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Thursday, 29 May 2014 00:00

Sometimes You Need A Stink Pot

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With kayak fishing exploding in popularity, there are plenty of unfortunate stories, too many of them ending in tragedy. Luckily, I had never felt I was in a situation where my safety was compromised - that is until this week. There's an area that is popular with kayak anglers down here in south Louisiana. It's a community in the marsh known as Pointe Aux Chenes.

I've fished Pointe Aux Chenes (PAC, for short) often since beginning to kayak fish. There's the main highway which ends at PAC Marina, there are two public launches giving access to wildlife management areas, and there's a separate road that ends at Isle De Jean Charles Marina. I have only fished out of the public launches and Isle De Jean Charles Marina, though many a kayaker has launched from PAC Marina.

PAC Marina sits at the crossing of a bayou and a pipeline canal. At times, the current can become quite strong between these two waterways. This fact has been the main reason why I had been wary of launching at the marina. However, knowing that a lot of kayak anglers regularly launch there I decided to go for it.

The day began with low winds and cloudless skies. It was a beautiful day! There was a defined current going through the canals when I left the marina, but nothing major. I got out of the main canal where it broke off into a small lake, I started fishing. I hadn't been on the water twenty minutes when I had my first redfish in the boat. I continued on down the south shoreline of the lake, sharing the water with a crab fisherman checking his traps.

As I paddled along, I would occasionally spook some fish that were lying in the grass undetected. I eventually found water that looked like it belonged in Florida. It's hard to find water in Louisiana that's clear past a foot, but this water was about 3’ -4’ deep, and I could see the bottom. I was constantly seeing redfish, sheepshead, and black drum. I only got one more to bite, but it was a nice slot red!

After a lot more exploring and sight-casting and coming up empty, I decided to start the treck back to the marina. By this point the winds had picked up a bit and were blowing from the southwest. I continued to fish the two-mile stretch of shoreline, but landed nothing else.

When I got back to the canal, the current was ripping. I got into it and tried paddling, but was getting nowhere. I knew that if I kept trying, I could get worn out and end up getting pushed further downstream. Worse yet, there was a family on a pontoon boat tied off to a bulkhead fishing within a hundred feet of me. I knew I was embarrassing myself, and that they were thinking I was on some kamikaze mission. I decided to paddle up and make small talk. After chatting about the fishing, they were nice enough to give me a tow back to the marina. I thanked them by giving them the bigger of my two fish. When I thanked him repeatedly, he said, "Don't worry about it - that's why we share the waterways."

Had they not been there, I believe I could've found an alternative route by portaging over some marshland or something, but I have no idea what the conditions would've been. I can just say, while it was a little embarrassing, asking for help from the “stinkpotter” may have saved my life. There's no telling what could've happened had the situation been slightly different.

Read 1800 times Last modified on Thursday, 29 May 2014 07:02

Eli Braud

The Bayou State is where I call home and it's freshwater bayous are where my addiction started. I have since migrated to the marsh and inshore fisheries where I hunt redfish & speckled trout primarily. I enjoy seeing others interested in the outdoors and am happy to help introduce others to the natural beauty of South Louisiana. I'm especially happy to help introduce new people to the sport of kayak fishing!
 
I enjoy working with a great company like Pack & Paddle in Lafayette, LA, that's main goal is to get people outside and in the outdoors. I also work on Pro Teams with YakAngler, FINS Braided Line, and Breathe Like A Fish Performance Apparel. I author the BayouYakin.com blog and live in Morgan City, LA with my wife, Tracey, and son, River.

Website: www.bayouyakin.com

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# jharris33 2014-05-29 12:19
Great article and reminder to us all. The picture of the red off you bow, makes me want to hit the launch.
 

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