Delacroix’s redfish summer

Capt. Chad Dufrene with a Delacroix Island redfish caught tight-lining glow soft plastics on a ¼-ounce jighead in deep bayous.

Previously, on a typical August day, Delacroix anglers would head out into Black Bay and fish the same islands and structures that have produced trout for decades. Stone Island, Lonesome Island, Belle Island, the Wreck, the Black Tanks, Iron Banks and Battledore Reef were landmarks thick with trout and consistent producers, year after year.

But that was then. Now Delacroix stays inundated with muddy river water flowing unchecked through Mardi Gras cut, and the freshwater bath caused explosive grass growth throughout the interior that’s never been seen before. Combine that with a brutally cold winter and the sudden onslaught of summer heat, and the result is an absence of shrimp and trout throughout the region.

The one saving grace has been an abundance of redfish, and most anglers have contented themselves with chasing hard-fighting spot tails.

Capt. Chad Dufrene (985-637-6357) said he expects that pattern to continue this month, unless we get a strong surge of south or southeast winds to bring in higher tides and salty water — and the shrimp and predators that follow them.

“We’ve had strong and consistent west winds for months that have kept the fresh water in, the saltier water out, the tides low, and the shrimp far outside,” he said. “The redfish action has been great along the sides of the big outer bays and in the deeper canals and bayous, and in some of the deeper channels between the bays. The thing to beware of is very low tides, almost like winter, and thick grass everywhere. We see boats getting stuck and hitting crab traps just about every day due to the low water. But stay in the deeper bayous such as Oak River and False River … The reds are hanging along the edges of the grass wherever you find a decent current line. Fish market shrimp under a cork and they’ll find you.”

Dufrene said he’s never seen the grass so thick and extensive as it is right now.

“What we need is a good saltwater flush to kill off some of the grass and bring in some shrimp, and the trout will show up with them,” he said. “Then all the action will resume at those Black Bay typical late-summer hotspots. Otherwise, we’ll be fishing reds.”

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About Rusty Tardo 362 Articles
Rusty Tardo grew up in St. Bernard fishing the waters of Delacroix, Hopedale and Shell Beach. He and his wife, Diane, have been married over 40 years and live in Kenner.

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