KEY TAKEAWAYS: PLANNING A TRIP FOR LOUISIANA BULL REDFISH
- Major areas of Louisiana: Chandeleur Islands, the Biloxi Marsh, Empire, Buras, Venice, the area surrounding Houma
- When planning a trip for Louisiana bull reds, remember that the weather and water clarity are everything!
SEASONS AND A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO BOOKING TRIPS
- The fishing in Louisiana for redfish of all sizes is excellent year-round.
- The bull red season is September to early March, normally, but this can change a bit, depending on the weather.
- The best “popper season,” in Meredith’s opinion, is September to October .
- Early part of the season is “a little” more predictable as far as the weather and water clarity is concerned.
- The latter part of the season, which is often overlooked due to winter storms, will often produce some of the largest fish of the season.
- Book at least four days of fishing, and plan on the possibility that half of those days may be lost to the weather.
SOME PLACES SHE LIKES TO STAY
- Good central location: Woodland Plantation (see links below)
- Hopedale: The Dogwood Lodge (Southern Way Charters: see links below)
- Venice: Sportsman’s Lodge (Southern Way Charters: see links below)
- Venice: Eric and Moe Newman just opened a place (Journey South Outfitters: see links below)
- Chandeleur Islands: Live aboard charter boats, Southern Way or the Southern Cross (Southern Way Charters: see links below)
SUGGESTIONS ON GETTING AROUND AND STANDARD GEAR EXPECTATIONS
- Rental cars are normally the best solution for local transportation giving you flexibility, but when staying at a lodge, you might be able to just take a taxi from the airport. However, a rental car is suggested.
- Always talk to your guides to get rod and fly recommendations if you are bringing your own gear. Backup rods are highly suggested.
- Meredith likes a 9wt and a 10wt for these fish.
- Meredith follows IGFA recommendations and uses 20lb. test. Some guides will go as high as 40 or 60 lb. test.
- 6 to 9 foot leaders are typical.
- Basics on Louisiana redfish flies.
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR BULL REDS
- Practice casting from 20 to 50 feet. Accuracy is most important.
- Be ready! When you’re talking to your guide, keep your eyes forward looking for fish.
- If your guide changes course suddenly, look at where he is looking, and you may spot the fish before he even says anything.
- Know your clock when on a given guide’s casting deck.
- Make sure that you and your guide agree on what a given casting distance is before you see the fish.
- Don’t let go of your slack line when you cast because you need to have control immediately.
CHOOSING GUIDES AND OUTFITTERS
- Meredith works with Tailwaters Travel, which puts about 400 people in the marsh and specifically with Woodland Plantation, so she recommends Tailwaters and Woodland Plantation, of course.
- It’s great for a larger group.
- Great for the ladies in your life, due to comfort and excellent food.
- Guides are great.
- Shallow Water Expeditions
- Fly Water Expeditions
- Redfish Dynasty
- She recommends getting guides who have been down there for many years and recommends talking to someone who has fished with a particular guide down there.