Louisiana Redfishing w/ Capt. Greg Moon

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Posted by Tony Buzolich on 2013-11-01 12:03:18

For the last few years Jim May and I along with our wives have been heading to New Orleans in the fall. We found that by taking our wives along, it gave Jim and I more time to fish. The girls would go explore plantations and quilt shops throughout the day, and then in the evening when we got back from fishing we’d all hit the French Quarter for dinner and some of the best seafood anywhere.

We’d get up early each morning, leave the girls at the hotel, and then meet up with our guide Capt. Greg Moon. We first met up with Greg by booking through the Uptown Anger (New Orleans only fly shop) but ever since have booked him through his own website.

The routine each morning is always the same. Greg would pick us up at our hotel, we’d make a short run to Penny’s for breakfast, (Penny’s is mentioned several times in this month’s Fly Fishing In Salt Water magazine along with a couple of good articles about fishing redfish in the area). Loaded up with Poor Boys for lunch we would head to one of Capt. Greg’s planned launching spots, usually Hopedale and the Breton Sound, Delacroix, or Port La Heche areas.

Greg had been telling us how good the red fishing had been all summer with lots of big fish everywhere. Unfortunately the week before we arrived a cold front came through and the water temps had dropped putting the fish off the bite,,,,,,,,,, briefly.

Our first day on the water started with gusting wind making poling and sight casting tough. Fish weren’t hardly moving and were layed up holding to the bottom with only a few moving close to the weeds creating small wakes. It wasn’t long though before Gref spotted a group of larger fish cruising toward us just under the surface. Jim is up first, makes a quick cast, and is immediately hooked up to the first big redfish of our trip.

The wind kept picking up making for lots of chop on the water and spotting fish even tougher. Greg still mastered control of the poling as we would look for muds and cruising fish in the shallow water. The water was definitely off color now with only a foot or two of visibility making spotting fish almost impossible for our untrained eyes.

Fortunately Greg was used to this and continued to put us on fish all day. There was no blind casting and this is all we could hopefully look for if we were going to fish at all.

As the day went on, the wind continued to blow making poling really tough. Capt. Greg didn’t flinch though and kept putting us onto several more reds along with a nice unplanned for speckled trout.

The next day the wind was still blowing at the hotel and by the time we got to Penny’s it was gusting to over 25 mph. Needless to say, we called the trip off. Casting and spotting fish would be impossible.

The next couple of days were perfect. The wind layed down, the tides were good, and we’re seeing fish. Lots of fish and they’re big.

The water here is still off color and visibility is tough for both us and the fish. Fly placement is critical to getting a grab. The reds weren’t too particular about choice of flies but placement of cast was. A cast usually had to be within a foot or two of their head to insight a grab. Spotting a fish was the other problem. Even with Greg calling out distance and direction it was hard to see in the murky water.

I’m up first today and after blowing several shots on nice fish I finally get tight to my first big red. I set several times and the reel sings quickly into my backing. With the water being shallow the fish cannot dive deep and only go sideways on long runs.

Soon enough my fish is to the boat for a few quick pictures, a guestimate at the weight (27-28lbs.), and then back into the water. Yahoo! Let’s do that again!

Jim and I would trade off throughout the day taking turns on the bow. We were seeing lots of big bull reds everywhere and blowing lots of shots at them too. Real “donkeys” as

Capt. Greg would call them and it wasn’t long before Jim is hooked up again. We’ve been seeing lots of big reds in the thirty to forty pound class and this one is for sure bigger than any we’ve taken so far.

Controlling these bigger fish isn’t easy and turning their head with the rod doesn’t always work. Under the boat, around the pole and platform, and back again several times makes for lots of excitement.

Now in the net, Jim’s got his fish, and it’s over thirty pounds. High fives all around, lots of quick pictures, and back into the water she goes.

Throughout the trip we’re seeing lot of other fish too. Sheephead, black drum, and even alligator gars were common. But we’re here for reds and getting spoiled with these bigger fish. Soon we’re starting to pass up 6 -8 -10 lb.fish while looking for more of those “donkeys”. We couldn’t pass them all up and they are all fun.

Along the way we ventured out into some deeper water as Capt. Greg wanted to show us what few people can believe. Thousands of redfish all schooled up. Actually, it was “acres” of redfish almost as far as you could see. What we were looking at was their post spawn grouping and their mudding as they fed turned the water orangish/ brown. Too deep to effectively fish, we moved on but what a sight. (sorry, no pictures here)

We move on and spot another “smaller” school of perhaps a thousand fish mudding in shallower water of three to four feet in depth. The school would rise to the surface briefly and then drop to the bottom and feed repeatedly. Greg set up the boat perfectly as we would be able to drift through them and get our shot. Up they come and I place my shot at a huge red. Immediately I get my grab and am hooked up tight. Greg yells to Jim to cast also as we haven’t spooked them, and Jim gets hooked up as well. We’ve got a double!

As I work my fish close to the boat Greg yells that I’ve got a drum. Black drum often mix in with schools of redfish and feed together. Reds are much more the game fish but they’re all fun.

Jim is getting his fish in close now and we see he’s got a drum as well. We have a double black drum hook up right in the middle of a thousand redfish. Laugh or cry.

The school has spooked now and go deep and we loose them. Capt. Greg tells me to put on a heavier fly for this deeper water as we move to another area of the same flat. I tie on a 1/0 Black Bunny with a chartreuse head and make another cast to a cruising fish. Instantly the red comes out of the water and grabs my fly in a huge swirl and I’m tight onto another big fish. Same drill as before. Over, under, all around and soon into the boat. My best redfish ever. Almost thirty pounds? Maybe?

This trip was one of our best. Capt. Greg Moon is one of the best as well and gave us a 100% plus every day we fished. If you’re new to red fishing Capt. Greg will put you onto areas with lots of “smaller” fish to learn the sport and get acquainted with spotting and casting to cruising fish in the shallows. And, if you’re after a trophy red, and know what you’re doing, go to Capt. Greg Moon’s website at Louisiana Fly Fishing Charters and book a trip or call him at (702) 497-1673.

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