Hunt for Red October

After a fun-filled Saturday replete with college football and backyard burgers, how does one spend a crisp, sunshiny October Sunday afternoon? Looking for redfish in the Mississippi marshes.

The Professor has been doctoring up his skiff recently, adding latch systems in the front and back so he can use coolers as casting and poling platforms.

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We cruised around for a couple of hours, ever stealth and vigilant, but the only thing we saw were sting ray and some blue stone crabs. Hmmm….this was starting to feel like our last Mississippi redfish outing, sans the flounder and spanish mackerel.

Just when we were thinking of picking up and running to a new area, the Professor spotted a wake and poled me closer. For the first time all day I felt a little bumpety-bump-bump tugging on my fly. A fish was following it, but we never connected. Nonetheless it was just the bumpety-bump-bump we needed to reinvigorate our focus. And in a flash I saw what we were really looking for – a tail. A sure enough redfish tail. Now I have been known to “see” things on the water when I am really looking. I can turn birds into tarpon and leaves into trout and dandelion puffs into PMDs. But there was absolutely no doubt in my mind. I saw a redfish tail.

The Professor did not see it but luckily he believed me and poled me over there while I organized my fly line which seemed to have a magnetic attraction to every hook and buckle in the vicinity of my casting deck. No more tails, no wakes. The redfish must have sunk below the surface but we were convinced he was still in the vicinity. I sent a few depth charging blind casts in and Wodka! Hooked up with this little guy.


So fun. We persevered and spotted some big reds crashing on bait fish way up in some narrow finger inlets, but they shot out of there like torpedos faster than I could put a cast on them. Pretty cool nonetheless.

It was a gorgeous day and all-in-all a great success. The new casting/poling platforms worked out perfectly. I took my hand at the push pole for a bit and have confirmed that I want to learn how to pole a skiff (seems like a good skill to have when I defect to the Keys.) We also got the stink off my new Hatch reel and the Professor’s TFO 8-weight. Breaking new ground left and right.

A very good way to spend a beautiful autumn Sunday.

7 Responses to “Hunt for Red October”
  1. Brad says:

    Sweet! I’m going to head down to Venice, LA this coming spring for some of that. I like his set up with the Yeti coolers. That’s a great idea.

  2. Melissa says:

    My fishing/casting/poling knowledge is so limited (actually, non-existent) that I know better than to chime in about that. But look how cute you two are in your matching pole-platform outfits! That’s a Banana Republic catalog cover if I ever saw one.

  3. Billy Belsom says:


    October and November are typically the best months for chasing reds here on the Louisiana coast, but October has been t-o-u-g-h this year. High winds and high water are tough on the fly angler. Which is to say, nice job sticking one!

    Anyway, good luck learning to pole, you’ll get it in no time. Just point the stern opposite the direction you want to go and you’ll be in good shape . . .


  4. Rob says:

    So glad you’re fluff chucking the salt. Do you tie your own flies? I have some nice redfish recipes for you and the Proffesor if you like.


  5. thanks all! it was a fun day on the water to be sure. hoping for another shot in nov…fingers crossed

    billy– great tip on the poling

    rob– I haven’t tackled tying yet. someday. send pics of those redfish patterns! do share!!


  6. Simon Graham says:

    You can say what you like about Trout & Salmon but I truly believe Redfish……in my eyes, are probably the most perfect looking fish on the planet.Will definitely be on my hit list for 2011 when I visit the States.

    Great read as always and have a top weekend

  7. It’s a great way to spend any Sunday!
    Thanks for sharing!

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