I wish that I could report that the conditions eventually swung into our favor, but that was not the case. As a matter of fact, most would argue that it got worse. Morale was low for some of the Cali guys as the struggle was most definitely real. Even the seasoned pros were struggling to find the fish and if you could find them… staying on them was the next game that you had to master.
Wednesday 11/18 – 25+ mph winds
We woke up to howling winds, I mean it was ripping. Just about everyone questioned their desire to get up, get ready and fight the wind AGAIN. I will say this; most of the group had a strong will to push on through… I was not one of them on Wednesday. A handful of us decided to stay back and do a bit of work instead of fighting the wind.
However team #nevergiveup continued to grind. The Cali guys started getting on fish. Each respective group reported catches signaling that better times might be ahead. NOPE… mother nature was relentless and kept throwing high winds at us.
At least this time around fish were caught and the Cali boys were finding success. With team fish/catch photos and lots of fish to fillet… this without a doubt boosted morale in camp which led to a lot of whiskey drinking and good eats. Well truth be told… no matter what we did led to a lot of whiskey drinking and good eats.
Thursday 11/19 – 20+ mph winds
Soooo… like out of a story book we woke up at the crack of dawn to low winds which felt like NO WINDS compared to the last few days. All of us were well rested and ready to make the most of our last day of fishing in southern Louisiana.
Once again we staggered our launches and launched all 18 anglers into an area of the marsh that had proven to be successful and full of fish. We quickly spread out and started to get skinny. Everyone found an inlet, cut or pond with the right falling tide conditions and just killed it.
Brian Nelli reported in early with multiple large trout caught and a bunch of redfish. This was the sign that we were about to have a good day. As I drove up an inlet I spotted a small pond with clean water and all of a sudden I saw a bunch of mud come up signaling that there was a good sized fish there. I aimed, threw and missed horribly. I reeled in and re-casted and put it where the fish had no choice but to eat it. And just like that… I had my first sight casted redfish on a kayak. My homie Brooks Beatty was on the scene with the camera and coached me into landing it myself. I almost made the mistake to net the fish before the fight was over… thanks for the advice Brooks! More to come on this! And as I suspected I would… I landed the fish on a Buggs Fishing Beastie Bugg 1/4 oz. (Blue Crab). It was so sweet I had to text Heath Hippel (owner of Buggs Fishing) and say thanks for making this possible. I kept the lure and brought it home for the mantle.
The low winds didn’t stick around for long, our window was tiny but we took advantage of it. The stupid high winds picked back up and eventually flushed us out of the marsh into a large opening and we all eventually ended up together as if it were planned. A super cool way to end the trip… basically all of us together sharing fish stories and talking about how they sight casted a fish.
Bottom line… our team caught fish. Our team figured out the extremely tough conditions with the help of some seasoned professionals and a relentless desire to catch fish, despite the challenges.
I was surrounded by incredible people that refused to quit… what an honor that was.