Dec 5th, 2019
I recently had the opportunity to host three great anglers on Eleven Experience’s Outpost mothership in the Lousiana marsh where we targetted redfish and black drum. A great time was had by all and although we suffered some cold temps in the first part of the week, the weather steadily improved and by day five and we had some great catches of large black drum and bull redfish well over the 20lb mark. Our excellent guides Paul Ray and Jerry Perez consistently kept us in the fishy zones even through a cold front and the remarkable staff aboard the yacht kept us incredibly well fed and super comfortable.
The southern Louisiana swamp is a beautiful and simple landscape of grassy marshlands, interspersed with a maze of channels, flats and islands. Its prized inhabitant are big bull redfish that show up in the winter months, with the potential for some fish to push 40lbs. While we didn’t manage to catch a fish quite that large, most were well over 12lbs and my largest was 25lbs (undoubtedly we saw much larger around). This was my first experience with redfish and I was thoroughly challenged and entertained by these incredibly beautiful fish. I found them to be insanely aggressive and the game was much more about dropping it on their nose rather than teasing them from afar. Anywhere we found clear water, we would see fish. The shots were quite close, sometimes uncomfortably close. I botched many attempts while trying to hit a fish’s nose at 5 to 15 feet from the boat, a task much harder than it would seem! However, if you got the fly there without spooking them, it would not take more than one or two strips to get an eat.
This is a fantastic trip for those looking for an effective winter escape that is still close to home. While the cold temps early in our trip made our days on the water quite chilly (day time temps were 34 degrees on day one), these are cold water species and as long as they see your fly, they will eat it. There may not be a better close-to-home option for winter flats fishing than chasing these big bull reds. Additionally, getting to spend some time in the French Quarter on the way in or out adds a really nice travel experience to the trip.
If you’re interested in learning more about Eleven Experience’s Outpost mothership in the southern Louisiana marsh, please call Dylan Rose at 800-552-2729.