Braving the big water awesome summer trip to Iron Banks
Adam Huynh and James Kellum show off nice stringers of trout from kayak fishing at the Iron Banks.
“Sure we did. We left three days ago!”
That’s how the exchange went when bay boats started arriving in the early dawn at the Iron Banks in Breton Sound — a bit perplexed to find five kayaks already sitting on their favorite spots.
While kayaks are regularly encountered in the coastal marshes of Louisiana, the need for more adventure is leading many ‘yakers to venture into areas they cannot reach without the assistance of a “mothership.” Several of us recently teamed up with Capt. C.T. Williams of Bigfish Charters for an overnight trip into Breton Sound.
“I’ve wanted to put one of these trips together for our new 62-foot houseboat,” Williams said. “I learned a lot about kayak fishing, and these guys got to fish an area that has rarely, if ever, been fished in a kayak.
“Whether it’s chasing birds or fishing structure, the kayaks proved equally successful as the much larger boats they were fishing amongst.”
There were several storms in the sound as the Sponsorship neared Mozambique Point. A decision was made to splash the yaks and fish the evening away while letting the weather on the outside settle down. Birds were diving in several groups, and it didn’t take long for the ‘yakers to start hammering a bunch of school trout. Gulp Shrimp under popping corks were all that was needed for non-stop action. While some were undersized, plenty enough keepers were amassed for what would become a fresh-fish supper.
As the sun went down, so did the thunderstorms. The kayaks were pulled back on board, and the Iron Banks was punched into the GPS.
As the Sponsorship headed out into the sound, the trout were cleaned and prepared for frying. After anchoring up on the lee side of a small island, the crew feasted on the freshest fish available, salad, chicken wings and sausage (I sensed that Williams was leery of our ‘yak fishing skills, and had brought the back up meat just in case).
The night was fantastic. A light breeze, no bugs and more stars than you could count. Rigs were lit in the distance, and it was a little hard to believe that we were on a kayak fishing trip. We tried a little night fishing on the Fish Vector light off of the stern, but only a few small trout showed up to play. We hit the bunks looking forward to exploring the Iron Banks first thing in the morning.
Breton Sound in the summer is known for its hot trout action.
“Iron Banks is a great location for kayak fishing,” said Williams. “There are plenty of small islands, pilings, shell reefs and lots of oil-field debris that the kayaks can get right up on.”
The kayaks were launched as the sun was making its first appearance over the slick waters of the sound. The ‘yakers took up position at some nearby pilings. It wasn’t long before the Gulp/popping cork combinations started bringing in trout after trout.
As the sun got higher, the powerboats arrived in droves. The gas motors and the clanking anchor chains were in stark contrast to the peaceful silence we had been experiencing. One after another, the boaters could be heard making curious comments about the crazy guys in the kayaks deep in Breton Sound.
Soon, huge groups of squawking seagulls gathered to lead the way to the marauding trout just under the surface. Unlike the noisy outboards and even trolling motors, the stealthy kayaks were able to move right in on the action without spooking the schools.
Adam Huynh worked a chartreuse Gulp Jerk Shad under a popping cork, and simply wailed on the trout.
“When I went to check on Adam, he was already up to his ankles in specks and white trout,” Williams said.
Huynh quickly reached his limit of specks, and played catch and release while adding more white trout to his bag. The rest of the kayakers enjoyed similar success.
Capt. C.T. Williams can be reached at (504) 244-3474 or www.thebigfish.net.
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