Capt. Ty Hibbs is a sight-fishing fanatic. He takes clients every week to the fish-filled backwaters of the South Louisiana marsh, and not only has great success, but has a ball watching redfish engulf lures.
One of the keys to his great June success is finding grass, and Hibbs said there is no shortage of it right now.
“We have so much grass this year,” he said. “Everything lined up perfectly for a ton of grass: You’ve got the Mardi Gras cut getting deeper every year, we had a really high river in February and it was 85 degrees in February. That grass just grows like wildflowers.”
However, Hibbs said not just any old grass will do. He likes vibrant-colored submerged aquatic vegetation.
“You’re going to have a lot of areas, when it gets to be that 95-degree heat everyday, that are mainly like dead water because the grass is so thick and dying,” he said. “If you find that bright green hydrilla and snot grass, that’s going to be your key.”
Because of the intense heat that Louisiana experiences every summer, anything fish can use to stay cooler is extremely beneficial — even if that’s just a few inches of deeper water.
“I like a little bit deeper water that time of year,” he said. “You find ponds like that with 2 feet of water in it rather than 12 inches, it’s going to help you a lot more with the heat.”
Whenever he makes it to a redfish pond, Hibbs said if you see a certain kind of bait, you better stay and fish it.
“I like finding shrimp, I like finding crabs, but when it comes to redfish in Louisiana if you find pogies — especially baby pogies — there’s no reason to leave,” he said. “I don’t care what the water looks like. The fish are going to be there. That’s their number one. It’s like candy for them.”
When he sees a fish, Hibbs tosses either a lemonhead or pink champagne-colored Matrix Shad to it.
“I like throwing bright colors,” he said. “I want to see the bait disappear when they eat it.”
If he finds those lures don’t appease the redfish, he’ll go to crawfish baits. Hibbs likes a watermelon-red-colored crawfish.
“If a redfish doesn’t eat that, he’s not eating anything,” he said.
As far as rigging the crawfish, many anglers choose to throw it Texas-rigged, but Hibbs rigs it on a jighead — just like he does a Matrix Shad.
“I really like the weight in front of the head of the crawfish because it’s just going to dart straight down,” he said. “It falls more naturally, and it gets those claws kicking a lot more ....”