Paddle Palooza Week Part 3&4

Friday I woke up way too early and drove to grand isle to prepare for paddlepalooza the oldest kayak fishing rodeo in louisiana. The drive down there was full of optimism and wonder of how the weekend would unfold. Driving over the new elevated highway one at sunrise and being able to see the picturesque surrounding marsh was a great way to start the weekend. Too bad I didn't take an actual picture this one is close.
The morning looked like this minus the big boat
I arrived at my launch location around 8 o'clock and the water looked just as promising in real life as it did from google earth. When I got there I was greeted by two other kayakers who must have seen the fishability of the area. We quickly went our separate ways as I turned off into a smaller feeder bayou that led to a pond where I knew I could find some redfish and they lingered in the larger bayou . There was lots of action in the water and as soon as I turned into the bayou I was greeted by a 50 pound black drum swimming with its back out of the water.  The activity continued as I moved down the bayou towards the pond ,and Bait was everywhere and I could see mullet and shrimp everywhere along the bank. Soon after I entered the pond I spooked a pair of redfish signalling I was in the right spot. I began pitching the inline spinner and a couple minutes later I had an encounter with a very angry redfish. I saw it cruising about 40 yards to my right so I put a perfect cast in front it hit the lure but came up short. Instead of disappearing it just stopped after missing and I cast again it hit the spinner even harder this time but still didn't hook up. I casted at it one more time and it struck again but evaded the hook. After the third time he decided to go on his way ,and I told him I would be back tomorrow. I then paddled down the bank and spooked a couple of more single fish and then I saw a school of 4 perfect slot fish and decided not to cast. At the exit of the pond I casted at a bull red but it was spooked by the lure. Since I saw a few reds I decided to look for some areas where the trout would be after the initial top water bite slowed down. I scanned the map on my phone and headed toward where two  major bayous intersected. I tossed out a popping cork and quickly the cork was pulled under and I had a trout on. It shook off but I was happy I could catch a speckled trout with relative ease. After 10 more minutes of popping the cork with a couple of fruitless takedowns I headed back to the launch. Around 12 o'clock I loaded up the Outback and proceeded to drive around the area taking in the sights. After taking a break and eating lunch I launched again at 3 o'clock at a new location further up the road . I crossed a large pond and when i made it to the cut to go deeper into the marsh it was only two inches deep and I got stuck in the mud. I pushed through and came to a pond where it was deep enough for me to float there were reds crawling around in less than 6 inches. I cast to of the five or six I saw and quickly hooked one which on the inline spinner. Fighting redfish in skinny water is much different than in deeper water because they take long drag stripping runs rather than seeking shelter in the depths. This fish was powerful and it took two long runs to the edges of the small pond finally got the fish in the boat it was a nice 23 inch redfish I quickly released it. I got off the water around five o'clock and headed to walmart for some last minute supplies. There I happened to run into Dwayne in the parking lot who was also doing some last minute shopping. He had some experience fishing on the island so I decided to call an audible and follow him out to his launch on tournament day After the shopping trip we headed to the captains meeting/pre party the night was great fun and I got a chance to chat with a lot of the guys I see on the Bayou Coast forum I left at 10 pm and headed to my accommodations for the night the parking lot for bridge side marina.

Tournament day dwayne and I woke up at 3:45 and  headed to the launch area, After a conversation I decided that we would try and catch a big trout early at his area and maybe a flounder then we would split up and try to find the remaining fish in another spot. I fished hard from 5:00 til about 8:30 in this area and the only action was a  bull red that didn't commit. So at  8:30 I packed up and headed to the area I had pre fished. I launched my outback and peddled full speed  when I made the first left I cast my popping cork  and quickly caught a ten inch speckled trout. I tried for a while longer but couldn't get anymore takers so I moved on to the pond where I saw the all reds the day before. I ventured in casting parallel to the shoreline with no luck. I finally made it to a small cut where I casted my inline spinner and I cranked two times and my inline spinner was engulfed by a large redfish.I was hooked up with a 30 inch redfish that towed me around for about five minutes. That was a lot of fun but not what I needed on tournament day I quickly released it to fight another day. The exit of the pond had some good water movement and I tried for a speckled trout my cork quickly dissapeared. This fish was fighting pretty good and I was thinking it felt a little like a flounder my hopes were high.The fish turned out to be a 12 inch hardhead catfish rounding out the worst tournament day slam you could hope for. I knew it wasn't my day but I continued to push on as it was only 12:30 and I had until 4 o'clock to fish. At this point I changed my focus from a slam to catching a upper slot red  this would be more likely than catching three species especially the elusive flounder. So with a new objective I headed to a series of shallow ponds in search of redfish. I tied on my go to gold spoon and started casting to likely spots. Almost Immediately I had a fish following but I jerked the spoon out of its mouth .The only other fish I had that day followed forever only to not strike it. Overall it was a bad day for me but a couple of people had success and six of them caught a flounder I cant wait for next year and redemption . Paddlepalooza taught me a few things like wear sunscreen and proper protective clothing. I ended up with a sun burn in the back of my head because I was wearing a trucker hat with the mesh back. Also my preparation will begin far in advance next time and I vow to catch a flounder next year.
fishscale,fishxscale,bull red
Similar redfish to the one I caught during paddlepalooza
I hate not having anything to weigh.

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