In the backwaters between Lake Hermitage and Myrtle Grove in the heart of Southeast Louisiana, big roaming hordes of heavyweight, tackle-busting redfish cruise the shallows day and night. So when I needed some great video for my Thursday Channel 4 fishing show that's where my all-pro angling team and I went . . . and redfish is what we caught!
If this weekend you'd like the try your luck chasing down and tying into a limit of these bronzebacks, all you do is pay close attention to the detailed information I’m gonna give you in this column. Then put it to practice out on the water come Saturday and you’ll tear ‘em up!
So here’s the scoop:
1—Don’t worry about getting out on the water until you know for certain what time the most active tidal periods are—the reds will bite on the optimum tide. Trying to catch them at slack or neap tide is as difficult as pulling hen’s teeth! If you have the best tide between 7:30 and 9, that’s when you wanna be fishing.
2—A lot of the water in the Myrtle Grove/Lake Hermitage area is tannic colored, but in some spots it’s also kinda murky and dirty. It’s okay to fish tannic water. . .but you’ll find poor fishing wherever you come across murky dirty water. Scout it out. Be selective.
3—Look for redfish action in the water! It’s easy to spot. “Churning water” along the banks. “Ripples” where the water appears to be moving all on its own.” “Torpedo-like wakes” moving up and down the shoreline. Half or more of the fish’s back completely out of the water. And the fish’s “blue tail” protruding from beneath the surface as it feeds. All of these biological indicators spell out “redfish in the area.” Look for them; fish them seriously.
4—While redfish quite often readily take artificial plastic jigs, soft rubber lures, top water streamers, and gold or silver metal spoons, this time of year, though, in the ponds you seek out redfish they will enthusiastically bypass all those fake and phony baits and focus principally on large chunks of fresh market shrimp. This is the enticement that you put on your drop rig under the cork. Terminal tackle is comprised of cork, plastic bead, barrel swivel, 12 to 14 inch monofilament leader, a #5 Kahle or offset shank hook, and a massive chunk of dead shrimp.
5—Cast it up against the border of the grassline along the shore. Then let it settle down. After a few seconds, after the concentric ripples stop emanating outward in a circle, begin popping the bait hard! Do this once or twice every 6 to 8 seconds. The pop will let the fish know that the bait is there in the water and they will enthusiastically target in on it.
6—Moments later, you’ll have reds in the boat. Depending upon how good you are at finding and catching them, you’ll have one or two. . .or a full limit!
Now, if you’re not sure how to negotiate the marshes and ponds, or how to get to the right places to fish (or find the fish), you can leave your boat and motor home and book a trip with either Capt. Mike Helmer or Capt. James Wilson. You can reach them at Seaway Marina in Lafitte.
Next week we head back to Shell Beach and Hopedale with Capt. Kerry Audibert. Capt. Kerry has been making some significant catches here lately. He’ll give us all the hows, wheres, and whens next Thursday. Meanwhile. . .
Tight lines and good times to you!