A very green Mississippi river has sucked the redfish in along the shoreline, according to longtime Venice guide Capt. Boola Landry of Reel Tite Fishing Guide Service.
Although this makes finding redfish easier for the weekend warrior, it also spreads out the fish over a wider area — which means you often have to move around more to catch a lot of fish.
“It’s easier for a novice to get in his boat and find some fish with the river being down, but they won’t be stacked up like in the spring and early summer,” Landry said.
When the river’s low, Landry concentrates his efforts along the edges of the river and passes.
“I’ll fish the east or west side of the river depending on the wind, and look for bait stacked up and moving water,” he said.
Several weeks ago fish were being caught along the rocks at the entrance of Main Pass in the river. Landry targets rocks or cane along the edges of Main Pass, Octave Pass, Red Pass, South Pass, Grand Pass and Baptiste Collette when the river is low.
But the key is to move around like you’re fishing for bass.
“Redfish like brackish water, and to find brackish water right now, you have to fish the passes or the river,” he said.
But the spillways can be tricky, he said, because as soon as someone starts catching fish there word gets around and they get fished out pretty quickly.
When the river rises quickly — as it is supposed to do beginning this Sunday, Sept. 16 and then spike at 10 feet on the 24th — the fish will become harder to catch.
“They might still be in the river but they won’t bite, so I’ll move out to the bays to try to catch them,” he said.
As he moves further from the river, the bite depends more on the tide. But the good news is that the predicted high river next week will cool warm Gulf waters near the river,which could ultimately help us if a hurricane heads our way.
Landry prefers a stable river, whether it is high or low.
“I’d rather when the river is stable,” he said. “If the river stays the same you can pattern the fish. When it’s rising or falling real fast, it disturbs the fish.”
Landry was slamming the redfish earlier this summer in the attached video.
“I was fishing the in-between when the river stage was probably coming down,” he said, noting the the river was at 6 or 7 feet and he was fishing along the edges and tributaries off of Main Pass “I want to stay in as brackish as water as I can.”
Although in the video he was using corks, lately Landry has been catching most of his slot reds bouncing plastic and tight-lining with dead shrimp on the bottom because he’s either been fishing deeper water or in the river, where there’s too much current to fish a cork.
When he goes after bull reds he’s fishing the edges of the bays with a soft plastic under a popping cork.
“Overall it’s been a great year,” he said. “I can’t think of many days we didn’t catch a limit.”