Just wanted to share a response to our request, (posted on rodnreel.com) for info / Intel of fishing Chandeleur Island in October, below is 1 of 3 response we got.
Frist off many thanks to rodnreel.com for providing their service to the fishing community, next up many thanks to Fishgill for taken the time and effort to provide us with such a detail suggestion, info, intel on the who, what, where, when, why and how of fishing Chandeleur, RNR & Fishgill a combination of great friends.
Read, learn, & enjoy the following:
New comment on your post “Chandeleur Island info request”
Pack,, lots of questions, so I hope I can help with some of the answers
Weather… October is a great month at the island. Normally chilly in the morning and evenings, nice during the day. wind will be calm unless a northern comes in.
Trout will be on the main menu. There are some reds but most of those are migrating offshore and would be consider bull reds greater than 28 inch.
Ok where to fish? With most of these type of trips you are on two person skiff arrangements with a little 9.9 or 15 hp. motor. The water is normally crystal clear if not a light green clear during this time of year. I normally drift the grass beds on the west side of the island and use top water ( she dogs ) or any floating mirrolure in the early morning. ( dark green back- white bottom, red head white bottom, black white bottom.. I think the real picture is a white bottom as the baby mullet is the normal bait of choice for trout. Later in the morning if the wind picks up I switch to a standard double rig popping cork with your favorite beetle color.. I know yours is purple and I have had great success with that color. In fact in the older days we would they made a very small purple beetle where we would actual tie 3 jigs under a cork 1/8 oz. heads.
Normally you can see the grass beds as you drift over them. Trout hide in the beds and come out and attack lures. No need to anchor just drift.. Look for bait.. schools of mullet and pogies. trout are normally following them around.
Surf side is way different- land the boat of the west side and walk across island and jump in. Waders are only if you want them and can be quite bulky walking across the island. ( would guess most places to cross of 300 to 400 yards. So it is a hike.. Tennis shoes are required and I do recommend long pants instead of shorts. I don’t remember the sea nettles ( jelly fish ) being bad during that time of year but if they are they will run you out of the water. When fishing the surf side I normally fish plastic on the bottom (double rig) with your favorite color and type. NO need for corks here. Trout and Reds follow the wave troughs. I still use the old metal spoons ( not that many people still fish them but they are great ) Mr. champ or imitation, side winders, little Cleo,, you’re looking for a 3/8 to 1/2 spoon that you can sling a country mile. Silver/chrome color works best for trout Just reel as if it was a minnow escaping the jaws of death. No
Wade fishing- if yall go that way- will require some personal equipment you might not be used to. I still use an old dove hunting vest to hold all my stuff. You know the one with a back pouch-shell pockets, but no sleeves. Need small plastic tackle boxes to keep you stuff together that fit in your pockets, spare jig heads, spare jig bodies, spare spoons. OHH and don’t forget to bring your license… I got a ticket one time wade fishing for not having my license on me.. I was almost chest deep in the water when the game warden pull up next to me.. in his patrol boat. I explained to him I had one and it was in my big tackle box on the skiff on the other side of the island. He gave me a ticket anyway. I was sort of a smart A and ask where I should keep my license on me when I am wade fishing as he gave me the ticket.. He response was a classic. “You should keep it under your fishing hat where I am going to leave your ticket”. The case was dismissed when I sent the Judge a copy of my license. All good Back to wade fishing. I use a floating fishing basket or mesh bag.. Sharks can be bad and will eat the trout off the stringer on the surf side. A good landing net ( floating kind ). Normally I make my own float net by buying a landing net and take the butt cap off and filling it with great stuff foam. Also works for the boat, when you drop it overboard it doesn’t sink. Pliers are a must.. All these items I mentioned above need to somehow be attached to you. I have modified by drilling holes in the pliers handle , landing net, and attaching parachute cord with a D ring to clip onto my belt loops. If you can find a strap on rod holder that fits onto your belt loop you should buy it.. Lots of skill required when taking a fish off the hook with a rod tucked underneath your arm pit.
Wade fishing clothes – tennis shoes, long pants, long sleeve shirt ( biting horse flies). A belt to keep pants own. When you are walking around in water makes them want to fall off. As far as color, Normally I am wearing white or close to the color of the sky. fish look up and shadows go a long way. If at all possible your face should always be looking at the sun. That way when your drifting your shadows will not be casting a shadow in front of you. Remember the water can be extremely clear and trout since when things are moving on top of them.. Pelicans and other bird enemies of the trout.
Cellphones will not work. It is very important to the captain to tell him where you are fishing and what time you will be back. They will come out and look for you if you don’t return around your schedule time. Some charters have hand held VHF that they issue to issue skiff..
NO trolling motor required.. Classic drift fishing over the grass beds.
Other items to bring: Some kind of good bug spray may be required, and sun screen if your skin gets burned.
Go have fun,, Oh before I forget,, I would ask the captain if they have the floundering equipment on the boat.. that is a blast to do. It would complete the trip. I they don’t have the gear ask them if it is allowed. An underwater light and a jig and stringer is all you need.. Everybody can stick 10.. An yes there are thousands of those guys in the shallows on the west side of the island.
Our crew of (12) will take heed to all above, and we will have fun. It is our hope to share some of the many highlights of our trip with RNR & Fishgill, and may be in future we too can share info on fishing the Chandeleur Island with other fisherperson looking for same.
Team Jo-Jo & Oneofthepack
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