I have taken the last couple days and started thinking about this coming year and what I want to accomplish on the water.
First and foremost I have decided I want to be a little more active on the water. By that I mean I want to be able to go fishing more. A good way for me to come up with fresh topics for this column is to actually get out on the water with my fly rods and just try new things. By doing this I will find new flies, flies that work on the species we target here on the Northshore other than bluegill. I have a good handle on catching bluegill on the fly rod. That new job I took in October has given me the means to have more time on the water. I have every weekend off now and will be working fewer hours which means I might be able to get out on the waters closer to my house in the evenings.
Another thing I want to work on this year is figuring out how to catch bass on the fly. This one might take more than a year. In order for me to figure out bass on the fly, I need to become a better bass fisherman in general. When I was a kid and teenager I did a good bit of bass fishing with my dad. My dad was kind of stuck in his ways when it came to bass fishing. He used a texas rigged worm just about all the time. This kind of stunted my growth as a bass fisherman. We also fished the same spots every trip because we fished the same body of water every trip. While this makes me a great bass fisherman in Lac Des Allemands and Bayou Des Allemands, it doesn’t help me find bass on the rivers and bayous of the Northshore. For the past couple years, I have been fumbling around Bayou Lacombe and Bayou Cane and stumbling on stringers of fish. The main reason I started looking for a new kayak last year was that I wanted a depth finder. My old kayak just wasn’t suited one. I have been watching some videos on Youtube from people like Gene Jensen, Flukemaster, to learn a little bit more on how to find bass. One of the things I have taken away from his videos and emails with him is the use of a depth finder to locate structure and cover that hold fish. I have installed a unit on my kayak now and it should help me find fish quicker than I have. To bring this back to fly fishing, this will allow me to present flies to these fish as well as conventional lures.
A third thing I want to work on is making more informational videos on my YouTube channel. This past year I would just make videos when I would catch fish on my trips. While this will continue, I want to start incorporating my own voice to the videos rather than just a music bed under the video.
Something else I plan to work on is exploring new waters. Since I began fishing the Northshore in 2012, I have only fished a handful areas: the rigolets, the trestles, Bayou Liberty, Bayou Lacombe, and Bayou Cane. This year I want to get out and learn new areas such as the Rice Field Canal and the Tchefuncte. I am open to suggestions, just send me a message on the forums and I’ll do my best to get out there.
One other thing I want to do this year is fish some tournaments from my kayak. The ATAK is much more suited for tournament fishing than the Sundolphin was. For the past couple years, I’ve wanted to fish Ride the Bull, but was worried about getting out there in that little sit-in. It was kind of tippy and cramped. Since I couldn’t stand up in it, my back, hips, knees, and butt would start to hurt after a couple hours. All that has changed now that I can stand. Another problem I had with fishing tournaments was they all happen in places I’ve never fished. I didn’t want to get out there and not venture far from my launch site for fear of getting lost. The depth finder/gps I installed will help me return safely. I’m also thinking of working with a business on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain to get a series of kayak tournaments there. I would much rather drive an hour to an hour and a half to fish a tournament rather than two and a half to three hours to Grand Isle or Venice.
That just about covers what I want to do this year. I hope it all pans out and hope to see you guys and gals out on the water. Tight lines!