Spawn brings big reds within anglers’ reach
Louisiana has a different “running of the bulls” than they do in Spain, an event which attracts anglers from all corners of the United States. Every year, from August to mid-October, big redfish swarm into brackish Cajun waters to spawn, and there are few places in Sportsman’s Paradise better to partake in than Caminada Pass.
At one end of Grand Isle, Caminada Pass opens into the Gulf of Mexico, and a multitude of hot spots are there to try. Whether you are land-bound or have access to a vessel, Caminada Pass will be the place to land your best bull red this season, as long as the redfish bite picks up.
According to Mike Magee, who has been targeting bull reds around Grand Isle for nearly 40 years, particularly from fishing piers, this hasn’t been as good a summer as others.
“Some reds are being caught from the beaches, but not as many as in the past summers,” he said. “Hopefully, water temperatures and the coming spawn will cooperate in helping to concentrate larger schools of reds in the passes soon. The redfish are here; we see them under the lights at night when we go pier fishing. They seem uninterested in their usual favorite baits: fresh cut mullet and whole pogies. But this should change soon.”
Magee fishes the piers of Grand Isle when targeting larger redfish, particularly the two piers on either side of the bridge that connects Grand Isle to the mainland. However, they become crowded on weekends during the spawn.
“Make sure to arrive early and be prepared to stay late. It will get a bit crazy out there with people tripping over each other to get their line in the water, and not everyone knows what they are doing,” he said. “The pier fishing this summer has been less than ideal, despite an abundance of bait and good water clarity and tidal range. The reds just haven’t showed up in their usual numbers, so you may have to wait a good while for a quality fish.”
Boat and surf fishing
If you are more adventurous, you can surf-fish from Elmer’s Island point. Since vehicles are not allowed on the beach, it’s a sandy hike of roughly 1.6 miles, one way, toting your fishing gear.
Boat-bound anglers can drop anchor in the pass and have some seclusion from the crowding on the piers and on the beaches.
“The premier spot is the sandbar outcrop from the private beach, facing Grand Isle,” Magee said. “The sandbar has a steep drop-off into a pocket that the redfish congregate in during low tide — where I usually get all my bites.”
Most boats drop anchor, and anglers cast their live and/or dead bait with the current flow and wait for the bite. The boat-bound angler also has the option of being able to move towards a schooling pod of bull reds that will show up every now and then.
“The tide in Caminada Pass can be a glassy still or a raging current, dependent on wind and pressure,” Magee said. “It is not the be-all, end-all to the redfish bite, but it will influence where the schooling fish are. It is important to remember that redfish migrate with the tides throughout the year, and this does not change much during the spawn.”
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