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Reds Are Under The Trees
Confusin' Fishin' Report!
Thursday, January 20th, 2000.
While it might sound awfully
confusing at first glance, with a little bit of explanation you'll
understand this week's fishing report, and you'll probably end up catchin'
a real mess, yea! Even a limit of really nice redfish come Saturday and
Sunday! By the numbers, here's the deal:
You'll do best if you "hit and run" the deadends. That means you
hit one canal, give it a shot for about 15 minutes, and if you get no
action run to the next canal. Once you find them, stay with them until
they peter out... then move again. If you want to try the canal we caught
most of our limit in today, work your way back into the marsh until you
end up floating over this set of GPS numbers.....N29*28.905 and
- From the launch at Coco Marina, loop around, catch Petit Caillou, go
all the way to Boudreaux Canal, hang a left, and scoot across Lake
Boudreaux to the deadends on the other side of the lake.
- Once you get into the network, choose a canal with overhanging
structure along both banks--ideally, you'll see trees which appear to
have toppled over slightly, their branches dipping ever so gently into
- Drift, use the trolling motor, or even pick a spot and anchor.
Regardless, you want to be able to "quietly present a bait"
as far back under the drooping branches as you can get. This is where
the redfish are holding. As John Fritzinger, my cameraman, said this
morning, "if you don't throw up in the trees you won't catch
"em! (maybe not an accurate representation of the action, but you
get the idea, huh?).
- Forget artificials! Forget live cocahoes! These reds have simple
tastes--they want (and they'll only take!) dead market shrimp! But
fresh dead market shrimp--don't try to pass off on them that old
yellowing stinky stuff you've had in the freezer since Labor Day. Stop
somewhere and get some fresh shrimp, and keep it in the Igloo so that
it stays fresh.
- Don't fish under a popping cork. Don't fish a Carolina rig. Don't
tie on a sliding sinker. All you need is a quarter-ounce unpainted
leadhead jig tied directly to the monofilament. Then run up the shrimp
on the barb, cast into the branches, and let the bait settle to the
- Now, concentrate! Pay attention to the line and keep the slack out
of it. The bigger reds will probably slam the bait like a runaway
18-wheeler. There's little fear that you'll miss them. But the
"prime fish," those right at 16 inches long, feed like
pompano. You'll probably feel only a nibble--if you feel that much.
Don't be surprised if you just notice the line straightening out. Go
ahead and set the hook when it does. They'll most likely be there.
One last note: the keeper/throw back ratio today (Thursday) was running
about 70/30. Seventy percent of them were 16-inch keepers or better;
thrity percent were undersize throw-backs. With this in mind, be sure you
bring along a belly board and measure everything you put in the ice chest.
And keep an accurate count -- 5 each! If you ignore this particular
paragraph, would you call me before they take you off to the shop so I can
tell you what I want on my custom license plate?
Meanwhile, have a great weekend, be courteous, and be safe. Next week,
we'll re-sample the hotspots from Shell Beach to the Biloxi Marsh.
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