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Taking 17 foot xpress out to pickets and mardi gras rigs

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For the past few weekends i have been fishing down in dularge catching plenty of redfish and a few smaller specks on the upper end of lake Mechant. I really want to get on some bigger specks and more of them. I have been catching 1 keeper to every 10 or 15 specks in Mechant. The fished have obviously made the transition and are out in the gulf now out on the rigs. I have a 17 foot Xpress bass boat with a 90 yamaha on it. If i launched at Jug's Marina it would only be about a 25 mile run from the launch all the way out to the rigs such as the Pickets and the Mardi Gras rig. Would it be a bad idea for me and a friend to make this run? is my boat too small for this even on a very calm day? also are there any waters in or around Sister Lake that are protected enough for my boat but still hold good size trout right now and throughout the summer? Please give some opinions on making the run out to the beaches and rigs in my boat. If it is not too dangerous i think we might try it next weekend. thanks and god bless
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Dangerous
I've been to Mardi Gras many times (day and night). I've seen winds kick up while there and get to 4 to 5's quickly. I wouldn't chance it with the winds we been having.
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.
you're gonna need a bigger boat
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Pick your day carefully...
It's definitely not ideal but I have seen people out at the rigs and island in boats similiar to your size. I have actually seen a 13 footer out there on a calm day. I wouldn't recommended it tho. If you decide to do it I would recommend you pick a very calm day. I think the best thing for you if you want to catch bigger and more specks is look at hitting the coast. This way you are not completely exposed to the elements. Try Pelican Pass and if the water looks calm and you want to take a shot, The pickets is within sight. I wouldn't even think about Mardi Gras tho.
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21st
I'd rather see my 20th and the 21st birthday especially.
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Big Risk
Although it is doable it is a big risk. I have seen conditions go from slick calm to a bad squal in a mater of minutes. And those summer time sqauls can get real bad. I have a 19 foot bayboat and have been stuck out there, it is not fun. If you do take the chance keep a close eye on the weather conditions and be prepared to run in at the first sign that things could get bad.
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Those days are rare!
I've done it, but wouldn't reccomend it. Pelican Pass and the bayous that drain into the bay from the marsh are good and the trout are usually keepers. Try the mouth of Bayou Grand Caillou. In my opinion, there are better ports than Dularge for catching keeper trout in the summer from an express type hull (I have the G3 version). Bayou Sale out of Dulac has some good, protected fishing for trout down near the mouth, and if it's calm, you can get to the Whiskey Pass area without being far from land. I know it's eroded a lot in the last few years though. Try Launching at Madison Canal and head to Tambour Bay and Lake Barre. Try Leeville too. Go into little lake and into Timbalier Bay. The islands and reefs have good trout on them. That's probably my favorite area for fishing in a small boat for trout.
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imho
I think you need higher sides to make the run to the Mardi Gras rig.

I didn't get to fish the Mardi Gras rig last year due to fishing closures. I am fairly new to the Mardi Gras rig. Can someone offer some opinions on how the fishing is likely to go this year at the rig with the high water? Never tried fishing there with high rivers much less the Morganza being opened!
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Heck No!
Don't even think about that in a boat that small. That's 15 miles of open Gulf water you are talking about! You need at least a 22 foot bay boat for that run...

TT
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CG
When/If you go out there, I'll call the coast guard and have them on stand by.
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Be careful...
I've been out to Enstar in my 17' bass boat on a calm day,but you have to be careful and watch the weather. If you go, you'll know as soon as you hit the open water if it's calm enough.
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sh
Kyle, SHH!. Oh hows your grass look?
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maybe on a good day
i guess it is possible to go out to the pickets on a very calm day. I am going to cross the mardi gras rig off of my list because i have no idea where it is and it looks to be pretty far out in open water. I am looking on google earth and i think i will definately be safe running across Sister Lake, into Pelican Pass or the other pass south of Sister Lake and fish the shorelines down there. There looks to be numerous canals that cut off of the gulf down there and go up into the marsh and also a bunch of smaller islands out there. Does the shoreline and smaller islands down there south of Sister Lake hold any speckled trout or redfish? I have exams next week and plan on fishing down there a few times a week this summer. thanks guys and god bless
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Rough
So can De Cade and Mechant. I'll be fine bro
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xpress
Common sense & experience is more important than the size of your boat!

You might just find all the fish you want in Mechant or Sister lake too?
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pickets and mardi gras rigs??
like the chief said in jaws, i think we're gonna need a bigger boat!!!! you ever watched deadliest catch?? might be the same thing!! once you out there, wishing you wasn't, ain't gonna help a bit!!! i would seriously re-think this!!! make sure you got the best life preservers made by man!!!! i know you are young and brave!! but, why not grow up and be mature and alive??? you say you're going to be fine, bro??? how do you know, you ain't even left yet??? you're decision!!!! wish you good luck, you will need it!!!! like shooter chief says, also, think about your friend, if you are a friend?????!!!!!
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You are your own man....
I've been reading this for a little while now, you asked others of their opinion, so here is mine:

You are a man and are capable of making your own decision. The guys on here (who have mountains of experience) have repeatedly advised against this trip, as will I.

I have only three comments, and then it is all on you.
- What fish out there is worth risking your life.
- Who else would you be putting in danger (SeaTow, Coast Guard, other fishermen, etc...) that may be coming out to render assistance.
- You are the Captain of your vessel, responsible not only for the vessel itself, but for all those onboard.

I truly wish you the best friend........
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no rigs
ive realized that the rigs are out of the question, but i would still like to fish in Sister Lake and the canals off of the southern end of it. I just don't know whether or not specks stay in there during the summer or if they all move out to the coast. Are yall saying that my boat is too small to go into Sister Lake?
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HONDO ALMOST DIDNT MAKE IT.
YES! Depending on the wind and which way its coming from. I've seen that lake rougher than DeCade when we were riding back escorting them people in that little 14 foot boat almost running out of gas. It got bad one day and it wasn't supposed to with Hondo, and that ole boat almost went belly up. And thats a heavy buttox boat.
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Some rhyme for you...
First of all, the weather is your boss when fishing the coast. Learn that lesson and live by it.

We use a rhyme that help guide our decisions to fish offshore in small boats.

'One-to-Two; Me and You.
Two-to-three; Maybeeeeee.
Two-to-foueaux; Do not goeaux.'

Sure, you can run out there in varying conditions, but when you find yourself taking water over the bow at anchor, and can't stand up to fish without holding on with one hand, you'll have some experience under your belt.

The boat can usually take more than the man can take....but why get into that contest?
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strongly dont recomend it!
I've fished out there before in a 17' Whaler when its gotten rough and trust me never again! Trust me it'll make you appreciate life more. If you want to go though pm me and if I'm not working we can take my boat and split the gas. I aint much older than you(28) take these guys advice stick to the coast and inland; bass boats aren't made for the gulf!
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Big Water
With some experience, you can safely manage your boat with correct forward speed and pointing the bow into waves, depending on how much wind and wave size, BUT if you motor kills for any reason...good bye. It's all over....and that can cause major problems, even in a larger boat.
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thanks guys
thanks guys i appreciate all the info. i don't want to put myself into any situation that would be life threatening. and fishaholic i am definately going to take you up on that offer. i have one more week of school then finals and then im free for the whole summer. id gladly split the cost of gas, bait and whatever else is needed. I spend almost 100$-150$ almost evert trip i take down there on gas and food alone. breaks the bank pretty bad especially for a 17 year old. can anyone give me any info on fishing in sister lake? can specks be caught in there during the summer or do they all move out to the gulf and the rigs? It definately looks like i can fish the canals off of Sister Lake and the southern banks. Do any of these spots hold specks and reds? thanks guys and god bless
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17ft Express
Have the Coast Guard follow you out there.
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17 ft. Express
I've fished Sister Lake and Mechant for close to 20 years out of a 16' alum. basstracker with a 40 mercury and never had a problem with winds no more than 18mph. I even been to Last Island and sulphur mine several times when wind was 5 to 10..no more!! But the Mardi Gras in a 17 footer...No Way!!! Been there many times in a 24' and when the winds come, that 24' took a beaten!! Don't do it, plenty of smaller trout in the other lakes until you upgrad your boat. Hope that helps?
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17' Express
Yes, you can catch specks all summer long in those two lakes, especially on western side of Mechant around what used to be Hog Point> Matter of fact, i caught one of my biggest stringers of specks in Mechant on July 4th..several years ago!! Clear water and rising tides have always been good in those lakes...good luck!!!
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Re: Taking 17 foot xpress out to pickets and mardi gras rigs
Man, u taking a big chance this time of year. I wouldn't try it until winds shift to north.
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Re: Taking 17 foot xpress out to pickets and mardi gras rigs
Holly smokes. That was 4 years ago, Flies has graduated and has a 24 foot bay boat now. He is on the rigs as we speak.
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Re: Taking 17 foot xpress out to pickets and mardi gras rigs
unless he took his 17foot to the mardi gras????
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