December 16, 2002
Ed Baumann joined the Ryan Boys at the camp this weekend. The plan was to bring out a couch (graciously donated by Mr. 10%) and to lay carpet. Of course we planned on "a little" fishing too.
We spent Saturday evening at the TBC. There were a lot of mullet in the canal, and we could feel our lures crawling over them as we pulled them along the bottom. I snagged two mullet in the back, thinking I was setting the hook on a trout. But, every 5 minutes or so, we felt that subtle tap that differentiates the predator from the prey, and we put about 10 nice specks in the box.
Back at the camp it was porterhouse steaks, Seven&7's and "The Junction Boys." Whoops of "You Damn Near Killed my Friend!" echoed through the chilly bayou air.
Saturday morning we braved low water and fog. There were so many boats heading for the TBC that it looked like a "gumball rally." We were in second place, but the Triton ahead of us took a wrong turn, and we snuck into the "cat bird seat" and set the anchor. Nevertheless, it was not to be. We were joined by 14 other boats, and the fish would not cooperate. Just a single fat 3lb speck for the cold weather effort.
We snooped around Seveur and Sister Lake before drowning some minnows at "Ace in the" Hole just a stones throw from the camp. Three reds before the gnats came up and ran us in for carpet laying.
A great weekend in which we got a lot of camp work accomplished and still managed a few fish. Camp is officially approved for use by ladies.
December 6, 2002
As the lonely white appliances standing on my dock will attest, I have been more engaged in camp rehab than in marsh exploration since Lily rocked the Ryan boys world. I am torn between erecting a "Stonehenge" monument out of derelict fridges, freezers and dryers, and hauling all that stuff to Dulac.
You are quite sensitive however, as I have been holding out on my fellow Dulargers. I confess that: In between laying carpet and installing a new fridge and satellite system, I made a trip into Sister lake with "The Infamous" Coogan and "Easy" Ed Baumann. We put 18 nice specks in the boat in 1 hour of fishing (all on topwater she dogs). I won't divulge the exact location, but it was flowing water near an island in Sister Lake.
From Capt. Bill's reports of late, it doesn't seem that my meagre experience would have offered much instruction. It seems that seatrout can be taken at about any location in the Dularge estuary. Find clean moving water - just not moving too fast. My fave this time of year is bayou Seveur. Find an intersection and anchor about 20 feet from the bank. Here's the surprise - cast to the middle! Reel in slow. Tap Tap.
November 24, 2002
Coogan and I spent Saturday and Sunday doing repairs on the camp's exterior siding. We got all of the lost and damaged siding replaced, and we spent Saturday night on the Bayou. We built nice fire in the fireplace, and grilled well marinaded sirloins on the BBQ, before retiring to our lawn furniture and scotch. Thankfully, the TV is not yet operational, so we were spared having to watch the Fighting Tigers' floundering "victory" against a game Ole Miss squad. The radio broadcast was an ample affront to my auditory senses.
We did make a quick trip to reacquaint ourselves with the feel of a speck tugging on a Bayou Chub. I am pleased to report that the Bayou Seveuer area is holding specks. A good technique is to anchor on top of the oyster reefs that line Saveur (Especially where intersected by another bayou or canal). Cast out to the middle and reel back slowly. Feel that Tap Tap??
November 4, 2002
On this weeks episode of "This Old Camp," Coogan and I brought out the big guns. Yes, we fired up the pressure washer inside the camp. Taking advantage of the buckled flooring which provided excellent drainage, we were able to get the camp 99% mud free in 4 hours of work. We also sprayed off all of the salvagable furniture, and cleaned off the porch.
I am happy to report that the camp is now "overnight habitable" on a he-man basis. It will take several weeks more work to attract the ladies out, however. Anyone of our regular readers who wish ot help themselves to a complete kitchen full of modern conveniences, you will find a Refrigerator, Washer, Dryer, Dishwasher, and Freezer on the dock for the taking.
We fished in sister lake for half an hour before it got dark. 3 specks on topwaters - all released. I will be happy when the camp is fully operational, and I can redirect my attention to stalking the specks and reds again.
October 21, 2002
Mr. 10% and Robert "The Fly" Lummis joined Coogan and me at the camp this Sunday. I wish I could report that we took advantage of the calm conditions to hunt speckled trout in Lake Mechant, but we spent the afternoon cleaning mud and hauling defunct appliances out of the camp.
The good news is that the power was on and the water pump was operational. We were able to hose out almost all of the mud, and using push brooms and squeegies, we pushed it out through holes in the floor. John and Robert performed more than their share of bitter toil in raking matted marsh grass from under the camp. I figure that one more solid day of work, and the camp will be overnight habitable. We will be looking to lay carpet and replace appliances in the coming weeks.
I can't thank John and Robert enough for their friendship and assistance in doing the dirty work of camp cleanup. Its amazing how a little mud and marsh grass separates the true friends from the hangers on. I can tell you who is going to get the first invites to the newly renovated "Bayou Runs Through It."
Sept. 3, 2002
Dudeman and I hooked up with "The Infamous" and Ken "Clockmaker" Breaux for a Labor Day He-Man trip to the camp. We were not expecting much in the way of fishing, but I was surprised at just how bad it was.
We split up and used two boats to cover ground. Coogan and Ken headed to the coast and Dave and I tried the interior marshes. Unfortuantely, the results were the same: one redfish per boat. Dave and I sat on a little point in Deer Bayou fishing with some fresh shrimp Norris provided and we caught rat reds and puppy drum on almost every cast. Unfortunately, only one fish was big enough for the box. We even tried night fishing under the lights along the bayou, but we only found a school of ten inch specks staked out there. I guess we were lucky to catch enough redfish for the grill.
Personally, I am starting to get a little worried about Dularge fishing. THe Specks are nowhere to be found, and in talking to several shrimpers, there are not many shrimp around either. I poled my skiff into a couple of ponds and found them LOADED with grass. This makes the redfishing difficult. Could it be that the area is in a transition to sweeter water with all the rain we have had? I remember back in the late eighties there was grass so thick that you could hardly get into Bayou Dufresne.
July 20, 2002
An autopsy on this fishing weekend is needed, because as hot as the weather was, the trout fishing was stone cold dead. A sleepy crew of Sherman "the Coroner" Boughton, Wes "Hardhead" Baird, and Derek "I wish I was in" Houston hit the waters of Bayou Dularge at 6:30 Saturday morning.
We tried the usual spots in Sister lake and along the coast with little luck. I really can't explain the lack of fish, since the water was somewhat cloudy but still fishable. AS everybody knows, it was HOT this weekend, with temperatures at the camp hitting 98 in the shade. The water in Sister Lake felt like bath water, and this may have been the culprit for the slow fishing. We limped back to the A/C at the camp with 2 trout in the box.
Saturday afternoon, we hit a favorite spot in Sister lake in what looked like great conditions. There was plenty of water moving with the falling tide, and no wind to speak of. I thought we would pick up a few specks, but was again wrong. Frustrated, I motored south for the Picketts, which are usually a lock for dog day specks.
We spent about 2 hours fishing the Picketts before sunset. There was a gentle current and just a puff of wind, and we were able to use our trolling motor to snoop around several of the wellheads. Despite considerable effort, and even the use of bait shrimp, we could only add another 4 trout to the box. We hooked it up and headed North at sunset, with just enough daylight to see, just enough water in Bayou Dularge to skip across a long mud flat, and just enough fish to feed the four of us supper.
Considering the tough day Saturday, and the way we drowned our sorrows with Canadian Mist on Saturday night, you will not be surprised to learn that we did not rise to the bell Sunday morning and slept in. I did chat with Capt. "Black Drum Bill" Lake at the dock Sunday, and he confirmed my suspicions: no trout to be found anywhere the whole weekend. I did hear rumours of trout being caught at night at the Picketts.
This prediction may prove premature, but I suspect that this heat wave is the last hurrah of the Summer trout season. The dog days of August and September are coming on fast, and I recommend a shift to seeking out redfish in the marsh until the trout come back to the interior lakes and bays.
July 4, 2002
Mr. 10% and myself spent a couple of days Down in Dularge from the 4th to the 6th. We grabbed some handy leftovers from our respective freezers and with a 12 Pack of the High Life, we scrambled down the bayou road in the Jeep.
We arrived late on the 4th, and a quick trip to Mud Lake yielded no action at all. The camps near us, however, were alive with activity. Kids swam and jetskis blazed about (despite some large alligators in the vicinity). McQueen and I were obviously not the only ones who engaged in cocktail hour that evening, as there was much hooting and fireworks. We even saw a Airboat Bowhunting Charter pass the camp (lit up like the you know what).
That night, I did a bit of sleepwalking and managed to get lost in my own camp. All of the hi-junks came to an end at about 2:00 a.m., when I was looking for the bathroom door, but instead pulled a bimini top off the wall directly on to a sleeping Mr. 10%. Needless to say, McQueen was nonplussed (I don't think he ever made t back to sleep)!
We headed straight to the coast on Friday morning. We found the water there a bit cloudy, but fishable. We picked up a couple fish at each of our normal spots, but found no consistent action. I can report that the mullet have showed up en masse, and everywhere we looked there were pods of the smaller ones sneaking along against the tide. We also found some concentrations of the larger mullet being showered by lurking sharks. 16 specks (12-18") went in the box before we headed for the A/C.
I really thought we had struck a vein on Friday evening, as conditions at "Hand Off Reef" were just about perfect. The reef was exposed and the tide was steadily falling thorough the nearby mud flat. We could see lots of bait being very active in the eddies created by the falling tide. Nevertheless, the fish were a bit scattered, and we only added another 6 nice specks to the tally.
One interesting note was a derelict cork that McQueen snagged near the Conservation Camp, and which came with a 20 inch drum attached. The little fellow was lucky enough to break off one angler, but unlucky enough to run into Mr. 10% before he could shake the cork.
Sunday Morning we headed back to the coast and repeated our track from the previous day. The "angry bees" were right behind us, and they shot out of the pass before fanning out in all directions. We went East first, and then headed all the way over to Bayou Goroeu and Pelican Pass. We caught another dozen specks, (none from the West) and were back at the camp for 10:30.
It was a good getaway. We blew off some steam, caught a few fish, and developed our case studies in that most American of film genre, the gangster movie: (Casino and Goodfellas). Till Next time!
June 22, 2002
It has taken me nearly all week to recover from the high times I had last weekend on Bayou Dularge. The assembled throng of He-Men that assaulted the riverine waterways of the Dularge area consisted of: Chappy "Cookie" Hardy, Charile "Trout Slayer" Nelson, Billy "the Fishmaster" Lancaster, Jeff "Duckman" Dye, H.P. Bunker "What kind of boat is that?" White and his son Taylor "It Came from the 80's" White. Of course "The Infamous" one and myself chaperoned this rogues gallery of erstwhile watermen.
We launched on Friday afternoon and heading down the bayou in the early evening, we remarked how dirty the water looked even though it was high tide. Unfortunately, this was a theme to be repeated all weekend. We readied our tackle for the morning as we partook of fabulous fried pork chops and red beans prepared by Chappy. Cocktails and a screening of "Goodfellas" put the crew into full "He-Man" mode.
We woke well before sunrise and were heading across Sister Lake as the sun was just starting to peek above the horizon. I drove our Century, Billy was at the helm of his new Fishmaster, and Bunker guided Coogan in his "Caribbiana." It was nice to see the Coast Guard installed a new nav light at Grand BDL, as this made finding the pass a breeze. We hit a few spots along the coast near the two passes, and Coogan tried his luck with Bunker at the mouth of Grand Caillou. Murky water and no specks.
Pulling up the mental GPS, I led the pack East to the "Double Dog" reef, where Coogan had caught 2 specks on a single top dog last year. The water was slightly cleaner, and we immediately began to hook up 12-15 inch trout on topwaters. After an initial spurt, the action tapered off, but never stopped completely. We bided our time, picking up a fish here and there, trolling about and sweetening our jigs with market bait. Eventually we headed home (a very wet ride into a quartering sea in sister lake) with 15-20 fish per boat, a count I considered excellent for the tough conditions.
After a long nap, we fished without success on Saturday Afternoon. We cleaned fish, and took care of chores. Taylor scuttled about the dock collecting crabs and catching minnows. A couple of lucky throws of the cast net by yours truly yielded about 5 dozen three inch pogies, which Billy nursed through the night. Cocktail hour concluded a Fried Foods Extravagannza, and eight tired anglers hit the rack.
We woke a bit later on Sunday and repeated our game plan. Except this time we headed straight to the "double dog" and picked up the bite where we left it. Another 30 trout went on ice Sunday morning despite a tough Northeast wind.
After cleaning the catch and putting our "Drunken Chickens" on the Old Hickory, Coogan and I guided Taylor and Bunker on a trip to the Pass armed with stout rods and a dozen live crabs. Taylor had done a fine job of catching the crabs, and we were determined to put them to use catching the magnum sized "Bayou Grouper" known to inhabit Grand Pass.
Our first crab went over the side, and as I was setting up a second rig, the first line went down hard. We put Taylor on the bow and he cranked for his life as we enjoyed Coors in the stern and gave the lad some pointers: "KEEP THAT ROD UP!!!. . . .DON'T HOSS HIM!!!. . . .PUT A BEND IN THAT POLE. . . . .NO!! NO!! LET HIM RUN!!!! It was a tough battle, but with a lot of coaching, Taylor landed the great beast after a 15 minute fight. The Bull Drum weighed an estimated 30-35lbs after bottoming the Boga Grip. After a couple of pictures with the conquering hero, we spent a few minutes reviving him and he kicked away wiser but unharmed. I have to say that seeing the smile on that young man's face made the trip for me.
It was a real pleasure having such good company for the weekend. The trip was a success on all fronts: we put plenty of fish in the freezer, ate like kings, shared warm fellowship, and skirted the edges of our He-Man subconscious. Best of all nobody got hurt. We each headed north under a darkening sky, like that old drum: wore out and happy to be headed home.
June 16, 2002
Sophia, Claire and I hot footed it out of New Orleans on Friday afternoon. After fighting through Metairie traffic with the boat in tow, the sights and smells of Bayou Dularge at dusk were cause for instant relaxation.
Saturday morning, I left the camp before dawn. A front had pushed through and the wind was strong out of the Northwest. The tide was low and rising as I drove the Century through the pass at Bayou Dularge and hit the catwalk for a dawn topwater bite. The water was pretty murky, and the tide and wind were opposite, but after ten minutes I found the fish in the bay to the West of the jetty. There were lots of mullet schooling nearby, and for about thrity minutes, I caught a 14-16 inch trout on almost every cast. Its too bad I was fishing by myself, because we could have loaded the box. Untangling treble hooks slowed my progress, but I was still able to ice down a dozen trout. I was soon joined by a three more boats, and though everyone kept a fair distance, the bite slowed. I headed East to try Grand BDL and Caillou. There was not much happening at either spot. I saw a small flotilla of boats at Fish Bayou, but I was enjoying my solitude too much to join them.
Saturday afternoon, I decided to see what was happening in Mechant and Sister Lake. I was surprised to find that despite ideal conditions in Sister Lake, there was only a single redfish to be taken from the conservation camp. I scouted a couple more spots in Sister Lake with limited success.
Sunday morning I hit the snooze on my mental alarm clock and did not roll out of bed until 5:45 a.m. However all I had to do was pull on my shorts, grab two cokes and two beers out of the fridge, and step barefoot onto the boat. One of the great joys of having a camp is that you can be on the water five minutes after you wake up, and be at your favorite oyster reef ten minutes after that. The sun was rising in a wonderful spectacle of purples, golds, and blues, and tide were rising in Sister Lake as I positioned the boat to cast downwind over "hand off reef." Sure enough, the big specks were there, and they began to wreak havoc on my topwater lures.
It was at this point in the trip that a series of small triumphs and tragedies occurred. First there were a couple of huge blow ups on my twitching lure, but no purchase of the hook. After I successfully fought a nice fish to the ice chest, I lost another fish I suspected to be 5 lbs after a 20 second battle. I lost a third nice fish to a straightened split ring on a She Dog. Then three more fat 3lb specks went into the box, after which I spent thrity minutes trying to untangle "the mother of all backlashes" on my newly spooled CT250. I switched to a different rod and watched as another beautiful speck tailwalked across the reef with the plug in his mouth.
The bite slowed as the sun rose. Though I was the only boat in the lake, I was joined by a family of three, who though they trolled over quietly, made a lot of noise once they anchored 30 yards abeam. As I left, I was a bit frustrated at not being able to capitalize on the conditions by landing more fish. However, I focused on the beautiful Father's Day morning, and reflected upon just how much I enjoyed the way those big specks snatch a plug and run with it in shallow water.
I should have headed home at 8:00 a.m. because I did not catch another fish all morning. I also lost a tray full of Top Dog lures, which I suspect bounced out of the boat as I crossed some rough water in the pass at Grand BDL. I soldiered on, but found nothing but chocolate water at the coast, and clear water devoid of fish in Lake Mechant.
It was a good weekend to be Ike Ryan. Sophia and Claire doted on me the whole time, and they prepared the all time #1 camp favorite, roast beef with rice and gravy. I was able to fish as much as my heart's desire, and the solitude allowed for much contemplation, We broke camp on Sunday tired but happy. Ike.
May 26, 2002
I spent the Memorial Day weekend in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Sunday morning, Stew Bob and I took a jaunt across Mississippi Sound to the north point of Chandeleur. I really did not think I was still in Louisiana. THere were grass flats visible 6-8 feet deep, and white sandy beaches. Big mullet (REALLY BIG) were schooling along the shore, but I did not find any trout with them.
It was still a little rough to wade in the surf, so we tried the backside of the island with poor results. I will need to do some research on how to catch trout in that gin clear water out there. Is there such a thing as too clear water for trout? It was just beautiful.
On the way in we stopped at Isle Au Pitre and I caught a half dozen nice trout on top dawgs. The water was not nearly as clear there, and I think that resulted in the better results. It was a great day on the water, Thanks Stew!
April 14, 2002
Booker T Dogg and I skipped town Friday at 4pm and drove East down HWY 90 in the Jeep, top down, radio blaring, and visions of thick pre-spawn trout jumping and flashing in the clear mullet-infested waters dancing in our heads.
A quick stop at Nana and Paw's in Houma where we hooked up the 14 foot Jon and headed South. Once again, the sun set off my right shoulder as I left Kenny's launch and took my first sweet sip of Miller High Life. The cool evening air coupled with the smells of the brine mixing with the marsh swirled around me, and as usual, I was overcome by a sense of peace and purpose. Dularge is definitely my happy place, and a trip down the Bayou is always an "attitude adjustment" for me.
Saturday morning found hordes of anglers shooting down the bayou and fanning out like angry bees. The long winter, extended by a few untimely Spring fronts, had obviously caused a lot of pent-up fishing energy waiting for a window of calm winds to break loose. Boats of all descriptions buzzed about from point to island to cove to bayou all day.
I headed to my favorite topwater flat, and put a handful of specks in the boat in several hours fishing. Fishing was slow at first, but I did not have to measure any of the trout; they were all fat and healthy specimens, readying themselves for the spawn. The noon hour found me in Sister Lake near a submerged shell reef, and it was there that I managed to put about ten fat specks in the boat on topwater lures. The fish were all between 14-20 inches and a couple were near 3 lbs.
After a siesta, I was pleased to find that the mullet had finally shown up at my favorite flat in Lake Mechant. I eased the trolling motor over the side and began to work the fringes of the bait with a black and chrome Top Dog.
Unfortunately, the peaceful scene was interrupted by an idiot in a new 21 foot Century Bay boat with a 200 HPDI Yamaha. These knuckleheads roared through the flat, wide open, before running his motor through the mud for 40 yards. These two then clunked the trolling motor over and fished without success for 20 minutes before losing interest. Gee, I wonder why those big specks wouldn't bite? Well, Mr. Century, if you are reading this, you should know that I waited 40 minutes for things to settle down and the water to clear, and then I started picking up big redfish and speckled trout from the spot that you ran wide open through. If you had paid any attention, you would have seen that you spooked a huge school of mullet on that flat. If you had had common courtesy, and any fishing sense, we could both have worked the fringes of the school with good results.
Sunday was a bit more difficult. I tried Sister Lake again with mixed results. A spot that is usually a lock on a high tide was completely devoid of bait and trout. I fished it for an hour before finally giving up the ghost and heading South. The highlight of the trip was a fat 4lb trout that smashed my Top Dog on Sunday morning. I had a heck of a time landing that fish by myself, having to fight the fish with one hand while dealing with the trolling motor, anchor, and net. I had cleaned about 15 trout the night before, and the larger ones were full of eggs. So, I decided to release this big girl after a quick look. She was the only trout there that morning.
I headed to the far North of my range to try a spot suggested by "The Guru of Du," Capt. Bill Lake. (Capt. Bill was not only so good as to point me in the right direction, but he also picked up a bag of those 4 inch Bayou Chubs for me.) Once there, however, my fishing was confounded by a slack tide. I only boxed three 15 inch trout befor calling it a day and breaking camp. Total tally for the trip was 18 trout from 1.5 -4lb and three large redfish (released).
I have to say that while it is much more fun to have company at the camp, I could not have passed on this weekend. The weather was so nice, and it had been so long since I had watched the specks popping by Top Dogs, that I was willing to tolerate my own company for 48 straight hours. As many of my friends can attest, that is no small feat! Till next time, catchem up!
April 1, 2002
It was a strange and wonderful Easter weekend down in Dularge. Sophia, Claire and I were joined by Mr. Ten Percent and Andy and Paige Katz. We caught just enough trout on Friday afternoon to have a great fish fry as we inhaled 20lbs of crawfish from Cannatas'. Saturday morning, the South wind abated, but we were unable to take full advantage of the lull, only putting a few nice fish in the boat, including a 20 inch speckled trout that came in on a topwater.
The highlight of the trip was our most unusual catch of all. We were working Top Dogs over a shallow oyster reef in Mud Lake when we had two huge blow ups! We could tell by the sickle fins slashing through the water, and by our peeling drags that these were no ordinary marsh fish. Thirty minutes later Mr. 10% brought to color a 25 lb. PACIFIC YELLOWFIN TUNA on 12lb test. I brought in another of these great fighters a few minutes later, and we posed for a shot on the bow of the Bay Boat. "Just look at those yellow fins!"
I have to admit that the Pacific Yellowfin does not make as good sushi as their Gulf cousins. Even though we bled them immediately, and dosed them with wasabi and soy sauce, they still tasted a bit fishy. I guess that they must have been eating some oily pogies and mullet on their trip through the Panama Canal. But hey, how often do you get to have a fresh sushi meal Down in Dularge?
We hid Easter eggs and made a trip way back in the marsh on Sunday. The wind was so strong, we sought refuge far from the usual springtime spots. Oddly, we still found some big trout far back in a wintertime hole. McQueen won the rodeo with a 4.25 lb trout on a white and red Top Dog Jr.
After Easter dinner we broke camp and headed home, but one more unusual sight awaited us. About 5 miles from Houma we saw a pair of bald eagles in a field on the side of Highway 315. We pulled over and Mr. 10% snapped a couple of pictures. These beautiful birds put the exclamation point on a unusual and fun Easter weekend. Ike
March 9, 2002
Friday, I arrived home to find my vigilant neighbor, Jefferson putting a collar on a would-be blonde burglar. Turned out that "the Infamous" Coogan was trying to figure out how to gain entry to my basement to store some furniture, but Jeff did not recognize Coogan due to recent questionable alterations to his hair color.
After a good laugh, McQueen, Coogan and I hot footed it down to Dularge, but we still had to run the bayou in the dark. Jambalaya and boiled crawfish from Cannatas was dinner, and Mr. 10% brought two tapes of "the Sopranos" for our entertainment.
Tough fishing in decent conditions Saturday. It wasn't as windy as forecast, but we did not find any trout in our usual spring haunts in Mechant or Sister Lake. Luckily, we had some bait shrimp and managed to catch some drum for the grill at our new "ace in the hole" spot a stones throw from the camp. The Girls joined us Saturday afternoon, and we spent the rest of the day on camp maintenance, and the evening eating pork tenderloin, rice, and camp brownies whipped up by Sophia and Nicole.
Sunday was a total wash. The wind howled from the north all night long, and when we woke, the bayou was the lowest I have ever seen it. The boat was sitting high and dry in its slip, and I wondered if we were going to have to extend our stay. Luckily, the tide came in a few hours after noon, and we were able to escape.
Feb 2, 2002
Superbowl XXXVI drew sports fans of all types to the Big Eazy this weekend, and my good friend Dave "Dude" Towers came to town for some fishing and football. The fates smiled on Dude in many ways, starting with a nice trip down to Dularge for some Redfish with Mr. 10%.
We arrived at the camp Friday afternoon, and after thawing some of the stinkiest freezerburned bait shrimp, we were anchored up not 200 yards from the camp. Although the wind was screaming out of the north and the tide was at its ebb, a nice mess of drum and redfish found our shrimp tipped jigs and then the bottom of the ice chest. We had caught plenty of "redfish on the half shell" and court-boullion for our supper, and based on a tip from Capt. Bill Lake (a/k/a the "Gu of Du"), we headed out to the inland canals.
Mr. 10% was fired up as we fished about 40 minutes way back in the marsh. He put all 5 of our trout in the boat. I was a bit distracted and kept thinking about that warm fire and court boullion that awaited us back at the camp. We headed for home, putting the minnow traps out in the only pond I knew that still held water.
Saturday Morning we discovered the minnow traps full of about 70 hearty Cocahoe minnows (a/k/a "Redfish Crack"). Energized by this infusion of live bait, we stopped at our lazy spot near the camp and drowned those minnows. Strangely, the Cocahoes did not work their usual magic, and we only picked up a bunch of rat reds wit a few keepers mixed in.
Off we went to the inner marshes, where we again ran into the esteemed Capt. Lake, who was catching and releasing reds after a successful morning. We worked our way through the canals and steadily filled our chest with redfish and specks. We kept two limits of reds and about ten trout before the water became silty and we headed back to the camp.
It was a great way to begin what turned out to be an incredible weekend. We kicked around the quarter for a bit and ran into the Hon. Rudy Guiliani on his way to mass at St. Louis. In yet another mindbending turn of luck Dude then parlayed three hands of blackjack at Harrahs into tickets for him and Ralph at the Superbowl. Mr. 10% and I finished up watching what was the best Superbowl ever as we and our ladies dined on fresh redfish filets.
Mr. 10% and his spouse (Mrs. 10%) joined Sophia, Claire and me on a Dularge trip this weekend. We narrowly avoided a rainstorm on the way down, and we watched with some disbelief as as many as four boats anchored up across the Bayou from us in the pouring rain. We figured that they were catching reds on an oyster reef there on the falling tide, but we were happy to be warm and dry as we watched from the porch. Capt. Bill Lake came through with some very damp Georgia anglers who had apparently had enough, and they beat a hasty departure for the landing.
Saturday afternoon, McQueen and I tested the water back in Bayou Dufresne, where we were run out of some canals by duck hunters. We ran from there through Deer Bayou and into the Outlaw Dam area. From there we tried L'eau Dulce before heading home in frustration. We picked up a single trout all afternoon, and found the water cold and muddy in most spots. Still, we found consolation in watching Claire play in front of a warm fire as the NFL playoffs aired in the background.
Sunday morning we made a late start at about 8:00 a.m. The first spot we fished was not 200 yards from the camp as we anchored at the same spot we had seen being fished the day before. Sure enough the first few casts of bait shrimp under a cork produced keeper sized redfish and black drum. We put four of each in the boat in the first half hour of fishing before they tailed off and we left to find some trout.
Ike's Dularge Reports 2002