March 31, 2016

Louisiana Redfish

Redfish Rock!

Redfish have been on the bucket list many years counting. One reason or another always interfered with the check off of this popular fishery. In December 2015 I finally got an opportunity to experience the bayou and the bull reds that inhabit it.

On the Flats with Gjuro Bruer
My trip started from Hopedale marine area and from there my guide Gjuro Bruer took me on a many mile boat ride on a cool December morning. While I’m no stranger to cold mornings this long ride had me questioning whether I dressed warm enough for this day. I kept telling myself just make it through the morning and the warm sunshine will take me through the rest of the day, and it did!

Gjuro pulled up on a point and readied my fly rod while verbally relaying some quick startup instruction. We both jumped up on our platforms and before we moved 20 feet I made my first cast on a point instantly hooked up. Oh yeah game on! My only concern after such quick success was is this going to be an outstanding day or downhill from here. Have you had any of those days were you hook up on first cast and never touch another fish the rest of the day. I’ve had more of those days than I care to count.

Soon after the release of that first fish my fear was set at ease with a second hookup than a third and so on. My fish seemingly continued to get larger and soon I was holding what had to be a 25 pounder.

Many other opportunities came along the way. We spotted a big black drum. Being farther out I had to really dig deep in the Scott Meridian 10 weight rod for some distance. It wasn’t even a challenge for this fine rod. It reached out and delivered to the target. I got the big black drum to eat but my hook set only stuck for a couple seconds before his explosive power set him free. Just feeling it in the line set off my adrenaline.

Check out the Spots

Next we came across an alligator Gar. Not real big says Gjuro but the alligator shaped snout was intimidating to say the least. I made a couple cast to him but he was not the least bit interested.

Up ahead was a big tailing red. That big tail was amazing sight. He was very aggressive and even though I didn’t get the hook up on first attempt he went crazy trying to hunt down that fly. I stayed patient and put it the fly back in front of him and like slow motion I watched him flare his gills inhaling my fly. Hook set and away he went very soon on the reel. The smooth Bauer CFX drag tamed the big red into submission while I held my breath as not to give him any opportunity to exploit any weakness. After a long battle Gjuro bought him to hand and finally I was able to breath.

I now understand the attraction to these wild big bull reds. They are willing but cautious, predator and territorial, big and beautiful. I hope to encounter them again!

My equipment list was pretty simple. Scott Meridian 9 foot 10 weight rods, a Bauer CFX #6 fly reel and a RIO Permit WF10F Fly Line. Most cast were pretty short and the Scott did a great job letting me feel it load and it had the power to reach out for long targets. The Bauer CFX reel performed flawlessly while I tested its smooth drag repeatedly this day. The RIO Permit line was a great balance of short loading capable while maintaining a long enough head to carry line for longer cast. I was a bit concerned about a tropical line in December but I never experienced line coil issues on this cool day. I had a cold water line spooled and ready to use but never needed it.

Big thanks goes out to guide Gjuro Buer. Gjuro does a great job of relaying the instructions with very few spoken words all while maintaining his patients, something I really appreciate in a guide. Even though I was the one with a fly rod in hand we hunted together for the next big red.

My high would continue throughout the weekend in New Orleans with family and friends. We drank, we ate, we laughed and we cheered and I while asleep I dreamed about Big Bull Reds born on the Bayou!

Contact Gjuro Bruer @ 850-637-2628

Tormented Angler

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