "looking down" for their food, and wisely, Al decided to stay with standard Clouser patterns of his own design, and get the fly down closer to the fish. Al watched as this hefty red rushed the fly and headed for the French Quarter! We both jumped around like school girls at a birthday party, as the red slipped into the net!

Since I am "top water junkie" ....
....I decided to switch rods and test my new top water popper, called the Sub-Zero. Without a doubt, the loud sub-surface noise generated by the Sub-Zero was a good choice in the stained water, and although many strikes were missed, the excitement created by the surface strikes was worth the effort! Regardless of the wind or rain, the reds seemed to respond to the

Yet another redfish with a half-digested Sub-Zero.

Due to the wind, and a need for our safety, as well as the safety of the fish, our hooks were barbless!

The new Sub-Zero is currently in production now, at Targus, and we are confident this new and exciting pattern will generate a lot of interest!

Earlier this year, my friend Doug Squires, was able to get me on this 19 lb. striper, in the Delta region, in California. As you can see, the bug that brought this fish to hand.....

....Sub-Zero popper!

I want to thank the great group of guys that really made our trip to the Louisiana Marsh a huge success. Fathers & Sons: Roger & Richard; Pat & Brent....and my partner Al!

The food on the Southern Way was incredible, and Captain Drew, Bryan, and Kyle did everything possible to help make our trip a memorable one indeed.

I can't wait to return, and can only imagine how much better the fishing could be with favorable conditions.

Oh yes, God willing, I will be back!