Turns out the fishing wasn’t as easy as it should be, and this is how I adapted to catch a box of fish anyway.
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I recently joined LAFB and have been absorbing as much as I can. I’m not new to fishing but I am new to having a boat and picking/fishing spots on my own. I have gone through inshore 101 and several trip videos.
I offered my boat for the Valero fishing rodeo this Saturday out of Campos in shell beach, as a few from my company fish it every year. Twist is I am going to have a fairly high profile customer on my boat and I am trying to make sure we get on fish and he has a good time. Boat is a 19’ center console with no trolling motor and my transducer for my lowrance just stopped working so I have those things working against me.
I don’t have a lot of experience fishing the area so I watched your nov 2020 trip videos and copied your track and a lot of your spots. Me and my dad decided to launch out there yesterday at sunrise. Wind was blowing harder than forecast out of the N and NE all day and it was very hard to tell if the tide was moving at all. First we fished the north side of the rock dam and caught a few fish but all were throw backs, trout and croakers. The we picked up and ran through spots along your track through Biloxi marsh. Some spots had clean moving (wind) water and others were filthy with zero visibility. We fished with live shrimp on the inshore rig as well as matrix lemonhead, both top and bottom most everywhere and cast all around. Every spot had 1 thing in common, no fish, no action at all, probably 15 spots. Hard to tell where there was bait, no jumping shrimp, no diving birds, and a bum transducer. After having enough of that we ran to the south side of the rock dam and again had some action but it was slow and unproductive. From there I decided to Hail Mary and run to Martello castle which was obviously a mistake as the lake was churning hard and the water was gray it was so dirty. At the end of the day we ended up with one 15” trout and a nice croaker.
I am trying to learn from my mistakes and learn some lessons but I don’t fully understand what is going wrong. I learned to stay away from the lake during a north wind, but not sure what else to take away and learn. I don’t really understand what went wrong.
Did I pick a bad day? Was I still too close to the cold front? Does the north wind kill the bite? Was I just unlucky?
What would your mindset be going into a rodeo on Saturday and feeling pressure to get a client on some trout and redfish? The weather forecast seems to be better with lower winds out of the south and east and falling tide.
Sorry for this wall of text but any wisdom you can impart would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all that you do helping people to learn!
Hey Jeff, thanks for commenting, I’m more than happy to help out, and I am going to tell you the same exact thing I would tell any of my friends (so put on your thick skin):
First off, do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself with this upcoming rodeo. Being mentally sound and having a clear mind is key to doing anything right in the first place much less catching fish.
It’s a rodeo. That’s it. It’s not the IFA Championship, it’s not the Redfish Elite Series, it’s not the Bassmaster Classic.
It’s some obscure rodeo whose turnout nobody will remember this time next year.
If it were a big deal then I promise Louisiana’s heavy hitters will show up and absolutely demolish you and everyone else hoping to win.
So why stress over this rodeo?
I’m not saying any of this to be a dick, I’m saying it because I’ve fished a LOT of tournaments and rodeos, and I’ve taken a LOT of people fishing, and the BEST fishing trips were the ones where I didn’t stress over catching fish in the first place.
I don’t know who this guy is you’re taking fishing, it sounds like you think highly of him and that’s great.
What I do in situations like this is the same thing all my fishing guide buddies do: manage expectations.
If I think it’s gonna be a good day of fishing I don’t say “Hey man, we’re going to whack the daylights out of the fish” but maybe something more like “There’s fish out there but we will have to work for them.”
If I’m not certain it will be a good day of fishing I will just say up front that it’s going to be tough, reminding the person who’s fishing with me that we cannot control the fish, but we can control our effort.
I mean, if this guy is showing up to a rodeo I imagine he’s showing up ready to fish his ass off and have fun, right?
Let me reiterate: You cannot control the fish, but you can control the effort.
And I will tell you that 90% of the time people don’t catch fish is because they’re sitting down, not casting, etc. or otherwise F’ing off.
If you watch me fish you will see that most of the time I am casting like it’s job to wear out the reel’s bearings.
One. Cast. After. The. Other.
I’m not saying that’s what you and your guys need to do, because not everybody has that kind of determination and stamina to match, but I have found that people spend entirely too much time on their phones, drinking beers or doing anything other than casting a line and that’s why they don’t catch as much as they could.
So, manage your own expectations as well as his. Does that make sense?
If you think you’re going to be moving around a bunch, then tell him and mentally prepare him for that.
If you think you’re going to camp out in one spot all day, then tell him and mentally prepare him for that.
After that, focus on having fun.
It took me years to learn that.
I was always such a slave-driver over finding fish to the extent that it could make fishing trips very NOT fun.
So bad my dad doesn’t even want to fish with me.
BUT, I learned that it’s not about the fish so much as it is about the experience and, if you pay close attention to the best fishing guides, that’s exactly what they do.
Working at a swamp tour was a fast track to learning this.
You could show people a bunch of alligators, but if you couldn’t positively engage your crew in the process then it really made for a lame trip.
Or, you can be freakin’ Dave Chapelle and have a whole boat of people laughing and love their tour and not see a single alligator the entire time.
Everything I mentioned above is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect to ANY fishing trip.
All this shit is in your head.
After that, you need to practically apply what you’ve learned inside IF101, especially fishing all the right spots in the right conditions, the right way.
I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if you perfectly nailed each spot or F’d every single one.
I think you most likely did a good job, but I will put emphasis on getting a bait to the bottom.
If a jig or carolina rig is a PITA for this then I recommend a heavy drop shot with a 1oz bank sinker and Gulp Shrimp in New Penny (or some similar color).
Because somewhere in there you shoulda caught more than one trout.
After that, PAY ATTENTION!!!!
We just had a 20mph north wind blow its ass off for a couple days, so a place like Martello is a NO GO.
In all fairness, you did recognize that in your report, just know that a run like that is seriously rolling the dice.
With that said, my hat’s off to you for doing it.
Just pay attention to the conditions leading up to the day of your trip.
After that, pay attention to previous year’s FTRs.
People get wrapped up in previous FTRs being from a few years ago instead of last week, and that’s stupid.
It’s stupid because the marsh has been doing the SAME THING for HUNDREDS of years.
It’s all the same pattern, just go practically apply what you know, take notes, keep reports, become better.
While a lot of spots in the marsh could have cleaned up and reloaded with fish, it sounds like your recent trip revealed where not to go.
If you look at the current forecast for Shell Beach it looks like the area is going to have light wind between now and Saturday and I’d be shocked if Lake Borgne didn’t clean up and those community holes (like Martello, Proctor’s and Douluts) turn back on.
You should also post inside LAFB Elite’s Facebook group and talk to other members there for fishing reports.
Another good talk and show how to fun the fish. Not there move.
Thanks for watching, George.
Devin, I appreciate your videos. It keeps me in the water when I’m sitting in front of my computer. I can say that I knew you before you became a famous video personality. Keep up the good stuff. Semper Fi.
Steve! Long time, no see! Man, I hope you’re doing good and had a good birthday last month.
I’m glad you like the videos and I really wish I had pursued this before 2016, especially the YouTube side of things.
But, hindsight is 20/20 and I am glad to have built this website and LAFB instead.
Very glad to see you’re here, reach out anytime!
Great video, you showed some great spots. I’ll check out the track you ran now