Techniques for fishing vary from coast to coast, and down here in South Louisiana anglers have a wide range of tactics available to them to pursue their favorite fish.
From techniques as simple as dead shrimp under popping corks to as complicated as jigging 20 feet of water, fish can be caught using a plethora of methods.
However, there are few things more heart-stopping than watching a fish charge a bait.
That’s exactly what Delacroix-based fishing guide Capt. Ty Hibbs does in the ponds on a regular basis this time of year.
He has become an expert at sight-fishing redfish, and said there’s one vital element you must have in any pond.
“You’re looking for that green snot grass,” Hibbs said. “That’s your ticket this time of year. It’s going to hold the majority of the fish, and it’s also going to hold those fat slot fish.”
He also said snot grass provides great filtration for the water.
“We’ll get a lot of hydrilla that’ll clean up the water some, but I find that snot grass cleans it up the fastest and gets it the most clear,” Hibbs said.
Hibbs said fishing a tidally influenced marsh has its pros and cons, both for the vegetation and the fishermen.
“When we get the normal and high water levels, that’s when the grass grows, so if the water never gets high, you won’t really get the grass growth,” he said. “(The fishing) is good when the water’s high; you can get anywhere but so can those fish.
“Even in a small boat like mine, those fish will still get in places that you can’t get to.”
Therefore, Hibbs prefers fishing when the water is low, as it tends to concentrate the fish.
“If you find areas holding 20 fish, when that water gets low, if it’s deep enough it’s going to hold all the fish in the whole area,” he said.
There are certain times of the year when anglers will have trouble getting a sighted fish to eat a lure, but this isn’t one of them.
“May and June is their most-aggressive time of year,” Hibbs said.
Since they’re so active, you wouldn’t think lure selection would matter much, but this guide is picky about the bait he uses.
“I really like throwing bright colors,” Hibbs said. “I’ll pitch the bait a couple of feet in front of them, and as soon as I see all of that color disappear, I know it’s in his mouth, and I can get a good hookset.”
Hibbs likes throwing lemonhead and pink champagne-colored Matrix Shad. However, if the fish are being finicky, Hibbs switches to more-natural colors like a green hornet Matrix Shad.
“The problem when you have a natural color is when you pitch the bait into a grass patch, that fish is going to eat, and he might snap a chunk of grass next to the bait,” Hibbs said. “You set the hook, and the hook wasn’t even near the fish.”