If you’re planning on doing some kayak-fishing along the Louisiana coast this month, Venice is a great destination with relatively short paddles — putting redfish and speckled trout within easy reach of most anglers.
Capt. Brian Sherman with Kayak Venice said November is a great time to head down Highway 23 with your kayak for a variety of reasons: the weather is usually pretty pleasant, larger fish move in closer and artificial lures are just about all you’ll need for a solid catch.
The eastern edge of Yellow Cotton Bay and the Wagon Wheel area are two of his go-to spots this month for both specks and reds.
“You’ll have better, more solid fish in there, plus bigger fish coming in from outside,” Sherman said. “And you can catch a lot more fish on artificials as you get into November. They really start hitting spoons, and Gulp lures on a jighead.
“You want to be up against the cane and throw across points and openings where water is flowing out. That’s where you really want to work a spoon.”
Sherman also always keeps a Vudu shrimp rigged up under a popping cork for both specks and reds, but said a Gulp shrimp or curly tail Gulp in molting color on a 1/4-ounce jighead is especially effective this month for redfish.
“Just bounce it and work it back to you. The cooler it gets, the better that gets,” he said. “I try to throw in pockets, but depending on wind and your setup, if you can throw it down a bank for 40 or 50 feet along the canes, that will work pretty good, too.”
Working and casting your lures right up against the canes is critical, especially when targeting redfish, Sherman said.
“Some people see the canes as an obstacle and cast 10 feet short all day long. I keep saying, ‘Until you get hung up, you’re not going to catch a fish. Embrace the canes,” he said. “You have to be willing to get hung up.”
He especially targets stretches where the roseau canes transition to grass.
“For some reason where that break is, it seems like that’s a good spot. Any spot where you can see a run through the canes going back, throw there because they’re going in and turning around and coming back out,” he said. “And you catch them in those spots all the time.
“Any place where canes are broken on the outside and thick on the inside, you fish between the thick and the brokens and in the pockets of the brokens — they hold fish.”
Trout-wise, he suggested experimenting with a chartreuse Vudu shrimp under a popping cork until you catch a couple.
“Once you get one trout on, pop the heck out of it and try to get some other ones to go,” Sherman said. “You can catch one or two trout next to the canes, and the others might be out 100 feet.
“And in November, you can catch big bull reds out there 30 or 40 yards away from the canes.”
Sherman typically rigs up with 40-pound Fins Windtamer braid, and bumps up his fluorocarbon starting this month to 40 pounds, as well.
“If you’re trying to fish with mono, you’ll break off all day long in there,” he said. “And if you go down to 20-pound fluoro, those canes have all sorts of crustaceans growing on the bottom.
“It’s like a saw down there working on your line.”
While his go-to lures are generally pretty successful, Sherman said it’s always important to read the signs on the water and change things up if you feel like you’re missing out on some bites.
“You really have to watch, especially in the fall,” he said. “Even me, I get hung up on one bait that’s comfortable and seems to be working.
“Last year one time I started seeing mud minnows jumping and reds chasing them. I had my Gulp and Vudu going, and I was getting hit every once in a while. So the next day I went out and bought a small inch-and-a-half minnow Gulp and tore them up there for two weeks on that thing on an ⅛-ounce jighead — they were smoking it. You have to match the hatch like fly-fishing. You could be throwing a shrimp out there all day, but if they’re chasing mud minnows, that’s what they’re eating. You better be throwing that, because you’ll have a lot better shot — I learned that last fall.”