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I had the pleasure of helping guide another kayak fishing trip for Pack & Paddle, which was held out of Point Aux Chenes at PAC Kayak Rentals. I CANNOT stress it enough, If you’ve never visited PAC Kayak Rentals, you’re missing out. It’s likely THE BEST kayak fishing centered location in the U.S. From the put-ins to the accommodations, from the hospitality to the actual fishing. If you’re a kayak angler and are visiting Louisiana, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you do not visit Eddie, Lisa, and the rest of the crew.

Anyway, I arrived in PAC the night before the trip to insure that I’d be there in time & not having to leave my house at 4am. Upon arriving, I met another angler, Rick, down at the fishing pier. He was casting his fly rod and catching small reds and trout on a brown Clouser. I threw around a Buggs Click-bait Shrimp for a bit with a few reds falling for it. A nice way to start the overnight stay.

I woke up the next morning in total darkness. No marina lights at all. One of the campers had an external light working which we all gathered around to welcome the morning. Turns out, someone ran into a telephone pole up the road and knocked power out to all of Pointe Aux Chenes.

As the sun came up, my co-guide, Mat, arrived and we began getting things ready for the trips. Mat’s group would be fishing the marsh out of the marina, while my group boarded Eddie’s mothership and headed out into the marsh. I did a little trash talking (unusual for me) before leaving, which I immediately felt I may have regretted. Haha!

The mothership ride out was nice. It was a beautiful morning, and we all know how badly we needed some good days!

Eddie dropped off myself and my group just off of Grand Bayou in a section of marsh that Eddie refers to as “The Green Mile”. My group consisted of Jennifer, her son Kyle, and Josef, a student at LSU. I got everyone immediately started using different lures. Kyle caught a keeper trout immediately on topwater, and Jennifer hooked up soon after, but the fish got away. Josef caught his red a little afterword as well.

As we continued on, a thick fog covered the area. It was both beautiful and kind of eerie. We hugged the bank on the edge of an open lake and I noticed tails right along the grassline, which I tried to get Jennifer in position to cast to, but I’d lose sight of them quickly in the fog.

We soon entered back into the marsh, where everyone started getting bites. Jennifer landed one first, and soon after so did Kyle. As I was reaching for Kyle’s redfish to put in my cooler, the fish did a quick thrash and slipped from my hands. I felt so bad for losing his fish, though he did land a few more and some trout!

We kept exploring this section of marsh, working our way back to the pick-up point. It was here that we came to an old weir. By this point it was midday, so I had them throwing a mix of market bait and Gulp. Jennifer hooked up on a red but her line broke right away. The breakage occurred above the cork, so we circled it to try and hand-land this fish. He kept slipping past us. So, while sprawled across the nose of my Outback, I glided up to the cork and as soon as the cork went under ( from the fish running), I reached down and was able to grab the line. It ended up being around 17″, which was fine for the table!

After that bit of excitement, and a few more hooked and lost fish, Eddie picked us up and we headed back for the launch!

Mat’s group did well too, catching reds and some really nice sheepsheads. We ended the day with our group photo.

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Bayou 'Yakin by Elibraud - 4M ago

Sorry that it’s been a while. Things have been busy, and the weather’s been ugly – but it looks to be turning around now. At least I hope.

I’ll have a couple of recent trip reports from the last two weeks coming out within the next week, but here’s some photos of my little bit of action since January.

New Gear

Started the year off by selling the last of my 13 Fishing reels. I had no issues with them, but was just ready to transition back to Shimano. I started using 13 reels when Shimano changed the body-style of the Curados, and I didn’t like it. I feel that with the Curado K & DC, they’re back on track!

First Tournament of 2019: Redbone’s PACman

For Redbone’s first tournament in early February, conditions were brutal. We’re talking windy and cold brutal. All layered up and I still couldn’t feel my fingers. I fished for around 3.5 hrs. before I couldn’t take it anymore. Turns out, only 4 fish were weighed in. I’m a little late now, but congrats to Terry, Sean, and Ricky.

More Fishing with River

One of my favorite new ways to fish…

New Toy

After several years using the Raymarine, it was time to update. This time, I went with a Lowrance Elite 7TI. Obviously, I got the Totalscan transducer for it. Maybe that’ll help with the bass?? Maybe???

More updates to come!

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Bayou 'Yakin by Elibraud - 5M ago

Having three days off in a row doesn’t happen too often, and with the weather the way it’s been, I hadn’t been fishing in around 2 weeks. After staying home for the first two days, I was aching to get out on the water. Tracey allowed me to do so on Sunday morning so I headed to PAC.

I still love fishing PAC. It’s probably still my favorite location, even with its increased popularity in the kayak community. Redbone’s first tournament of the year is coming up soon, so I wanted to prefish the area.

Things started real slow. The skies were overcast and there was a chill on the little wind there was. I started trying a mixture of slower presentations and moderate retrieves. From 10 – 1, I had two bits of action. One was a quick bite and spit, the second I landed. It was a small red, probably not making 16 inches.

I continued on with this pattern, occasionally trying other baits. I planned to head back to the truck around 12:30, but got the call from Tracey that I could take my time. Not long after that phone call, the clouds broke and the sun lit up the water. The wind completely stopped. The water temperature had been around 53-54*, but with the sun out it warmed up to 56* which is what I like for my preferred fishing style. I soon started finding redfish all over the flats. They were mainly larger fish, 25-29″. Unfortunately, seeing them isn’t catching them, and most spooked before I could make a cast.

I did bring one home though, which was caught on my faithful Buggs Curl-tail.

I hooked him right in the tongue though, and he was bleeding pretty bad. After putting him in the AO Cooler, I realized the mess he’d made in the ‘yak, and all over my legs. The Hobie is officially broken in, lol.

I’m getting the final bits of rigging done just in time for the start of tournament season, and plan to have a walkthrough video done soon, so keep an eye out for that!

Gear Used

Kayak : Hobie Outback (2019)

Paddle : Werner Cyprus Hooked

Fishing Line: FINS Windtamer, 40G, and Shock Absorbing Braids, Mainly 20-30lb test.

Rods : St. Croix Avid Inshore Series Spinning Rods & St. Croix Mojo Yak Casting Rod

Reels : Shimano Stradic 2500, Shimano Nasci 2500, & 13 Fishing Concept C

Lures : – Buggs Curl-tail Jig (1st Gen.)

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Bayou 'Yakin by Elibraud - 5M ago

So for my first 2019 trip, I got the uncommon pleasure of sharing the water with Karl (who I seldom get to fish with anymore), and my former co-workers, Mark & Stephen. On an uncharacteristically sunny & mostly windless day, we met up at Coco Marina to hopefully get some reds on the fly.

My fly fishing skill level is still definitely at beginner, but I do now have two reds landed on fly, but out of a skiff. I had another two hooked that spit the hook. I’ve never landed a fish on fly from the kayak, so that was the goal this day.

Ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be. But that doesn’t mean the day was a total skunk. It started fairly promising…

We headed out from the Marina, heading to a spot to the west. Crossing the ship channel, we started searching once reaching an area on the other side. After scanning the bank – looking for tails or backs in the low, wind blown marsh – we neared an open area with marsh on the far side. Near that marsh, there were disturbances on top the water. Karl spotted it first. Both Mark & I were quick to dismiss it as “probably mullet”. We were both intrigued enough to head that direction though. Mark got to them first, and as he started to say “yep, mullet”, he stopped mid-sentence, and yelled out, “I was wrong! It’s reds!”

Karl & I were closing in by this point and started to make casts at the spooked school. It wasn’t a school of big fish, but they were plentiful and hanging around this section of marsh. I headed up the next side, hoping to catch a few as they headed that direction. I was dedicated to the fly rod, false casting back and forth a few times, but I couldn’t get the accuracy – each time the fly falling short of a waking fish.

There finally came a moment when I spotted one, and the fly line had gotten pretty tangled. I grabbed my St. Croix Avid Inshore rod with a Buggs Click-bait Shrimp and casted it right in front the fish and watched him take it, exploding as I set the hook. Mark called out, “Eli’s on!” and I called back that it wasn’t on fly. He joked that it didn’t count.

As the day progressed, we eventually split up to explore the marsh. Unfortunately, that was the most action we found that day. The wind started to pick up in the afternoon and Karl & I headed back in. I think everyone finished the day with one fish each.

Unfortunately, I only nabbed these two photos for the day.

I’ll be fishing Coco a little more in the coming weeks. It’s already a favorite location of mine, but I’m also hoping to fish more Lafayette club events this year, the first being in Cocodrie in March. For now, I’m turning my focus to Pointe Aux Chenes, where the first tournament of the year is taking place. Redbone Fishing’s PAC Man tourney at the beginning of February.

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Bayou 'Yakin by Elibraud - 5M ago

I know. I’m a bit behind. We’ve recently started redecorating our house, so I’ve been doing a lot of painting. It’s fine, really, because the weather hasn’t allowed for much fishing lately. Anyway…

Redbone Fishing Club’s last event of the year, which was rescheduled from being rained out, was the Festivus tourney. I think the format was for a trout and two reds.

Unfortunately, it was so far back now, I can’t remember the tourney details. Main thing, I think I’d gotten a fifth place finish overall, and third in the Trout Calcutta. No money for me, but happy to have placed pretty well.

At the very least, I can post up a few images that I took during the tourney…

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I’m currently sitting in a Kia dealership in New Iberia waiting for my wife’s vehicle to be serviced, so I figured I should knock out this post real quick.

It was a few days before this cold front blew through, so the temperature was still pretty comfortable outside. When I arrived at Coco Marina, I could see that the water was back to it’s normal level… still muddy, but that’s Cocodrie.

I headed south from the marina and targeted a couple of open mud flats just off of the main channel. There were definitely more signs of life than my previous trip. Bait was scurrying and jumping out the water, mostly shrimp (it’s that time of year!). Still, I didn’t see any actual fish in the first flat.

The first bite came way in the back of another flat area that turns to marsh ponds. I noticed a splash along the shoreline and started moving towards it. Through the muddy water I could make out the dark profiles of a small redfish school – maybe five fish. I still had the Z-man EZ-Shrimp (rootbeer/chart.) rigged up from last time so just pitched that ahead of them and started twitching it. Fish on! It was a small slot red, and being that I was pre-fishing for an upcoming tournament, I wanted to find a few nicer fish.

I headed to some marsh further west than I normally go, and found a lot of activity. Fish started to spook which caused me to change out to my “go-to”, the Buggs Curl-Tail (2nd Gen.). I soon had fish number two in my sights…

When in the marsh this time of year, even when you can’t see wakes, or sight-fish traditionally, one tactic you can use to sight fish indirectly (meaning not seeing the fish itself) is watching the shoreline for jumping bait. It can be subtle, but that’s how I casted to the next red. I noticed a trail of shrimp jumping along the shoreline, giving away that they were being antagonized from below the surface.

I casted ahead of the direction the bait were blowing up, and when it seemed like the right timing, I started working the lure. A short fight later and the red was brought aboard. It measured just over slot.

This went on a little longer before I needed to make the trek back to the marina. The way back was over the ship channel which was a bit choppy with the higher afternoon winds. The Outback pushed through fine, but the deck did get a little wet in the process, not a big deal for me.

Ultimately, the tournament was to take place last weekend – the same weekend as BCKFC’s Trout Challenge. I don’t worry too much about fishing in the rain or some wind, but I try not to underestimate the power of the weather. And with winds reaching gusts in the 30mph range, and knowing the area, I decided not to sign up. The officials decided to cancel and reschedule the tournament anyway, and I do plan to take part – though now it’s been moved to PAC.

Gear Used

Kayak : Hobie Outback (2019)

Paddle : Werner Cyprus Hooked

Rods : St. Croix Avid Inshore Series Spinning Rods & St. Croix Mojo Yak Casting Rod

Reels : Shimano Stradic 2500, Shimano Nasci 2500, & 13 Fishing Concept C

Lures : Z-Man Rigged EZ Shrimpz (Rtbr./Chart.) & Buggs 2nd Gen Curl-Tail Jig (Blk/Gold)

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Kayak Fishing BULL REDS | Grand Isle, LA 2018 - YouTube

To finish off the month of October, I wanted to try something new. Well, kind of new. In 2013 I fished the famous Ride The Bull Kayak Rodeo for the first time. That experience can be found here. I fished it again in 2015. Neither time did I catch anything other than catfish and white trout. I also didn’t really know what to look for.

Now, with a bit more experience and some coaching, I headed down to Grand Isle to target some massive reds again, this time with a game plan. I would be meeting up with Mark Carline, a co-P&P Guide and former co-worker, and his father and brother. We would be targeting these bulls IFA style, meaning on artificial lures rather than the Ride the Bull typical cracked crab and cut mullet.

I arrived a little before Mark and started fishing for trout near the rock breakers. There were schools of mullet swarming on the surface, but nothing crashing from underneath. After Mark – and family – arrived, We headed out to the deeper water. Using my depth finder, I was looking for a school. In around 11ft, I picked up on a school of something and made a cast. Using a 1 oz. Jighead and Gulp, I jigged the bait a few times and had a bite. I reeled up quickly, but pulled up an empty hook after the fish got off.

A few minutes later, Mark’s Dad, Mr. Mark had hooked up. I was nearby so I got some shots of him and then assisted in landing the fish.

Mark’s brother, Josh, had also hooked up a few times throughout the day, but I was never close enough to get photos.

After helping Mr. Mark with his fish, I soon hooked up again, and . this one didn’t escape!

Mark and I were fishing for LKFC’s CPR Tournament, so length was really what we were after. This first bull measured in at 34″. Not even close to what I needed, but still a lot of fun!

Mark was next to hook up…

It went on this way for a few hours. Between the bulls, there were black drum and catfish also caught.

One of the highlights of the trip was when Mark hooked up to a roughly 40 incher on the fly. The fight lasted on the better side of ten minutes and got a little interesting as a crew boat passed nearby.

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It’s definitely been a little while since I’d made my way down Hwy. 56 to launch at Coco Marina. Almost a year, actually. The last time I even fished anywhere in Cocodrie was about six or so months ago. But we’d gotten a couple of fronts in and I love fishing in Coco after a front (2-3 days after), so I headed down there to let the new Outback taste saltwater.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot to tell about. Despite a pretty sunrise, the majority of the day was overcast and somewhat windy. Water was also high, about a foot up from where I like it to be and it was dirty. The clarity of the water is a bigger deal for me than the height.

Still, I gave it my best. Made adjustments and kept casting. Didn’t even try to sight-fish, I knew it would be a waste of time. I headed for all of the typical honey holes that I know of to no avail.

It finally changed when I parked myself in a back pond. I’d already seen a couple of wakes and had a bite. I knew where the fish like hanging out in this particular pond so I nudged up against the bank and started using a Z-Man shrimp and working it back slowly. That’s when a smallish red hit it like a freight train! First saltwater slime for the ’19 OB!

By that time I was about ready to head in. I hadn’t brought food and it was after lunch, and you notice hunger more when the bite is slow, haha!

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Bayou 'Yakin by Elibraud - 5M ago

There’s that old saying that “the only thing constant in life is change.”

My absence from the blogging has been reflective of my absence from the water since selling my Jackson Cruise FD. The lack of fishing was mainly due to the waiting game, waiting on my new model for 2019. But there’s been a major change for me as far as kayak fishing goes, in that I’ve resigned from my position on the Jackson Regional Team. This had been due to a few different reasons, none of which had anything to do with Jackson Kayak or the team itself.

Before continuing, I want to say it here, just as I did on social media… My experience as a Jackson Team Member has been phenomenal. I truly love the company and the products. But it’s mainly the people that make the JK brand so awesome. I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve made and hope to keep those friendships into the future.

Now – due to my new position, or lack there of, I felt that it was perhaps time to change things up and I wanted to demo a few new models from other brands. I’ve worked at Pack & Paddle for almost 5 years now and have a lot of experience with the different models, so I had a strong idea on which way I would go. I’ve always told myself that if I were to buy anything other than a Jackson, that it would be a Hobie. And as of 2017, the model I leaned towards by Hobie was the Compass. I liked it’s sharp nose, clean deck layout, large storage area, and overall stability. A huge plus for me is also it’s paddle-ability. These kayak are known for their pedal drives, but in my style of fishing, the pedal drives mainly just get you to a location, and then it’s stand-up-paddle time.

Then, at the end of August, Hobie unveiled what so many people had been waiting for, an updated Outback. The Outback has always been Hobie’s best-seller and it’s one of our top-sellers at P&P. The new design took everything I liked about the old Outback and added what I liked about the Compass, and threw a little Pro Angler spice in the mix as well.

So many of the features were ideas that I had been waiting for and hoping someone would figure out.

When I have been asked why I made the jump to Hobie, I compare it to the purchase of my favorite kayak since I started kayak fishing… the model I used for the longest – the Cuda 14…

– My very first kayak was a Jackson Coosa (the OG). I did (and still do) love the design of that ‘yak. But the first time I used it in a bay I realized why the Cuda 14 was the model everyone seemed to be pointing to for South LA. For about two weeks, I stopped at Pack & Paddle any chance I got to just look at a Cuda 14 they had on display. I didn’t just look at it, I stared at it. It ended when I just couldn’t take it. I sold the Coosa, and bought a Cuda.

This has been somewhat the same for me. The overall layout of the new Hobie Outback is just too great. From the clean deck-floor design, to loads of integrated tracks around the boat, the cupholders, the hatch areas, and the huge tank-well area.

All I can say at this point is that I’m looking forward to using this boat throughout the coming months, and seeing what this “Hobie thing” is all about!

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Bayou 'Yakin by Elibraud - 5M ago

A while back, I mentioned that one of the days for last year’s Jackson Kayak Team meet-up in Pointe Aux Chenes was dedicated to the idea of a friendly tournament. There were to be two teams and Jameson & Brooks would film it for a cool video.

That video has finally been released!

Kayak Red Fish | Bayou Boogie Part 1 - YouTube

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