I’ve been wanting to get out and start fishing tournaments for a while now. This weekend I got my chance at the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club’s (LKFC) LA 1 Slamboree. It was hosted at Bobby Lynn’s Marina in Leeville, LA. This would be our first time fishing in the area.
We decided to pre fish the weekend before. Andrew, Karl & I headed down LA 1 Saturday morning and as we neared Port Fourchon on the new expressway, we could see storms off the coast, including a waterspout! We combat launched into the area south of the first bridge between Fourchon and Grand Isle. It was about 9am by this point. I started throwing top-water and got a few hits on it. Reds were everywhere but they weren’t interested but the trout were. In one small pond, a trout nailed the lure but came off at the boat. Karl, who had never fished out of a kayak before, landed a small ladyfish. He was borrowing Andrew’s Big Tuna. And Andrew, who was fishing out of my wife’s Cruise 12, was also getting trout hits, but no hookups. A thunderstorm started to form quickly and ran us off the water for the day.
Now for tournament weekend, Andrew had to work but Karl and I headed down. I just bought the Aquabound Sting Ray Carbon paddles, and got to use them for the first time! Nice upgrade from the BB Whisper. Anyway, we decided to fish a different area of marsh than what we pre fished. We were on the water at about 5:45, right as the horizon was beginning to brighten behind the clouds. Rain was forecasted for around 12, though we only saw a small shower around 7. Wind, however, was the story of the day! We fished around and I landed an 18.25 red around 6:45. I figured that, if nothing else, he’d make a nice supper that night. We continued to work the bank, protected for the wind.
My first trout came as I was reeling back in my line. It slammed my lure right as I got it to the boat. It jumped right into my topwater that was hanging off the front of my kayak. I landed him but he only measured in at 11.5. I also had a new VUDU Shrimp rigged under a cork and had been trolling it as I was drifting and looking for reds and flounder. I decided to reel it back in to check on it and recast it. When I got it back to the boat, a small trout was hanging onto to it. I didn’t measure him as he was way undersized.
We continued to check the weather throughout the day. We decided to head back closer to the put in and fish a small bayou running through the marsh. That plan didn’t quite work as the water was so low. There was another cove near this and I decided to stake out and try to upgrade my red, hoping to at least participate in the heavy red division. As I was checking the banks for signs of life, I noticed the back of a red right up against the grass. We had noticed a lot of shrimp jumping so I had taken the cork off of my VUDU shrimp and casted it right to the fish. He took it almost immediately. As I began fighting him, I realized that he was a big guy. Maybe not quite a bull, but definitely near, if not over 27″. He was peeling drag headed for some grass so I thumbed the spool to stop him. He headed to the boat and looked about ready. Then he took off on one final run, under the boat. I again thumbed the reel and the line went slack. I almost threw my rod in the water.
It took me a few minutes to get over losing him. I eventually went back to searching for tails right up against the banks in the wind protected areas. I did get a few more to bite, but I was too anxious and set the hook to quickly.
We tired out of fighting the wind and headed back to the truck. I was tempted to weigh in my fish but decided it wasn’t worth it and to just save it for the grill.
All in all, it was a great time and I enjoyed myself. We stayed for a while at the weigh in and heard that the other guys had a rough day as well. Looking forward to the next tournament now!