An interesting thing happened during a trip to the Texaco Canals with Captain Papa Joe Bush (504-689-3728) to catch some redfish. Rather than load the boat with reds, we loaded it with greens – largemouth bass, that is.
Papa Joe had pinpointed a shoreline that he just knew would give up a few quick redfish before the cold front passed through yesterday morning. The plan was to catch some reds, wait out the front, and then head back out for some more action.
After leaving the Pen and crisscrossing through some of the canals, Papa Joe finally pointed out the slick surface of his target bank. The front was looming large behind us, though, so we knew we had to hurry.
I jumped to the front of the boat to make the first cast with a small spinnerbait that had a black and chartreuse plastic body, but before the lure hit the water, it was carried 15 yards off target by what felt like frontline winds coming off the front.
“Dang fronts blowing through right now,” Bush said. “I thought we’d have a little more time than this. This shore has been holding some good redfish when we’ve been able to get out… water’s been so low I haven’t even been able to leave my dock for a few days.”
Easy flew out the window with the winds – no bites. Papa Joe and I began to zigzag through the Texaco Canal system checking one spot then another. Nothing. We eventually wound up in the back of a dead-end canal that had a trenasse in the back corner.
“This has been a great winter redfish hole over the years,” Bush said as we began chunking our spinnerbaits with a little more ease. We were somewhat protected from the wind in this particular pocket, and our hopes started going up.
Finally! A bite. Turns out it was a bass. Not bad, but it wasn’t red. Moving down another 100 yards or so, Papa Joe and I hooked and released five largemouth bass. At the mouth of the canal, Papa Joe hooked what we were looking for.
He fought the giant redfish for a few minutes while thinking aloud that his fish just wasn’t pulling like a red. In the distance, I finally saw the tail of the fish come out of the water with Papa Joe’s spinnerbait firmly implanted.
“Five bass and a carp in the ass,” Bush lamented as we tossed the tail-hooked carp back into the water. “Never caught a carp down here before… got to be some reds somewhere with all these other fish here.”
After dodging the rain and wind for the next few hours, Bush and I returned to this same pond. Within about 30 minutes, we had successfully hooked and landed several more bass and a number of redfish. We didn’t know if we had just missed them earlier, or if the bite had just turned on after the front.
“We should have fished this side earlier,” Bush explained. “With the water falling now after this front, I think the fish are pulling out of that trenasses and moving down this bank. Seems like the black/chartreuse was the deal (Papa Joe’s purple/white plastic just wasn’t producing nearly as well, but he started smoking them after the switch).”
Although the weather put somewhat of a damper on the day, finding biting largemouth bass after such a forceful front moving through Lafitte lifted our spirits. “Green trout” may not have been what we were after, but they sure were fun to catch.