Bayou Dularge 1999 Reports
A wonderful weekend was had on Bayou Dularge by myself and "The Infamous" Coogan Ryan. We scrapped our planned 3:00am departure time, and left New Orleans at 1:30 a.m. Down to Dularge, got the boat out of Mr. Lovell's shed without getting shot at, boat in the water for 3:30. Down the bayou in the dark and got the decoys from the camp. Then on to the lease, where we dropped the pallet in a likely spot on an island on the north edge of a pond.
I barely got the jon boat back to the bayou through the ever dropping water and paddled back in the pirogue. Decoys out. I'm paddling back to the blind when the first duck plops down in the Decoys. We were too busy messing with our gear to shoot him. Lots of shooting around us as the sun came up. We shot 3 ducks the first hour. 1 grey, one blue-wing, one hooded bugger with a white mask.

Back at the camp, we had forgot to bring any provisions other than Coors. Managed to find some jambalaya mix and some bait shrimp in the freezer. Made "Ike's famous" bait shrimp jambalaya. Drank Coors.

Sunday Morning we were more prepared but is was so foggy, we didn't even see a duck until 9:30. After it cleared up, we started getting the hang of it better - -waiting for the ducks to get in really close. It was awesome watching a flight of about 8-10 grey ducks coming straight at the hole in the decoy spread right in front of the blind. Coogan and I waited and waited. . . the ducks got lower and lower . . and we stood up and blasted three shots each into the flock. With all that No 4 steel flying. . .not one dropped. We had a good laugh at that, as it reminded me of a scene from Pulp Fiction. Got two more grey ducks on Sun. Went redfishing. . .
10lb red by Coogan. Found schoolie specks absolutely crazy in Mechant. For 20 minutes they were fighting each other to hit every conceivable lure we could throw. Just as a joke I started throwing a bare jighead - -three casts, three keeper specks. A wonderful weekend on the Bayou, and a memorable first time duck hunt for the Ryan Boys.

Fished Sunday out of Bayou Dularge with Jason "Muskie-master" Schoenfeld. Jason is from Wisconsin, so I thought I'd give him a trip to the coastal marshes so he could see what Louisiana fishing was all about. We fished in Lake Mechant from one end to the other, and only managed to find small trout feeding sporadically. The wind was a little higher than i'd like to see, but at least it kept the gnats off. We fished chartreuse sparkle beetles under a popping cork and put 17 keepers in the boat. Probably threw twice that many back which were too small. The water in Mechant was pretty clean considering the wind, and if this weather keeps up, it is going to be a banner year for inside fishing. All in all a beautiful day on the water. P.S. Saw lots of ducks in the Mechant area and back in Bayou Fred/Deer Bayou.

Labor Day 1999
A nice long Labor Day weekend at Paw Paw's fishing camp on Bayou Dularge, Louisiana. Sophia, ZZ, John "Ten Percenter" McQueen fished the bays and passes near Bayou Dularge.

Sunday, McQueen and myself caught 30 keeper specks at the mouth of Grand BDL and Bayou Grand Cailliou. We also picked our way through numerous speck throwbacks at Pelican Pass. It was HOT and slick calm. McQueen lost a beautiful redfish (and his Ghost topwater) when the wily beast wrapped himself first around an oyster stake and then the foot of the motor. That fish would really have made for a great morning, but it just was not to be. Sunday afternoon we took the ladies out for an afternoon trip, and found a few schoolies in Mud Lake.

Monday, we headed down to the passes again, and we had a few spurts of activity at Pelican. We waited and waited, but the tide never turned to go out. I had a feeling that the fish were just waiting for that tide to turn to start a riot. We didn't have time to wait them out, but went home with about 20 in the chest. A highlight was catching a nice 22 inch red on a "Halloween" Top Dog, Jr. I was yelling "look for the STAR tag!!!!" as it was the last day to win one of those new boats, but to no avial. The red was tagless. I still love the seeing that bronze flash when a redfish surges onto a topwater lure. It's comparable to the rush you feel when you get handed a Penn 50 with a big Tuna on the other end. If you haven't tried redfishing with Topwater lures - Do it!! Today!

All in all, it was an excellent weekend at the camp. Can't wait for that first autumn front at start moving the specks back into the lakes and bayous of South Terrebonne Parish.

July 4 1999
Spent the long weekend down in Dularge with Miss Sophia and the "Infamous" Coogan Ryan. Too windy to even fish Mechant on Sat. Woke up early Sunday, and crossed Sister Lake then down to the rocks at the mouth of Grand Bayou Dularge. Caught several nice specks on my new favorite lure, the Top Dog Jr. THe biggest went about 3.5#. Coogan Jigged up a couple reds along with half a dozen specks. Once the sun was up it was down the coast to Pelican Pass, which had surprisingly few boats in it for a holiday weekend. About 3 minutes into our drift, BAM! the specks were on! We spent the next hour and a half puttinng thirty 16-22 inch specks in the ice chest, as they were more than satisfied to chomp the sparkle beetles under a popping cork we served up. We had to pick up some friends at the landing and bring them back to the camp at 11:00 am, so we had to leave them biting.
At 10:20 Coogan says, "OK, Just one more Cast . . ." In typical fashion, the drag on his Zebco 888 began singing like a dozen cats inside a clothes dryer. How Fortuitous! Coogan had hooked into something quite large! Spent the next twenty minutes watching this unknown fish circle the boat before it revealed its identity as a 40 inch redfish. Why this bull red decided to hit that tiny sparkle beetle, I don't know. But it earned him a trip into the world of humankind for a quick picture before he was revived and sent back into the pass.

We retrieved our guests, Wes and Beline, and of course beelined it back to the pass, only to find it blown out. Fished around the island, catching a few here and there. Something big cut an 18 inch trout in half right behind the gills as Wes reeled it in. At about 6:00, it calmed down and we found the same trout on their evening bite. Another 20 in the box. Monday Morning - Pelican Pass, where else. THis time Miss Sophia and Paw Paw wanted to get in on the hot speck action. THe fish didn't disappoint, and we caught another 40 or so before the t-storms ran us back to the camp. All in all, a Great 4th Of July!

June 1999?
Fished Dularge on Saturday with a fellow Dularger, and Topwater Fanatic, John McQueen of Baton Rouge. We got an early start and fished topwater lures with success near the passes at the mouth of Grand Bayou Dularge. I caught a 4 lb. speck who smashed my Top Dog Jr., even though we later found he had a 5 inch Croaker already in his stomach - Greedy! John put a lot of really nice specks in the box on a Chartreuse Top Dog, but when the sun got 30 degrees above the horizon, the topwaters lost effect. We motored down the coast to Pelican Pass, and tried various jigs before tying on the "Old Faithful" Popping cork with Chartreuse Beetle (As you can see we're not "topwater snobs"). After that it was pretty much nonstop specks (Albeit with 50% throwbacks). Ended up with about 30 nice specks before the T-Storms chased us in. Not a bad day at all.

Fished Bayou Dularge with the "infamous" Coogan on Saturday (Coogan's birthday). As everybody knows, it was WINDY. We managed to find a few Reds and Specks in the coves along the south shore of Lake Mechant. We used a variety of tackle: chartreuse beetles under a cork, tuxedo cocahoe minnows, and
topwater lures. Water was VERY high, and we got back into some duck ponds, only to find one lonesome redfish. The marsh was flooded and we figured that the reds were back in the grass rather than in the ponds themselves.

Highlight of the trip for me was seeing a huge explosion right under my twitching Top Dog, Jr., which I was "walking" near a small patch of marsh grass in Lake Mechant. The water was clear enough for me to see three redfish swimming in tandem, and I knew one of them had a treble hook in him somewhere. Well that red peeled about 60 yards of line off and I wondered if he would ever stop, or if he would just keep going till he hit the Gulf. He made several fantastic runs, before he tired out and came to the boat ten minutes later. By my estimation he went about 14 lb., easily the biggest redfish I've ever caught on the "inside," and my first on a topwater lure. We put about 20 specks in the ice chest also - some went 20 inches but most were about 15 inches- the bigger ones hit the Top Dog and a Swim-n-image. Very few throw backs. Although it was not a "load the boat" kind of trip, we felt pretty good considering the conditions.

I took my two young cousins for a weekend at my Grandparents' fishing camp on Bayou Dularge. We arrived Saturday at around noon and were greeted by howling winds and 2 foot whitecaps in Mud lake. Ever the hardhead, we looked for fish in the deeper holes around Deer Bayou, but the water was the color of Swiss Miss hot chocolate. Pretty much the same thing on Saturday, except it was about 20 degrees colder. We did not get one Bite! To top it all off, My grandparents had to give the "you should have been here Friday before the front - we caught a limit each in about 3 hours." Oh well, A nice warm fire, a glass of scotch, and plenty of rice and gravy make for a great weekend without any fish.