According to Max Plaisance of Plaisance’s Tidewater Charters, this time of year is when it gets easy around Leeville.
“Redfish begin to pop up in the interior bays and along the big banks,” he said.
Plaisance has been guiding full-time for six years with his partner and father, Kip Plaisance, who has been guiding around Leeville for 30 years.
“There’s going to be a different pattern day-to-day, but there’s a few constants we know, such as where they will likely show up, how the weather effects the bite, what they will eat and when they’ll eat,” he said.
Where are the redfish?
“Usually, at the end of October, we get a large shrimp crop in the marsh, and that’s when things really turn on for us,” said Plaisance (fishtidewater.com). “You will start to notice shrimp boats pushing within the interior bays. And when the shrimp really moves in, you will see the seagulls diving, which we will pattern. The birds haven’t shown up, yet, so we do what we know. We fish along the big banks of the interior bays and along the deeper canals.
“When the sun comes out, and the water is moving, around 9 or 10 in the morning, the fish will push up along the stretches of banks in the interior bays. If you take your time, and work your bait/lure along the big banks you will find them. If that’s not working, you can always check out the canals.”
Plaisance said with all the oil-field companies, they have a lot of pipeline canals and dead-end canals to explore.
“These areas will be a little deeper than other places in the marsh,” he said. “The redfish will school in these areas, especially as the water starts to cool off. Look for current lines; that’s where a few will usually be hanging out.”
Plaisance said to keep your gear simple.
“A Four Horsemen popping cork, 18-inch fluorocarbon leader, and a 2/0 circle hook tipped with a live cocahoe minnow is what we use,” he said. “I don’t fish with dead shrimp this time of year. In the winter, it’s all live minnows in the marsh.
“Not every fish you will catch will be a keeper. There will be a lot of 12- to 14-inch redfish in the marsh. Sometimes, they are mixed with the keeper redfish, but other times, you will go into a pocket and catch 15 to 20 throwback redfish.”
Does tide and weather matter?
“Everybody has their opinion on whether an incoming or outgoing tide is better for fishing,” Plaisance said. “But as long as the water is coming or going, the fish will be feeding.
“Each day I go out, I have to work with the tide I have, and I have been able to do that. Just find the moving water, and that’s where the fish will be. That’s the dinner bell. Flowing water makes the fish want to eat.
“If you go fishing on a day without a lot of current, focus on the current lines, choke points and pockets.”
As for weather, Plaisance said it does matter this time of year.
“You will need to watch out for the cold fronts that push through,” he said. “Fishing before the front will be good, even a few hours before the front will produce fish. But the day of the front and a day after the front can be harsh due to the high pressure. It’s best to wait until two days after the front for the bite to turn on again.”
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