The night before, select your favorite baits, weighted hooks, jig heads, rods, and reels. Set them in the best possible location for a quick pick up and take off in the morning. Eat a nice dinner, have few adult beverages, watch some football, and get to sleep so you’re fully rested, and your senses are as sharp as a tack. Why you ask?! It’s because the next day will be full of non-stop looking, hearing, standing on casting platforms, roto-molded coolers, poling platforms, and if you’re lucky a professionally made sight casting platform.
The target is redfish, redfish, and more redfish followed up by huge black drum all tailing on the flats that you researched the night before and the weeks leading up to the trip. The boat ride out to the first spot on the list is awesome. You’re cruising a few miles per hour faster than you would normally push the flats boat, in anticipation of the first cast and rod bending from the first targeted fish. The bayous on the way out are beautifully lined with marsh grass twisting and turning in all directions, and somehow modern technology has captured all of it on the GPS installed on the boat (if you have the right mapping chip).
You’ve arrived and the water is slick calm, a sheet of glass with literally zero wind! Conditions couldn’t get any more ideal!! You grab your favorite rod rigged with your go-to confidence bait because you can’t miss the opportunity to create a memory that will be etched in your mind for all eternity. You climb up on the cooler or casting platform on the bow of the boat, the trolling motor is slowing, crawling you toward hopefully some unsuspecting redfish looking for their next meal. Your vantage point is perfect, and you can see almost anything that penetrates the water’s surface. Low and behold there it is within casting range! The first red has made itself a target. Your eyes squint down a bit focusing in like a hawk in full hunting mode. You flip the bail holding the line with your index finger, start the wrist motion bringing the rod tip backwards in a steady swift motion, and as soon as it’s loaded you fire your wrist and arm forward in a seamless motion allowing the bait to rocket towards the unsuspecting fish. The bait lands a little past the fish and you begin reeling it slowly in front of the hungry predator. Then it happens! Boom, the fish explodes on the bait crushing it with ferocious power and you react with the hook set of a lifetime making sure it’s not going to come unbuttoned.
The fight ensues and the fish peels off drag; it digs, it pulls, and bulls. It goes toward the shoreline hoping to escape. You bear down keeping the rod engaged giving no slack, reeling every time the fish allows you to gain some ground. You get it to the boat and it makes another last ditch effort to escape your clutches fighting for its life. It runs under the boat going toward the trolling motor then to the back toward the trim tabs and big motor, all of which will set it free. But this isn’t your first rodeo, and you thwart all of its efforts to escape and finally land the tired fish. Victory is yours! You take a few pictures handling the fish with the utmost care and respect; then revive and release the fish to live and fight another day!
Louisiana it doesn’t get any better!
The fishing real estate professional