Louisiana Red Fish Trip – Bayou Beatdown

Freshly back from a Cajun redfish adventure resembling more of a Bayou Beatdown than a victory over our piscatorial prey, Big Bill Kessler, Colonel Rob Kissel, Gordon Middleton and Doug Brady almost cried “uncle”, uncle Boudreau that is.

Venturing out of our back door at Camp Drum in Port Sulphur, or driving down to launch at Venice, we were like all anglers at the beginning of each day, stoked, confident and ready to slay.    However, for the most part when the days were done, we were left to nurse our bruised egos with adult beverages, and wonder at what had just happened.

What causes a hooked fish to come unbuttoned, or incites one to charge a fly 4 feet away, while another ignores the same fly 4 inches away?   Why do we insist on pulling the fly out of the fish’s mouth, or use a trout set versus line set.  What happened to our casting skill, and what has happened to our eyesight, and how do we keep confusing 9 o’clockwith 3 o’clock, and what the heck is a goat rodeo anyway?

These wily reds were full of trickeration.   They drifted up and down in the water column, ( more often the color of yoohoo than gin)  allowing us only the narrowest window of opportunity to place a fly on their noses before they disappeared, while managing the movement of the wind and boat.

Now you see them now you don’t.

Oh, to be sure there was plenty of user error, but the 15 foot back cast to a vanishing fish moving one direction, boat and wind moving two other directions, is tougher than it sounds.

Fortunately the fellowship, food and fun, (thank you Abita and Kettle One) helped make up for the slender fish count.

Captains’ Nick Sassic, and Scott MacCalla, once again did a noble job of getting us to big fish, but they could not cast for us, nor coax the fish to bite, nor fight the fish for us.
Certain things beyond the rod, are squarely in the angler’s hand, while other things, such as weather, habits of Cajun redfish, and luck, are in no earthly hands at all.

And before you think we were completely ruined, take a gander at the beauties below.
There were indeed moments of fishing bliss, with greedy charging reds, mighty runs, screaming reels, big grins and trophy catches.

Rob Kissel
Rob Kissel
Doug Brady
Gordon Middleton

When all is said and done, this adventure will join the pantheon of fishing trips in our four memories, grow fonder over time, and be remembered not for the errant casts and missed hook sets, but the entirety of the experience.  Selective memory is a good thing indeed, and next year on the Bayou already tempts us with opportunity and the promise of epic fish and great fellowship.

The big G and I are in, who wants to join us?