The first week of November I was in the Lake Charles, LA area and had the opportunity to take another species off of my "catch before I die" list. While visiting a friend with a house on Lake Calcasieu, we left just before dawn to make the 10 minute run to a cut with good water flow and bait on their way from the lake to marshland. As Hurricane Ike had muddied up the water, we started with spinning rods using crawfish artificials. Within a few casts we had landed multiple speckled trout or what we know as "weakfish" up north. Similar to a Bluefish, they are aggressive and hide around the trophy fish in the same way bluefish get in the way of Stripers up North.
With multiple red hook ups between the four anglers on the boat and a "Black Drum"
and flounder by me, I was wondering when my first Red http://indian-river.fl.us/fishing/fish/drumred.html
would come to the boat. After a number of casts to get the bait movement right, I finally hooked in to a good size Red in the 6-8lb class on the spinning rod. The fight was similar to a Striped Bass with their strength showing more than any acrobatics or quick movements. Once I found my "Honey Pot" spot and honed in on my crawfish movement, a few more good sized Reds followed. We fished that spot for a few hours then moved to a long rock jetty where Big Oil tankers come in and out of the lake. The ride was a scenic one down to the jetty with big shrimp boats sunk and moved up on shore from the hurricane. It was well cleaned up but still looked like a war zone at times.
The tide, wind and muddy water were working against us, but we hooked up with two Rat Red's (smaller 1-3lb fish) throwing clousers as a fly. I was surprised how similar the fly, habitat and feeding habits were to our local Striped Bass. If you ever have the chance to fish here, there is a ton of bait and I highly recommend it. It is just as good if not better than the ESPN shows you watch on Saturday morning. I look forward to catching a Bull sized Red when the water clears up down there.
NSAC records for this trip, Black Drum, Red Drum on conventional and Red fish on the fly.