After years of thinking how cool it would be to spend the summer chasing monster redfish in the Louisiana marsh, I finally did it!!
Although I've spent many days, even weeks at a time, fishing Louisiana in the past, it was always time spent preparing and/or practicing for elite-level tournaments series targeting slot-size fish -- lots of pressure, lots of competition and lots of money on the line!!
Despite all the demands that came with fishing for $50,000, $75,000 or even $100,000, I can honestly say that those were the best times of my professional life! Maybe it was the money, maybe it was the recognition, maybe it was the boat racin'?
When it came right down to it, it was always far less selfish than that - far more personal -- It was the the challenge of chasing fish in unfamiliar waters and the rewards associated with earning the respect of your fellow competitors!!
For years, I tried to articulate those very feelings to my clients, but I knew few of them would ever really understand if they didn't experience this magical marsh for themselves!
Now, with this new chapter in my life I was finally able to share it with them!!
As anyone who knows me me will attest, I never do anything half-ass!! So, it took me a little while to get the wheels turning.
But, what an operation it was!!
Starting with the purchase of a brand new 40-ft. Jayco Eagle travel trailer back in late May, my plan was finally starting to come together.
Next, I had to convince a few of my best clients to commit to fishing out of their comfort zone as well!!
"Louisiana," asked Gary Newgent, a client of over 20 years!!??
"Yep," I said!!
Through the years, Gary, who, unlike most of my clients is actually an expert plug fisherman, not a fly fisherman, has become one of my closest friends and best clients.
I explained that we'd be chasing monster redfish with topwater plugs and before I could finish my pitch, he exclaimed, "I'm in!!"
Like Gary, it didn't take much convincing to get a handful of my other clients to commit to coming to Venice for a few days of incredible fishing in August either!!
As you can see, Gary was just as gifted at teasing up big reds in the marsh as he is at caching monster snook in the Glades!!
About 10 days and 200 fish later, Jim Truchan and his wife, Helen, a favorite pair of my fly fishing clients, arrived at the Lighthouse Inn in Boothville!!
Jim and Helen had been trying to make the trip to Venice for years, but for one reason or another were never able to complete their journey!
As the photos clearly illustrate, our three-day trip was a big success!!
Despite two of the days offering up less than favorable fly fishing conditions, Jim landed several fish in the 20- 30 lb. class and Helen, not to be out fished, boated several big cane cruisers of her own and a very respectable bull which nearly bottomed out the boga at 24 lbs!!!
What a trip!!
What an experience!!
Day after day, I had the pleasure of seeing my clients smile from ear to ear, literally laughing as they caught giant fish after after giant fish!!
Too many days of total mayhem to recount them all here, but I wanted to take a minute to thank all my clients for being the best a guide could ask for!!
Looks like the book is already almost full for next summer!!
I hope a few of you will help round out the Louisiana redfish season in style next year!!
Until then, I'll see you guys back home in the Glades in early October!!
Now it's off to Hilton Head to try try to solve the puzzle of the none foot tide!!!