Bumper Boats on the Bayou

Saturday March 29

The day started in a panic I unconsciously hit snooze on the alarm and over slept until 6:20 which wasn't bad because Bayou St John is only 15 minutes away from the house and the tournament didn't start until 7:00 O'clock. Sometime when I was brushing my teeth I remembered that I wanted to go to walmart and grab some procure that would give me any advantage against the field of eighty nine other fishermen. so I sped to walmart and I ran in walmart grabbed some procure and gummi worms and ran out out walmart to my Jeep.Now it was 6:45 and I felt I could make it in time but I ran into a roadblock when I got to the superdome the police had the expressway blocked because of an accident. So I made a detour and rode the way down Esplanade ave. This is not your typical drive to a fishing hole I was driving through the historical neighborhoods of New Orleans which was a welcome change from the two lane highways im usually speeding down. I made it to the bayou exactly at seven O'clock and after dropping the outback off the roof of my truck and some some lightning speed rigging I was in the water at 7:10. I assumed that most competitors were going to fish the shorelines so I decided to target fish in the deeper middle of bayou St.John. My plan of attack was to try a trolling technique that is used for catching huge landlocked stripers. I rigged five rods consisting of an Umbrella Rig and two Rapala DT 10 and two Strike King Redeye Shad. In the middle I had the umbrella rig about 150 yards behind the outback and on the outside I alternated between the crankbaits and the rattletraps about 100 yards back. When I started it was super foggy and cool after the sun got up it quickly burned off and the weather was great. Trolling is a pretty new technique for me I have done it when moving from spot to spot but never as a primary fishing style for the day. The first fish I caught was on the umbrella rig near mirabeau bridge. That is my favorite area to fish bayou St. John there is lots of submerged structure in this area. The fish always seem to be in this area either in the deeper channel that runs under the bridge or on the adjacent flats. If you throw a tequila sunrise texas rigged worm off that bridge you will catch fish here most days. On christmas eve my brother and I caught at least 50 fish from this bridge in less that 2 hours. I trolled up the bank to where the water flows out from the island and threw a suspending jerkbait off the point I ended up catching a Five inch bass.
My aunt came out to see me fish and took some action shots.
 I then went into the Island to where I had been catching the bass on the frog ,but I couldn't find it so I pedaled out and went back to trolling for redfish in the main bayou. I was trolling at a steady pace when my right rod with the deep diving crank started to bob up and down. It took me a while to recognize it as a hit but eventually I grabbed the rod and reeled in a stocky little 10 inch bass. I contemplated weighing it in but I decided against it and threw him back. I wanted to make a second pass over the area but by the time I turned around three fishermen had moved into the lane so I decided to head back towards the truck. By the end of the day I had the cranks running perfectly above the bottom and received a couple of strikes that I didn't connect on. The redfish were smart and decided to take the day off and none were caught all day. I think this technique has a lot of potential for catching fish in the bayou with some fine tuning and practice. I was able to cover much of the bayou in the Three hours we had to fish. Thinking outside of the box is useful in innovation and there is often great reward in taking risks I will never use a new technique for the first time in a tournament.

The city park Big bass rodeo is the oldest fishing rodeo in the country and this was my first time attending the fishtival. It was pretty cool there was a casting contest for kids and displays set up by LDWF with a stingray touchpool and other marine life,as well as other local fishing related companies. My last hope for winning something was a raffle I entered to win a combo from daiwa but it just wasn't my day. The winners in the boats on the bayou division were a 3.42 lb bass and a 1.57 lb speckled trout. The fly fishing division was won by a guy Gale Rhodes that I had met  fishing earlier in the week. Full results here http://www.nola.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2014/03/city_park_big_bass_rodeo_resul.htmlEven though I didn't win anything was a cool event ,and it was great to see the enthusiasm that people of all ages have for fishing in my city of New Orleans.

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