Redfish Rumble let down

I fished Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club Redfish Rumble VII over the weekend against 75 plus Kayak fishermen. This is the second tournament of the angler of the year series and I wanted to score some major points to catch up for blanking at minimalist challenge. The objective of this tournament was to catch a six fish stringer consisting of a five redfish limit and one bass. I launched from Reggio marina at 5:10 into the darkness the only light was my 360 degree navigation light and a small hand held flashlight. My plan was to paddle a well thought out circuit that covered areas that were really productive in prefishing. Then end up in the area that I had found a school of perfect upper slot reds that I had babysat for a couple of weeks.
The originally planned route ~8.6 mi
  I promptly ditched that plan 5:20 right about the time I made the first left turn. I would like to say that I decided to amend my plan because of the potentially bad weather in the forecast but that is not the case. In fact the weather stayed pretty nice and it only sprinkled once for two minutes. the real reason I deviated from the plan is I am impatient and I could not have focused on fishing the other areas without thinking about the area that was so promising in prefishing. So I called the audible and headed that way.
The improvised path 9 miles of indecision

This was easier said than done because I was navigating in the pitch black. My only reference was the approximate dot on my cell phones maps app. I had done it plenty of times in the daylight but Navigating in the dark was tough. I kept running into thick grass beds that were impossible to see in the darkness and slowed progress to almost a dead stop. I also got turned around once at an intersection and ended up paddling the wrong way for about five minutes. After getting back on track I was constantly scanning my flashlight to ensure I didn't miss my next turn . While scanning I saw two orange reflective eyes of an alligator just in time to see it disappear under the surface directly where I was heading. After passing the gator I was almost at my destination. I made it 6:30 Just as the sun began to lighten the horizon to the east. I started off throwing a Buzzkill 3/8 oz. White as close to the marsh grass as possible and working it back to the Outback.On my third cast 6:45 I threw into a small cove and immediately a large wake grew up behind the bait I could tell this was a nice fish. The Fish followed the lure for what seemed like forever before violently turning away to the right. I quickly grabbed my swimbait and threw in what I thought was the fishes vicinity but it was gone. I was not that upset though because it seemed the fish had stayed put and my gamble to abandon the plan would pay off. I drifted around a point throwing the H&H Cocahoe Minnow and at 6:53 I felt a little bump I set the hook and quickly reeled in an eight inch bass. Normally I wouldn't have thought twice about throwing the little guy back but in Louisiana there is no size limit on bass and because it had the distinction of being the first fish he quickly went on the stringer. I drifted a little further down the same flat into a really weedy area. I pulled the buzz bait back out and casted to a five foot clearing in the weeds. Almost immediately after the buzz bait broke the surface a familiar wake formed and I was hooked up with a twenty inch red not the size I was looking for but a good start. After I removed the hook I noticed that my bait was bent so as I tried to straighten it back out like I always do but it was broken. I tried throwing it broken but it wasn't running correctly so that was the end of the topwater bite. By this time the sun had fully risen and I pulled out my favorite gold spoon and began fishing double speed. I casted near where I previously caught the little bass and hooked up with a eleven inch bass and on the next cast one a little longer but skinnier. I kept both not knowing which one was heavier. I caught a couple more bass but none better than those two all were caught on the gold spoon.

 After catching all those bass I decided to switch to a larger spoon in hopes of catching some bigger reds. I casted five times with the larger spoon when I went to cast and the line popped and the spoon flew 100 yards into the marsh. I tied the small spoon back on and pedaled towards where I had that fish chase the buzz bait earlier and after a couple of casts hooked up on a nineteen inch Redfish. I quickly subdued the fish and put him on the stringer . A couple casts later boom another Redfish crushed the spoon this was a bigger fish who put up a nice fight. I was able to net the fish and it was close so I decided to measure it it was perfect. Twenty five inches on the board and thats when disaster struck the fish flopped back into the water and I watched him swim away in the clear water. I definitely learned my lesson and will be investing in one of these lip grips very soon that will be tethered to my Outback at all times.
After this happened I decided move on to the far bank and as soon as I made it to the other bank I hooked a nice marsh bass. I casted across a point and had a redfish swirl behind my spoon but he didn't hit it . I quickly casted across the same point and hooked up this time on another twenty inch redfish. I quickly fought it in and as soon as it hit the net the hook broke off the spoon. So now I had three smallish reds and it was 10:30 I was just focused on finishing
My six fish stringer 
my limit of redfish. I tied on my last weedless gold spoon and headed to an area I had seen a lot of bait activity at earlier in the day. By this time the tide had fallen a good bit so I began to work the weed line throwing it into the thick stuff and working it out slowly. This quickly yielded me my fourth Redfish 10:48 an exact clone of the one I caught before. I moved twenty feet down the same edge and Number five 10:57 was hooked up all I had to do was get it in the Hobie. When I finally netted the fish I let out a huge sigh of relief and spent a few minutes to reflect on earlier events of the day. I knew my stringer did not consist of the biggest fish but I was proud to have the full six fish stringer to bring to weigh in. I then spent the hour trying to upgrade but I had no such luck and headed in to the launch at 12:00. I go back to the launch at 12:47 and headed down the road to sweetwater marina to await the weigh in which began at two o'clock. A lot of people weighed fish about a third of them had the full six fish stringer. I weighed in at 20.03 pounds and got a bonus pound for filling the six fish limit ending with an 11th place finish. I had a great time and I learned a good bit about tournament fishing that day.The main things are STICK TO YOUR PLAN  If I would have followed my plan I would have covered much more area and my chances of finding the bigger fish would have increased. The second thing I already knew was to Bring multiples of everything redfish are tough and they abuse every aspect of your gear. I started the day with three brand new spoons i now have one without a weed guard and a broken buzzbait. I will now start preparing for boats on the bayou next saturday. I'm not making any promises but I wont be happy with second place plus they have a kayak on the line and I could use a second  kayak.


  1. stick to the plan

  2. Nice Fishing trip. Just got my first Kayak rig ready and thinking of taking it out this weekend to Lafitte

    1. Cool, I have never taken the Yak to laffitte yet. There is a tournament this saturday the 29 on bayou St. John in new orleans. you should come out I will be there and a lot of other guys will be out there it would be a good place to meet some fellow kayakers.

    2. what app are you using to track your location? Does it eat the battery?

    3. To track my path I use My tracks Yes my battery is usually close to dead on the way back.