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Frank DavisRedfish for the taking at Delacroix
Category: Fishing - Saltwater - Marsh
Date: 1/17/2008
Written By: Frank Davis - Frank Davis Productions

Redfish for the taking at Delacroix
Frank Davis / Fishing Expert

If you're looking to find a mess of trout to catch, you can do that at Delacroix Island whenever the weather and the water warm up a little.

But I’m here to tell you that on cold days like we've had this week, and especially on Thursday, it's actually a redfisherman's haven at Delacroix, particularly amongst the stumps and submerged pilings in Oak River. And the fishing is simple, too—all you have to do is tie on a Carolina rig and bait it with fresh market shrimp.

“Your live shrimp are finished,” our charter guide, Ron “Captain Ahab” Broadus, explained as he jockeyed the boat into position that allowed us to fish the centerline channel in the River. “So you got to find something else they’ll readily want to eat. That something else has been plastic split-tail shrimp and Cocahoe tails for trout, and big ol’ wads of fresh market shrimp balled up on the hook for the reds. Simply tie ‘em on a Carolina rig, make a long cast, sit back, and wait for the bite to come. . .and it will come!”

This past Thursday, we left Serigne’s Launch at about 7:30 in the morning, worked our way out Bayou Gentilly, and—nearly frozen from a depressed temperature and a fast 20 minute run—didn’t slow down until we entered Oak River. It didn’t take very long for us to tie into a couple of nice size drum.

“This kind of fishing has been typical of what we’ve been doing down here for well over a week now,” Ahab confessed. “See, first off it isn’t necessary to get here before the crack of dawn—we’ve been sleeping in because the water hasn’t been warming up to feeding temp until about mid-morning. And that’s what’s governing the bite right now. The right temperature. Redfish like it about 51 degrees; trout seem to like it closer to 60. And until the water reaches that temperature, these fish are in no hurry to have breakfast!”

Captain Ahab also told us that neither species has clustered together yet. He said it simply hasn’t gotten that cold this month to cause that “clustering” kind of response in these fish.

“So what a sports fisherman needs to do,” he added, “ is try a spot, pick up a few, then move to another spot when the action is over. Then try that spot for a while—I live to give it about 10 minutes at each stop—then move again. You do that enough in one morning’s time and before you know it you got yourself a near-ice-chest full of fish.”

Most of the trout that have been caught are averaging 14 to 16 inches; most of the reds are going 18 to, say, 24 inches; the drum catches are right at 16 inches, with about half of those at throwback length; and for added lagniappe right now lucky fishermen in the right spots are also boating some hefty, broad-shouldered, chunky blue cats (or as Ahab likes to call them, “courtbouillion on the hoof”).

“All this is happening in the cleanest water you can find,” he told me and my cameraman. “ Oh, I’m not saying you won’t catch any fish in tainted water, but you’ll certainly find that you’ll have to make fewer moves if you start off fishing in clean water to begin with. And try to fish in current lines, too!”

Consensus on our boat Thursday was that this weekend is going to be outstanding. So make your plans to fish now, to beat the rush to the launch.

And if you need a boat, or a captain, or a guide, feel free to call Ahab at 914-6063.

Next week. . .Lafitte!


Frank Davis

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