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Fishing Stories
 

#1

In February this year a group of four of us traveled from the Fort Smith, Arkansas area to the camp for a weekend of fishing.  Everything in lower Plaquemines Parish was still in a state of devastation.  Homes were simply dozed off the roads to make room to pass by.  Some camps on Happy Jack Lane were still buried in debris.  Parish deputies manned a security checkpoint on Highway 23 and checked every vehicle entering or leaving lower Plaquemines Parish.  Power and water had been restored to a few of the homes that were habitable in the area.  The weather was good with high tides during the day and a good falling tide in the early evening.

We had heard good reports of the fishing in the area.  Katrina devastated the towns, communities, and infrastructure; but on the morning of the first day of fishing we figured out real fast that Katrina actually improved the fishing.  Since the storm there had been no commercial fisherman, bait was everywhere, and the reds and specks had not seen a purple cacahoe minnow, clear sparkle beetle, Storm blue gill colored minnow, or Mann’s Baby One in a very very long time.  We caught our limit of keepers and threw back several bull reds.  Remarkably, the best fishing we found was within a 3 minute boat ride of the camp. 
On one shoreline, I had an experience I won’t soon forget.  Trolling the bank approaching a point, I saw a dorsal pop out of the water and retreat immediately just about 40 feet ahead.  I made a quick cast with a cacahoe minnow and the moment the lure hit the water the fight was on.  After a great fight, I landed a 33 inch redfish.  As soon as I put the fish in the boat, I had to handle the net to pull in a large sheephead that, believe it or not, hit my buddy’s purple cacahoe minnow.  (He thought he had a nice red for a minute there.) 

As soon as I netted the sheephead, I stepped back to the deck and made a cast at the approaching point.  The minnow sank in about 3 feet of water – a deep hole at the point – and didn’t find bottom.  I got a smashing hit and the drag started screaming.  I let the fish tire in the open water and my buddy netted another 30-plus inch redfish.  On two straight casts, I netted two 30-plus inch reds.  We were already over limit.  After a great picture, both went back.  That day, like the day before, and the day after, we would clean as many fish as we cared to and eat fresh grilled redfish – a meal fit for a king!



 
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