With the economy dying down this holiday weekend gave me only one trip. Today Monday September 7th is the close of the Louisiana State waters red snapper season. I told my wife I was going fishing. I wanted to get a pair of good sized red snapper then go check some areas to see how the drop in the river has changed things. It was a beautiful day as I loaded the boat. There were some storms nearby but nothing I could not run around.
Due to my federal stickers on the big boat I took my bay boat and went hunting for the sun burned over fished treasures. I was also hoping to get an amberjack or grouper before heading in and scouting. Seeing I was alone and meat hunting I decided to load the 50 wide with a deep drop setup. It works well off the seat rod holders.
When I got to my targeted area I saw my friend Fred with his family and friends. They were having a blast and almost had their limit. The little gut in this picture went back.
They were making fun of my setup. I tied up to the rig and dropped down a pair of trout belly baits. They got ripped off almost at once. Put down again and came up with a 6 to 8 pounder. I put it in the live well and decided to try some live mullet I had. They also got violently ripped off as soon I hit the bottom. I then decided to put on a fresh chunk of tuna. The skin stays on and after they get the taste of tuna they go back for it all. I hit the bottom and when I got a tug I reeled a bit. Did not hook it. Dropped back and another hit. This time the rod tip almost hit the water. I was thinking a grouper. I kept the rod in the holder. Why should I hurt myself. This was a heavy fish. It was not an amberjack because it did not try to get back to the rig. Had that been the case I was prepared to let the rig line free and back away from the rig. Being alone makes things a bit more challenging. I'm up for that.
Once to the top the expression on the boat next to me was beautiful as were these twin 29 inch red snapper. I released the one in my live well and was instantly done with them. My amberjack rigs I thought were on the boat were no where to be found so I headed in for some redfish action.
On the way in I saw some surface action and made a few casts. One bull red was enough for me to continue on. I went into a nearby bay and noticed the lack of fish in the usual areas. Looks like they are moving into the fall pattern. I left that area all together and made a long run. Just me, no customers to produce for, so my time to learn. I saw one guy fishing with his kids. He said he got a few but it was slow. I continued to the place I wanted to check. It was almost dead low and a lot of water was out. Not good fishing conditions in these back waters. The catfish and sting rays were around to accept my offerings.
I liked what I saw. The water is cleaning up and the fish are moving into the places they should be. My first redfish was a beautiful 26 incher. I thought it was a lot bigger the way it fought but it made the slot.
I bounced from place to place on both sides of the river. I managed a limit of redfish but there were a lot of small fish and trash fish. What I saw was promising for a good fall season. A storm developed nearby late in the afternoon so I had to run in. the winds were quite strong but I only got a very small amount of hard hitting water before I was able to get out of it.
As I was fueling up in Empire we had a visitor come by looking for hand outs. It is only about 4 1/2 feet long so not on the wanted list at this point. I told them they should not feed the alligators.
It was a very productive and informative day on the water. Looking forward to a good fall season. Ended with a bountiful basket of fish. 1 sheepshead, 2 red snapper, 5 redfish, and 2 flounder.
Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.
CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM