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


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.


If you have any questions or comments, would like to book a trip, or would like to submit a story, please email me at capt@barhoppr.com.

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