A great report of fishing in Ft. Desoto on the weekend of April 5, 2003.

from

Dave Latimer

Between work and all the fronts that came through every weekend I haven't fished much, but I did get out Sat. I decided to fish Fort Desoto out of the kayak. I was just about to shove off the launch when I saw a couple of friends, Chuck and Jack pulling up. I waited for them to set up and off we went.

We stopped at a good area between the Islands and started throwing top waters. I got a little rat red, but Jack got a big red. He knew it was big and as I paddled over to measure it for him I think I saw him pushing at both ends trying to reduce the length. It didn't work! It was still a few inches over sized, but what a great start. He smiled as he released it.

I had a lot of Redfish blowups on my Top Dog Jr., but no hook ups. I'm sure Chuck probably did well, but he was a little far for me to see. I paddled over to a trough that runs between a couple small Islands and started throwing an Exude. I caught a 20" Trout, a couple small Trout, 2 Rat Reds around 15" and several Ladyfish. Fun, but I wished 1 of those Reds was a keeper.

I paddled on around the bend to another hole I knew. I thought Jack and Chuck would catch up, but they never did. I guess they must have been to busy catching fish. My never fail spot didn't let me down. I caught 2 Reds there on the old reliable Spoon. Both were over the slot size, but a whole lot of fun. I left there to fish the more open flats. I started with an Exude on a keeper hook because of the shallow water and the grass. Over the next couple hours I caught several small Trout and 3 more Rat Reds.

Still having a good time, but I was looking forward to a Redfish supper, and it wasn't looking like it was going to happen. A couple over sized and a lot of shorts, but no slot fish. Oh well. The fishing was pretty good. There looked to be a stronger current next to the tip of an Island with a small trough so I went over and threw the Exude into it. On the second cast I got a quick hit, and a large Snook came half way out of the water. A short but respectable fight was on, and when I landed him I saw he had taken the hook all the way down his throat and into his stomach. He measured 29 inches. I did not think he would survive if I released him, so I invited him home for dinner. The first Snook I have kept in a very long time.

I kept fishing on the way back to the launch and I guess the Reds had found out about me already having dinner on the stringer because the slot fish showed up. I got 3 upper slot Redfish on the way back. Turned into a darned good catching day, as well as the best weather day I have fished in a while. Had a great day, caught a Slam with all legal fish, (I get a lot of slams but the Snook are usually undersized) and had a fish for dinner to keep Patty happy.

As I was pulling the yak in I had 3 guys walk in from wade fishing right next to me. Obviously tourist even before I saw the Louisiana license plate. Bad sunburns, Bush Gardens T-shirts and fishing rigs to laugh at. You know the type. Each rod had one of those wire leaders with the 1 ounce egg sinker and the fancy red beads with a snap swivel at the end with what had to be 6/0 hooks clipped on. They saw my fish and said they had fished for 6 hours without a bite. I got out my tackle box, cut their rigs off, and tied on 20 lb fluorocarbon leaders and a jighead with an Exude on each one. I gave them a couple packs of Exudes and talked a while. They were going back home in a few days. I hope they catch a fish or two before they leave. My good deed for the day done it was time to go home for a fish dinner.

I read your report. I had heard about the red tide but I hoped they were wrong. Sounds like a tough week but still better fishing than a lot of people ever get to do. I think the fronts are over now and the water is warming. Now, if that red tide will just go away. Hope next week is better for you.

Dave

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