When Kat and I were married last November, Fitz Coker was my best man. At that time, he gifted Kat and myself a trip with him and Dotty to New Orleans the following November, which happened upon us this year. After hearing about this fishery from people for a while now, and after a year of awaiting this trip, we were more than ready when the time came.
Kat and I left Key West early on the 13, and met up with Fitz and Dotty to do some grocery shopping before heading down to Venice. After filling up on goodies for the next four days and settling in to our digs, we got some rest and readied for the next day of redfish mayhem.
Fitz and Dotty were fishing with David Mangum, and Kathryn and I were with Preston Sutter. I first met Preston many years ago in Boca Grande, where he was working for Boca Grande Outfitters. With the “hey–we met one time” pleasantries out of the way, we got down to the business of having a good time.
The fish were, literally, everywhere. The first day, we didn’t move around very much (we didn’t need to), and started throwing topwater flies at the fish in short order.
After the first day, Fitz and Dotty elected to give a look for some alligator gar records, and Kat and I were happy to follow along as little betas in our own quest to find a large alligator gar on heavier tippet. We only had a few shots at the big ones, and were never able to make it happen on the larger fish. We did, however, have a ton of fun with the smaller spotted gar, though soon the siren drum called us back.
All in all, we had a phenomenal time. Here is a pile of pictures of giant drum, and even without going in to the blow-by-blow of each day and each fish I’ll bet you can get the idea from the following images:
We finished up in Louisiana and flew up to the northeast, where we picked up a dog and drove home to Key West.
After we got back last week, I had a day with Ian Slater looking for permit, and while we put in the hours and the effort there was just too much water to have anything come together.
With that, I’m finally current on these reports. I leave Saturday to fish with Steve, and we will be joined by his son Chad as our third.
Reports will follow, one way or the other as always.