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Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA Marsh

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Greetings All!

A bit of background to begin ....

I've been a licensed Captain for 30+ years with a 46 Bertram in Hatteras, NC. For decades I have run boats to blue water for various owners up & down the east coast as well as my Bertram out of Hatteras.

For the last few years, I've been semi-retired and have spent most of my time in a small skiff I have slipped close to the Bertram waving a fly rod over redfish in the sound behind Hatteras & have released my fair share.

Fishing the LA marsh has been on my bucket list for a long time and it is time to get 'er done!

I plan to trailer the skiff down y'all's way and spend about 2 weeks targeting bull reds with the long wand.

Two questions please:

1) Initially, I am looking at The Delta Marina in Buras, LA, but would welcome any suggestions which might be a better bet for targeting them using a small skiff with a comfortable range of 40 miles (round trip).

2) Also, I recently noticed a post concerning the Mississippi River's water height. I presume one concern would need to be water clarity as a function of the high/dirty water. Obviously, this would be a long trip trailering a boat. While I am accustomed to ensuring that any trips take into account wind/weather, I wouldn't want to run that distance only to discover that poor water clarity made the trip a low percentage bet. Any advice on this subject would also be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

PS I've been around long enough to know that it wouldn't be a bad idea to charter an experienced local Capt for a couple of days to shorten my learning curve. ;-) That is, assuming I could find someone good with an opening or two.

Capt. Alex Craig

Tempest Sportfishing

Hatteras, NC

email: alexcraig@tempest-sportfishing.com
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Re: Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA
What time of year are you considering? For just bull reds on fly (I'm not a fly fisherman) I'd recommend late summer thru midfall. Delta marina, Joshua's Marina are good if you what to fish the westside, I catch way more bulls on the eastside. The passes off the river usually hold them year round. Venice Marine or Cypress cove for Venice is where I launch if fishing the downriver or barrier islands. The launch by the flag pole is where you would put in if fishing up on the eastside. All launches I mentioned are within 15 minutes of each other. Plenty of places to stay within a short drive of all of them.
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Re: Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA
Afternoon Russell,

Much appreciate your input. Thank you.

Well, I got an itch to find warmer water & decent fishing sooner vs. later. Would hope to head your way as soon as conditions warrant!

I've checked out a number of your local guides sites and they seem to indicate that January thru March are best for the big reds. Something about cooler/cleaner water & plenty of bait which makes them easier to find and sight fish with a long wand.

I'll check out the spots you suggested. Thanks again!

Alex Craig
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Re: Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA
sunscreen and knat spray!!!
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Re: Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA
I heard that!
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Re: Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA
Cracked crab on 7/0 Gaakatsu Octopus J hooks.
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Re: Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA
Much appreciate the thought; however, I'm only interested in waving a long wand over them. ;-)
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Re: Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA
Alex,Just checked out ya request and hard to beat the shorelines of Lake Pontchartrain,assuming the Bonnet Carre Spillway does NOT get opened yet again.I live on the North side of Lake Pontchartrain and lovingly call her,Lady P and sight-fishing for reds hard to beat,assuming the water is not stained.I toss Bomber spinner baits at them and there is a gent,TheWizard 7,down in St.Bernard Parish and he knows plenty of places where reds tend to hang out,awaiting a fly tossed their way!!!He and I communicate via text or this very forum and he made a bunch of salt water flies and so did I,I just have yet to try mine and pretty sure a fly worked in front of big ole red will get crushed and I have an 8 wt flyrod with nice new reel attached to her!!!

Mandevillian
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Re: Need Advice for My First Trip Targeting Bull Reds in the LA
Evening Mandevillian,

Rest assured, most times, a redfish in Hatteras will crush just about anything that evenly vaguely suggests it is alive if properly presented. However, once in awhile, there are those days where you can do it just right with a given streamer they've jumped on right quick in the past and for whatever reason they just won't eat. Doesn't happen that often, but often enough create a memory of it. ;-)

I carry a 6 weight St. Croix & an 8 weight old time HMG Fenwick with Pfluger reels. Spend most of my time waving the 6 weight as most of the fish up on, or near the edges of flats behind Hatteras run from 10' rats to 30'. Best I've done on thus far on the lighter weight rod (actually a 5 wt. Fenwick that has since given up the ghost) was a 28 incher. I'm hear to tell you that a 28' redfish on a 5 wt is 'died & gone to heaven fishing'. I've really taken a shine to St. Croix's Legend Elite series and the lightest long wand they make is a 6 weight, so I had to settle for replacing the 5 wt Fenwick with a 6 wt.

I fish 6# class tippet with a 20# flouro 8 inch bite trace just to make it a bit more challenging.

Bottom line, I'm wanting to put one next to the boat, that's 30 - 35' with the 6 weight. If the wind is too tough for the 6 wt. or I'm in a spot where I can't chase 'em with the boat, I go to the 8 wt. However, behind Hatteras, there aren't many places where you can't chase 'em with the boat. Been times where I had to follow 'em 1/4 mile + to put the rascal next to the boat. :-)

Almost forgot to add, as long as the wind is under 8 knots, most of the time I use a 4' chartreuse streamer that's called 'Redfish Candy' that runs an inch or two under the water as you strip it back. I never get tired of watchin' one streak in from the side or building a wake behind it. The smaller fish turn sideways to get in their mouths while those say 22' or better just open their mouths and crush it right side up.

I keep looking at the long term forecast down there waiting to find a weather window which would make it worth my while to do the 3000 mile round trip as I'd want to stay at least 10 days. Better still 2 weeks.

Alex Craig

www.tempest-sportfishing.com

PS I'm not running charters these days, so I'm not advertising. But there are some old pics on the web site that some of y'all might find interesting.
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