Thursday, November 13, 2014

....needs a pinch of salt (part 2)

I decided to sleep in on Tuesday.  The 6 hour drive, fishing, and making camp on Monday had me moving a little slow, but I wasn't lacking motivation.  I knew my fishing time was limited, only 2 days, so I prepared an extra cup of coffee Monday morning when I left home at 12am.  I left it in my truck all day and night.  It was cold but drinkable on Tuesday morning...that saved me at least 10 mins.  Grabbed a bagel, lunchable, water, some granola bars (nothing sexy...just calories) and I was driving out of the GI state park in 5 mins...almost, I got stopped by some friendly kayakers who I wanted to know where I caught my specks.  After a brief conversation, always willing to share my experiences with other friendly yakers, I was on the road and headed to a new spot, someplace I had no experience.

Started nice and sunny.  That changed.

I could see the clouds moving in fast and knew sight fishing would be limited today.  But within 10 mins I spotted a red crashing bait, it took 2 casts and fish in the net.  CPR'd and moving...

Clouds made it too dark to sight fish
Covered about a mile before I stopped at a fishylookn spot, it was too dark to sight cast, so I searched with a spinnerbait with TTF killer flats minnow.  Blind cast a point and hooked up.  I could tell it was a speck by the head shake.  Surprised by the result, I repeated, and agian...nice speck.  Time for an audible...can't sight fish and the specks are aggressive.

I must have got lost in the fish'n because all of a sudden I was surrounded my birds...not sure if I drifted into them or they converged on me.  But for the next 2 hours I caught about 2 limits of keeper specks...all 12-15".  Not many undersized, and it was cast after cast.  They only wanted the SB with flats minnow in purple/chart.  I tried jigging on the bottom and swimming in various colors.

The specks had these falling out of their mouths

Just a few of the birds and you can see the specks busting the top (top right in pic) 

At 9:30 they moved on and so did I.  Went look'n for reds in the dark.  It started really slow, I found a few but spooked them b/c I was sitting on them.  Like typical reds, they panic and torpedo my kayak...

It took an hour or so, but the clouds dispersed some and the sun made sight fishing an option.  I located a great flat that was almost void of water.  It had a canal running through it and I could see reds cruising it, searching for something to eat.  No worries I got what ya need...

What I'm look'n for as a sight fisherman

Didn't take long to get one in hand.  A few others followed.  It was turning out to be a great day.

30" baby bull
Found this baby bull crashing bait along a grass line.  I got really excited and accidentally put the spoon in the grass.  Knowing I only had 1 chance, I tried to slowly pull it came out like a bullet...heading right at the big landed and the red turned.  I expected to see the torpedo maneuver.  However, it torpedoed the spoon...I wasn't prepared and had to reel in my slack before I could set.  Again, despite my best effort, sometimes they just want to be caught.

High and Dry - He was mud wrestling some shrimp...not even sure he was in the water. 

As I was landing this guy.  My wife text me, reminding me to check in every once in a while.  I sometimes forget to do that...So I get the phone out and send the "I'm living them dream, thx for being awesome" reply.  I hear a sound behind be...think'n it's a red I turn to take it's pic b/c that seems cool, right?!  SURPRISE...he didn't stop there.  He kept getting closer and closer.  Not sure if he wanted a ride or the red.

Glad it wasn't a gator

Another baby bull

The day really changed when the sun came out.  I could clearly see the reds and they were feeding.

He was just hang'n out on the bottom, not moving...dorsal fin was high and dry.
I ran across the above red sitting in about 6"s of water (pic below).  I was cruising along looking for reds when I nearly torpedo'd him.  I had to rapidly and quietly deploy my poor man's power pole.

Poor man's power pole.  Just dig in and hold on.  Warning - blisters usually accompany multiple uses.

Stumbled upon another big red crashing bait.  I took my time and put the spoon way ahead of it and waited until it got about 2 ft from it.  I lifted it up and started swimming it...BAM...I guess I didn't see this little guy and he got there first.  The big red swam around my kayak a few times as I was releasing his little brother.  Not sure if he was waiting on him or mocking me.  Good times!!

  That was was it, last fish for the day.  It was another great trip in a special place.  On the way home I drove through Rayville, LA and was greeted by this:

Every utility pole in town had a flag - that's cool

Being a veteran, I certainly noticed.  Well done Rayville.


  1. Looks like a great time to me! I hear you on the sleeping in part. I was supposed to go out early this morning but its 18* out right now so I am going to let it warm up a touch. Where are you located? Pictures remind me of the Jacksonville area.

    1. 18...ouch. That's a snooze button start for sure. I'm located in SE Ark, right on the LA/AR line above Monroe, LA.