Louisiana Fall Bounty
12/12/2011

Every year my brother (Bear) and I make the pilgrimage to the vast marshes of the Mississippi River Delta a short drive outside of New Orleans. Fly fishing is usually my preferred method of targeting the monster redfish in Louisiana! One of my favorite trips to guide is certainly the post spawn breeders that are fattening up inshore before they drop back to the bays and near shore waters in the spring.  

By monster and breeders we are talking about mature fish over 30 inches. The Mississippi River plays a major part in the delta fishery! One of the keys is planning a trip to the marsh is watching the river…. go when the river levels are low unless you hire a guide. As the state attempts to rebuild the marshes more and more diversions are being built to divert water from the river to the marsh! This pushes fresh silty river water over the marsh dropping its sediment as it flows towards the gulf. A key to finding large schools of redfish and areas the hold fish is water clarity and salinity! Thankfully the marsh is a brackish environment with saltwater pushing in with the tide…. Fishing in-between the diversions is a great way to find fish. 

These salty areas hold fish, bait and are great areas to find the oysters that further filter the water making for prime sight fishing! Louisiana is a true year round fishery but the prime breeder season just so happens to fall in the fall when we are in a transition period in the Keys.   This transition offers a chance to get back to our Cajun roots and distant families for Thanksgiving! How perfect the biology and holidays line up! Many of our longtime clients book way in advance to make sure to have a spot on the boat each fall. 

The weather, however, is never perfect, presenting the flexible angler the same opportunity to be successful with conventional tackle. So on the tough overcast days I suggest picking up a bait caster or spinning rod. Gold spoons and Marsh Works spinnerbaits are my go-to baits. The best colors are whatever you happen to have but black, purple and white are always in the boat in mass! By being flexible and fishing the tackle the conditions dictate success is always possible!

About the fish! 
Louisiana is the only place that offers shots at true monster reds over 20 pounds regularly and is absolutely the best redfish sight fishery in the fishes range! Granted Redfishing is great everywhere they live in the gulf coast and Atlantic coasts but on average the size of the fish offers no comparison! In two weeks in the marsh the numbers produced were unreal this year… so much so I’m not even going to mention how many we sight fished. Take a look at some of the photos! Get excited and go fish with one of the excellent guides in the area! Feel free to call or email and ask who I recommend depending on your style and experience! Be sure to only fish with a Licensed guides as the monies from the licenses ensure the future of the fishery! 
In the past we have hauled the RV over and parked it in Hopedale! Thanks to some super good friends this year we just hauled the boats. Rebuilding after Katrina was a chore that took some time but the condos, camps and homes sure are nicer than ever! Thank you boys for the love! I totally appreciate the accommodations! One of my favorite times in Louisiana is duck season which happens to coincide with the redfish spawn! It was a blast to get back to camp to have my duck nuts cleaning a pile of tasty ducks and grilling up duck treats daily. According to the duck pro’s this season was the best any of them has seen in years so if you are a duck hunter Louisiana is Mecca! Every hunter should make the trip at least once for a cast and blast!
 If you’re a fish or redfish nut you’ll want to check out one of the last great fisheries in America! Louisiana must be on your bucket list! It certainly is on my list of top locations and is second only to the Florida Keys! I might be a little biased as tarpon and permit are my true aquatic addictions!
Good Fishing to all!
Capt. Travis Holeman
keywestangling@gmail.com 305-906-0301

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