Where Y’ak Plaquemines plastic
A gold/black Mann’s Waker worked just above the submerged grass fooled this redfish for Steve Savoye.
Highway 23 parallels the Mississippi River all the way to Venice. Areas where the marsh is just over the levee to the west of the highway offer easy paddling to ponds and small bays that are perfect for kayak fishing.
Many of these areas have commercial marinas, and most offer a discounted fee for kayak launching. They also have the benefit of a secure parking area, and you can get current fishing information from the marina operators.
For those who prefer more secluded areas, there are many roadside launch sites that offer quick access into areas that are less pressured by powerboats. A few precautions should be taken to make sure you are not parking on private property or parking in prohibited areas. Levees are sensitive areas, and parking or driving on the levees is illegal.
However, several areas have pumping stations or canals where you can drive over the levee, launch your ‘yak and then park off to the side. Due to the secluded nature of these sites, make sure to lock your vehicle and don’t leave any valuables inside.
While trout can be caught in many of these locations, redfish reign in this complex of shallow ponds. Filled with summertime vegetation, schools of hungry reds can often be found tailing and crashing bait. Experienced kayak anglers know that this is their ticket to consistent limits of fat Louisiana redfish. If you’ve never been in a kayak with a 30-inch redfish on the end of your line, you don’t know what you’re missing.
If the signs of redfish are not easily evident, look for splashes, nervous bait, feeding sounds or the tell-tale V-wake pushing along a shoreline. These signs will all give away the fish’s location.
Favorite lures are spoons, heavy-duty spinner baits, shallow-running crankbaits and wake baits. These can be fished at or just under the surface, and will help avoid the submerged vegetation. Also, a soft-plastic tail or live shrimp or cocaho can’t be beat. One of these baits on a light jighead can be tight-lined across the bottom right up to a hungry red’s nose.
Not much is needed in the way of special equipment. However, a 6-foot stake-out pole is a great way to quietly position the kayak without using a noisy anchor that can spook the fish. A stout landing net will help you get a big red under control without popping your line trying to haul him into the yak. Keep a ruler onboard or put measured marks on your yak to allow you to easily determine if the red is a keeper.
Many of these big marsh redfish will be over the 27-inch limit and you can only keep one of these per day. A lip-grip device will help you get the fish under control for measuring and placing in your cooler or on your stringer.
If you want to experience the thrill of catching big reds in a little boat, launch your ‘yak off of Highway 23 in Plaquemines Parish. The opportunities are endless.
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