Friday, July 5, 2013

The Rigolets & Portie Lakes...

After spending a few weeks working in Aransas Pass I was due to get back home and go fishing. Seeing people head up and down the road with kayaks loaded makes you really believe in the old saying that a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work. I've yet to weigh a trout in for the CCA Star tournament and that was on my mind when checking winds, tides and weather. My roommate wanted to get on some specks around the Rigolets. Unchartered territory for me but I was in.

Started fishing about 7:30 and immediately saw how clear the water was. All of the marsh around Double Bayou Lagoon was grassy and bottom was layered thick with algae. Perfect sight casting conditions if you could keep your hooks out of the muck. The same would go for all of the marsh we fished that day. After working some gold spoons and sparkle cocahoes for a bit we had a few bites and spooked a few decent sized redfish. 
We changed directions and tried to hit some bridge pilings and docks to look for our toothy friends. The tide was predicted to be coming up til noon then turning around. We all now how that goes. It never stopped rising for the time we were there. Thankfully the wind forecast held true, 5-8 mph from the NE. After trying to jig some shrimp patterns around the pilings I made my way towards Fort Polk and the broken marsh around Sawmill Pass. 
The reds were not in the usual places given the extremely calm conditions. Having light water movement and winds opened up the whole highway for them to wander and find food. Good news for them. Bad news for the angler. Most of the fish I found were cruising the open waters and almost too late to make good casts to them. One smaller red was hangin around and I got him to eat a sparkle plastic on my new favorite Yellowmouth 1/8oz jig head. It was the only fish landed for the day. That's the bad news. The good news is i've scouted a new spot and it's still better than a day at work!! Next time i'll spend more time around Stump Lagoon and Bayou Bay Jaune.

One of my diver buddies was in town from Florida froma job and we had talked about making a trip if our schedules coincided. Luck would have it that he passed through town the night before we'd planned to scout a new spot near Hackberry. The big tuna is completely decked out now and it has served a few friends right as a loaner boat. The plan was to explore some of the Portie Lakes areas out of the Black Lake Launch. All new territory and an area i've never heard anyone talk about. We can all be guilty of fishing easy access, well known spots time after time and I wanted to break it up a bit.
The weather forecast was iffy but that had never really stopped us before. It turned out to be pretty beautiful most of the morning to mid afternoon. Calm winds, nice tidal movement and deeper water than i'm used to fishing for the most part. The fish probably enjoy the deeper trenches in the heat of the day, I WOULD! We were welcomed very quickly to the area with some tailing redfish and Randy kicked the skunk first with a small red blowing up his topwaters. This area holds some of the biggest numbers and weights of black drums i've seen. We all paddled over, into and around 20-30lb big uglies most of the day. They had there noses down in the mud and big old tail fins waving carelessly in the air. We couldn't get them to eat anything. I guess I need to design an oyster lure. 
Most of the morning was spent kicking around trying to find a pattern the fish were holding to and get one to bite. A small ratred ate my sparkle cocahoe early but that was it until after lunchtime. My first good fish was sitting behind some broken pilings off a main channel and he sent my Sahara 3000 for a serious spin time after time before coming to the net. He was pale in color, almost white in most places. All my grocery fish came on a Tiger Bait Matrix Shad. The tail action on those lures are great when retrieved very slowly and leaves it in the strike zone longer. No doubt this lure helped me catch more fish today. Defenitely my new go-to bait.

The cooler was slimed up but I wanted some flounder. It's something i've been meaning to get better at catching. A doormat of a flounder came off at the boat like they are infamous for. Another small but grocery sized flatty came on the matrix shad a bit later and it renewed some confidence and reassured the change in technique and approach for the day. A few more undersized reds were caught and released before the wind started to kick up. Our GPS track had us at 5.5 miles paddled before 10:30 am. We made two big loops around the Portie area and more than likely covered about 12 miles of marsh. We called it a day around 4 pm because we were out of drinking water and mighty hungry. There's still a lot more water to scout in this area. I will defenitely be back there again.
On an unrelated note, John Williams used one of my photos I took of him in the newest edition of Coastal Angler Magazine. He'd asked for the picture awhile back and said he was going to use it for an article but I thought nothing of it. It jumped out at me while skimming the pages in my recliner last night. Check it Out! I know the posts lately have been 100% fishing related but I assure you I do have other hobbies worthy of pictures and a few words. This just happens to be the time of the year where nothing else is going to happen besides putting some kayaks in the water. My tents, shoes, and pack are gathering dust quickly and I plan to knock the dust off as soon as the night temps dip into the 50's again. Until then it will be back to work and so I don't have to when fall rolls around and everything is right in south Louisiana again.


Ben said...

Great report, love that flounder shot. Cheers to exploring new water!

Stephen O. said...

thanks brotha