Redfish back in the Batola Marsh at Delacroix Island!


Posted on February 17, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 17 at 7:36 PM

Frank Davis / Fishing Expert

DELACROIX, LA - Last week I did a segment on the 6 o’clock news show that confirmed fisherman catching reds right from the roadside in the Yscloskey Canal between Shell Beach and Hopedale.

“Lots and lots of redfish being pulled from the area near the bridge, Frank,” you probably recall Glenn Sanchez, owner/operator of Breton Sound Marina admitting to me on camera.

This week, though, as Sanchez predicted, the action has switched to the inside Delacroix Island marshes, particularly in the area of Lake Batola. Reds there have been ranging in size from 18 inches to 26 inches and are still readily striking market bait suspended about 20 inches under a popping cork.

“It’s all the doing of the changing weather temps,” Capt. Ron “Ahab” Broadus tried to explain. “Until earlier this week these fish where nestled belly-down in the mud, flat on the bottom to try and take advantage of the warm bottom mud. Overnight and early in the morning they settled in, refusing to even move very much. But as the sun rose and the water warmed, they came off the bottom and they began to feed. Small red blisters on their stomachs showed where tiny leeches had attached themselves.”

Here’s the technique for claiming a full limit:

1—Try to locate a spot where the current line is moving well. This is probably where the reds will browse once they warm up in the midday sun, trying to seek out small crabs and minnows. Fish right in the middle of the current line.

2—For prime possibility, fish both under a cork as well as on the bottom with a Carolina rig. We’ve noticed that for the most part the bigger reds were grubbing down on the bottom—small “rat reds” rose up off the bottom to take suspended shrimp dangling on the floating shock leader.

3—Be aware that there’s about a 40 percent throw-back rate—60 percent of what you snag will be keeper size; 40 percent will be in the borderline class, 15 to 15-1/2 inches in length and therefore illegal to take home. I heartily suggest that you don’t “fudge” on the legal length—the game agents are out on the water and checking for “illegal keepers.”

4—Try to buy only the freshest “market bait” you can find. Believe it or not, these guys do know the difference.

This Saturday and Sunday promises to be outstanding fishing weather. So I recommend you make your plans Friday night to ensure you have all the strategy in place. 30 to 40 pound test mono leader is essential, heavy 5/0 hooks are necessary, and appropriate mono or PowerPro line will insure your success. If you know your way around Delacroix “go with it.” If not, do it right by booking with a pro guide. Capt. Ahab, for example, has a few open dates on his calendar. Give him a call at 504-914-6063.

Till next week, be careful out on the water and please be courteous. Oh, yeah—and wear your life jacket.