Monster reds at Marsh Island

Wendell Hebert of New Iberia and his son, Mason, had plenty of redfish to clean after their trip to Marsh Island with Lydia-based Smokin’ Reels Charters.

Deep holes in The Worm holding fish

Hot weather has redfish right where many Acadiana fishermen want them this summer — in the deep holes of bayous inside Marsh Island. And the good news is they’ll still be there in September.

The holes started paying off big time in July, especially for Capt. Brian Romero of Lydia, who has owned Smokin’ Reels Charters (337-577-8441) since 2008. Romero and his son, Drew, have been putting redfish in the boat consistently despite the heat.

“It’ll definitely still be great this time of year. It’ll still be hot until the fronts come through. To me, that’s when the fish hit the deeper holes,” Brian said. “We’ve been doing well. Everybody’s catching now.”

Romero, who was an oilfield boat captain 40 years before retiring in 2016, advised anglers to use their depthfinder to locate deep holes as they go through The Worm and Bird Island Bayou, two of the most popular bayous for redfish. Some are 10- to 30-feet deep, with the deeper holes mostly in the curves.

“If you find water 7 to 8 feet deep, you can find them, too,” he said.

Outgoing tides usually are more productive, particularly the first half-hour after the tide starts moving and the last half-hour before it stops moving, according to Romero. But there will be days when redfish bite all day long, he said.

Before trying the deep holes, however, redfish can be caught early in the morning fishing the shoreline and points. He especially likes to fish grassy areas. Romero catches most of his redfish then on a lemonhead Matrix Shad on a ¼-ounce leadhead under a Four Horsemen popping cork.

“To me, it’s more than a popping cork. It’s a fish caller. I’ve been using the cork the last five, six months. It really works. It’s a fish-catching machine,” he said, noting he usually fishes the leadhead about 18 inches to 2 feet under the cork. “It’s a great product. I can’t wait to use it on speckled trout when they come in. We just need a cool spell.”

Around 9 a.m. or so, he switches tactics when he’s targeting reds and heads for the deep holes. When he does, he fishes on the bottom with a Carolina rig and uses either cut bait, shrimp or crab.

“Sometimes you have to bring everything to keep up with them,” he said. “Go to the deep holes for your best opportunity.”

The Carolina rig he uses will have a 1 ½-foot leader and a 3/8- or ½-ounce weight and probably a 4/0 hook, he said. He’ll bait up with different baits — cut bait, shrimp or crabs — to find out what the redfish want that day.

Don Shoopman
About Don Shoopman 332 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.

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