Louisiana’s Cajun Fishing Adventures Lodge
I recently had the pleasure of attending the first annual Buras Marsh Media Bash at Cajun Fishing Adventures lodge in Louisiana. The event was a gathering of fishing industry leaders and outdoor writers to share some great fishing and test out, first hand, some really cool new products.
Cajun Fishing Adventures Lodge
The lodge is very comfortable and well appointed. Cajun Fishing Adventures caters to corporate gatherings as well as family fun. They took great care of us and the event ran very smoothly.
Mustad Hooks and Tools
Mustad was an integral part of the event and supplied lots of hooks and tools for the guides and guests to try out during their days of fishing.
Skeeter Bay Boats
The lodge organizes a fleet of inshore captains of which many choose to run Skeeter bay boats in the 24-foot range powered by Yamaha outboards. They were very comfortable to ride and had plenty of storage. We covered lots of ground looking for clean water as the Mississippi River has been at record high levels.
The crew from ZMan Lures were also attending and we got to catch a bunch of fish on their newest Trout Trick soft plastic featuring the amazing Elaztech rubber which seemed indestructible. Here we rigged it on Mustad’s weighted Grip-Pin hook designed for just this purpose.
Bull Red Bonanza
Mustad’s Reid McKinstry gave the new Shad Darter jig head with a ZMan Minnowz body a serious work out with one big bull redfish after another.
The weather was as hot as the fishing and the HUK performance shirts kept us cool as we did battle. Capt. Cody was sporting the vented shirt from HUK and joining in on the action.
Live Target Topwater
Getting to try new lures and watching them get blasted is always fun. I gave the new Live Target BaitBall Series Walking Bait a try and the bull reds did too. The lure has ultra realistic images of multiple small fish inside giving the illusion that the fish are attacking the natural forage, but in a castable lure size. Pretty awesome.
Epic Topwater Action
Some reds were pale from being on the coast, while others featured the darker hues from wallowing in the recesses of the marsh. Either color was a welcome sight.
Live Target Mullet Lure
Another redfish favorite that really “matched the hatch”, which is Live Target‘s mantra, was the Mullet Walking Bait. They come in several sizes, but these big reds ate them both with gusto.
We moved from oyster lined barrier islands to lush brackish marsh and continues to see and catch a variety of fish.
Bass in the Mix
One surprise was a largemouth bass that grabbed my ZMan spinnerbait. The river has been high so the fish are all mixed together in these fertile marsh waters.
Proving that you never know what is next, this four-foot shark followed a redfish about to eat a ZMan Chatterbait, but the shark got it instead.
Plano’s Waterproof Guide System Case
We kept our vulnerable items like wallets, phones and paper work totally sealed up in Plano‘s new Guide System Waterproof Storage Boxes. A quality o-ring seal and cam latches ensure that these items stay dry.
Is It Duck Season Yet?
It was obvious that not everyone was fired up about fishing. Duck hunting is a huge part of the lodge’s offering and you could tell these two were ready for duck season to begin.
Offshore fishing in Louisiana is as famous and diverse as the inshore scene. Huge rigs rise up from the depths and helicopters shuttle crews back and forth.
The rigs themselves are the reason that many offshore gamefish are available in the Gulf waters of Louisiana. Both yellowfin and blackfin tuna are often caught by live baiting around the rigs in clean water. Wahoo, billfish and dolphin are also likely targets.
Mexican Gulf Fishing Company
I had the pleasure of fishing with the well known Mexican Gulf Fishing Company. I fished with Capt. Billy Wells and met Capt. Kevin Beach who both run a first class offshore charter operation. Here Reid McKinstry and Cindy Nguyen battled a double header of tuna, before the tax man ate them both.
Sam Root worked the tuna popper hard and caught a mix of bonita, blackfin and skipjack tuna. Nothing beats a topwater bite.
Mustad Perfect Circle Hooks on Seaguar Fluorocarbon
Stealth, strength and power are mandatory when targeting big tuna. We had all three on our side. 80-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon leaders snelled to a 7/0 Mustad Demon Perfect Circle hook and a live hardtail were the rigs of choice. Yamaha Outboards were the engines of choice for most of the professional captains where dependability and economy are key.
Louisiana Fishing Charters
The Mexican Gulf Fishing Company is rigged and ready for big offshore fishing. Capt. Wells and Capt. Beach both run a 37-foot Freeman cat-style boat that makes run offshore quick and stable. These are fishing machines and these captains are prepared and have great attitudes.
I can not praise the food at the lodge enough. The friendly staff worked tirelessly to create flavorful dishes using our fresh catch and Cajun goodness. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was a treat and always ready on time. A hot breakfast at 5:30 am will spoil you fast.
New Skeeter Boat
The evenings were spent with a full belly and a great talk with the participating companies. Skeeter has come out with a new 21-foot bay boat that really offers quality features at an amazing price-point.
There have been so many advances in fishing tackle, like the new Elite, UltraPoint, and Classic jig heads from Mustad featuring their 4.3 Micro Point Technology that keeps hooks sharper during harsh usage.
Day three found us back inshore doing battle with slot reds as we pounded the banks with ZMan spinner baits. I had the pleasure of fishing with Joey Prochazka of ZMan and Jeff Slater of Seaguar.
Frabil Landing Nets
Capt. John uses a Frabil Power Stow folding net and boy did it get a work out. These nets are collapsible to save precious room in the boat, yet sturdy to deal with big fish. That is a winning combination and I use the smaller version on my boat at home.
ZMan Diezel Spin
The ZMan Diezel Spin paired with the very durable Elaztech Minnowz was a deadly combination in the muddy waters of the marsh. The copper blade sends out huge vibrations while the paddle-tailed soft bait draws the strike.
Plano Waterproof Stowaway Tackle Box
Plano has long been a standard in tackle storage and organization, but their new waterproof Stowaway boxes have an oversized o-ring seal and positive-locking cam latches to keep your valuable tackle completely dry no matter how wet the environment.
The redfish slot in Louisiana is 16 to 27 inches and you may keep five fish with one exceeding the 27-inch mark. We kept a few knowing how good the lodge could make them taste.
Inshore we were using 20-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon in the new Pink Label. Incredibly tough, abrasion resistant and invisible below water, the added color benefits those who want to see their leader above the water for enhanced awareness. Its good stuff because we were pulling hard!
Release the Bulls
All of the crews at Cajun Fishing Adventures encouraged the release of the big breeder redfish. Everyone knows they are the key to this incredible fishery.
Lodge owner and lifetime Cajun, Ryan Lambert gave us all a sobering look at the present state of the crucial marshlands. The levees that contain the Mississippi River for flood control and navigation are starving the marshes of their life-giving freshwater supply. As the saltwater intrudes, the native vegetation dies and the remaining soil is washed away and lost. Louisiana has already lost an area of land that is bigger than the Grand Canyon. The marsh is Nature’s filter and the loss of it is why there is a huge dead zone in the Gulf. It is also a big part of why recent and future storm surge has had such a devastating effect. Mr. Lambert is taking action and working hard to raise awareness of this tragic loss for the sake of his grandkids and future generations. Learn more and get involved at VanishingParadise.org.