I decided to make a quick trip to Joe’s Cove here in southwest Louisiana. I only had about three hours to fish, so I wanted to make the best of it. I launched at about noon, and it was clear and sunny, as forecast. I was amazed that the forecast was actually accurate. However, after getting on the water, I realized it was not totally true; the winds were still pretty strong, and they did not cease as predicted.
I began my short trip by drifting the reef that runs through the center of the cove. I quickly realized that this was not going to be productive, again due to the wind and very muddy water. As I got closer to the west bank, I could see clear and calmer water. I decided to check it out. As I moved closer, I saw the water was very clear, and it was filled with schools of 1” shad. I decided to stick around for a bit to see what happened.
My first cast, I threw a Rapala ”Skitterwalk” with silver bottom and chartreuse top. I bumped it a couple of times and stopped, as I was side tracked looking at the vast amounts of bait fish hovering around my kayak. After taking a short peek, I looked up to my Skitterwalk. Lo and behold, at the exact time I looked up I saw a quick and very aggressive hit, accompanied by a loud thump! My Skitterwalk had disappeared from the water’s surface. I quickly attempted to set the hook, but of course I had slack in my line because of my wandering eyes (shame on me). When I was able to get some tension on the line, the fish was able to spit my lure. My heart began to race from the excitement. I promised this would not happen again - at least due to not being prepared.
My third cast, I made a few bumps and saw a swirl just behind the Skitterwalk. I made a short pause, followed by two quick bumps, and BAM! I quickly set the hook and it was fish on. After a valiant fight, I was able to pull in this beautiful 21”+ redfish. The bite turned on, and I was able to get a couple of more hook-ups and a rat red at the beginning. However, after that brief moment the reds were no longer interested in my Skitterwalk. They appeared to be preoccupied with the thousands of bait fish. I scrambled to “match the hatch”, but it didn’t matter what I threw. I could only watch them - even some monsters - gorging themselves on the shad. I was amazed to watch this feeding frenzy go down right before my eyes. The redfish appeared as missiles shooting all around and even under my kayak as they attacked their prey.
As quickly as the bite turned on, it stopped. The frenzy lasted only about an hour - I suppose after the reds gorged themselves, they decided they had enough. Unfortunately, I was unable to make a last ditch effort and had to head back to the launch. Even so, I was happy and excited after seeing the feeding frenzy, and of course there is nothing greater than a topwater hook up. After everything, I left the cove with a glimmer of hope that “Spring Fishing Has Finally Arrived!”