Golden Meadow Smack Down The Prefish

This was the result of the close encounter.
This past weekend I fished the golden meadow smack down tournament  it was the fourth out of five in the angler of the year series . I had never fished in golden meadow so after reading every report I could find and scouring Google earth for some promising areas. I decided launch at the golden meadow public launch. I figured it would give me the best chance of filling the three speckled trout requirement for the tournament. I headed down early the friday before to get a feel for the area and do a little prefishing. My goal for prefishing was simply to move a lot and not really wear the fish out in one particular area but see what I could catch and where they were staged. I launched around 6:30 and began navigating the unfamiliar marsh making note of the land marks like the water tower so that I would be able to navigate my way home if something happened to my phone. My first cast was into some broken marsh a pretty nondescript piece of marsh I had walked my skitterwalk within 2 feet of the boat when I was startled by a 30 inch red blowing up. I crossed the bayou and sent out a long search cast that when I worked it back intersected with a small island and the mouth of a nice 23 inch redfish. If I could keep catching reds this size  and at this rate victory was almost  guaranteed.But they slowed a little and turned my sights to the speckled trout.
mid range slot red.
The keys to finding trout are find one or more of these three things bait,clean water,and or moving water. I was able too find two of these things a little bait and the wind was blowing the water around a point. I stated about 100 yards off the point casting towards the shoreline immediately I began
receiving hits from little trout . I even hit this trout that was able to escape but left its eye behind. I finally found the sweet spot and was able to land a couple of decent keeper specks. That bite soon faded and I was left to find a more reliable bite. I then began drifting to see if I could find some productive oyster beds. There are some nicely marked  reefs that produced lots of small trout and gaff-topsail catfish. The popping cork caught the small trout and catfish but I was able to catch my keepers on a mirrodine and tight lining plastics on the edges of the reefs. After catching a bunch of trout and getting pretty comfortable with finding them i went back to red fishing where I was able to catch a couple more upper slot reds and another 31 inch bull.

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