Ninja or shinobi are legendary assassins who existed in feudal Japan between the 15th and 17th centuries. They were know to have supernatural abilities some of which include extra sensory perception, invisibility, shapeshifting, the summoning of animals, control over the five elements and a complete mastery of an arsenal of weapons. A proper fishing guide will possess all of these skills and more. Captains Travis Huckabea and Cody Cash Moody of the Red fish dynasty clan are two such guides. They have spent this past summer judo chopping and ninja kicking every tarpon in Florida that was unlucky enough to cross their paths . I have never actually set eyes on either one of these elusive masters but it is rumored that they have been spotted somewhere in the waters from Venice,La. to Biloxi marsh using their understanding of these ancient arts to stalk and acquire the red fish that their clients desire.
After a summer Tarpon fishing in Fla. it's nice to be back here in New orleans fly fishing for Reds again. So far we've spent the the first couple of weeks getting things together at redfish camp adding a few creature comforts such as ac to try to combat this Louisiana heat. Had a particularly amazing day fishing Jeff Monsein. It began a little slow the light being poor early on but we made the best of it blind casting poppers for a while and our efforts were rewarded with a few hits. Conditions improved a bit just before noon and we found ourselves staring at a giant bait ball with a mixture of reds and jacks. Jeff landed a nice jack to start things off. Once aboard, both the hull and Jeff were quickly covered with blood as the fish had been hooked in the tongue. We snapped a few quick shots to document the carnage washed up and pressed on. It was about this time that Capt. Jason Rucker spotted a large shadow along the edge of the bait ball. He called out to Jeff , " Eleven o'clock forty feet !!! " After a few false cast Jeff shot it, let it sink and began twitching the fly. The shadow broke away from the bait ball pursuing the fly and seconds later his rod tip was bent but I don't think the beast knew she had been hooked yet as she kind of meandered toward the skiff to investigate the situation ,changed her mind and calmly headed back for the bait. She made it about twenty feet from the skiff when Jeff reeled in the slack ,it was then that she felt the tension and made a spirited run to the south taking Jeff well into the backing . After a good ten minute fight we were close enough to get a decent look at her. She breached and shook her head violently ,it was then that Captan Rucker muttered that has got to be a record fish and all chatter on the skiff was replaced with an intense concentration. Jeff fought her angling her head back and forth drawing her closer to the skiff but every time she got a glimpse of him standing on the bow she would make another run causing his reel to scream. Finally after a thirty minute fight she was along side the skiff and Jeff was able to swing her to Captain Rucker and that was when the real struggle began. Captain Rucker reached in to tail her but could not as she was too large to get a grip on. Placing both arms under her belly he tried to haul her into the skiff..........once........twice........three times and finally she was over the gunnel and on board. She was a monster. We stood and stared in amazement at the size of her.............Well so far we've covered blood and sweat that leaves us with tears. What could possibly make a man salty after the epic sequence of events that had just unfolded. Well,as it was now time to find out just how big this monster was we learned Captain Rucker had lost his Boga grips overboard on a previous outing and Jeff who did own a pair had removed them from his pack earlier that very morning and left them on land. After a few choice words and some finger pointing back and forth Captain Rucker heaved the giant fish up once again and handed her to Jeff and I was able to take a few shots of her. After a few more expletives over the lack of Boga grips she was placed back in the water. Once she had swum out of sight we shook our heads in unison smiled and proceeded to whack reds for the rest of the afternoon. All in all an great day Boga grips or no. We will be guiding Jeff again in a few weeks and I personally can't wait knowing that monster is still lurking out there some where.
someone anyone please send capt. jason Rucker a pair of 60 lb Boga grips so this will never happen again.
My first day back in the sunshine state baby ! I got the chance to fish my good friends Neil & Morgan Walker. I was really excited at the chance to get Morgan on her first tarpon. The day couldn't have been better and the fish where showing us some love. Big schools of jacks and a lot of big female tarpon where giving us some amazing shots in the emerald clear water. Morgan got two huge tarpon to eat but out of shear excitement are what we call " poon fever" set the hook a little too soon. Right about the time me a Neil where discussing shrimp Po boys a huge Ray came across the flat with two nice Cobia. Ol bird dog Neil nailed the shot with a little trick casting and stuck the biggest one right off the back of the ray. After a good fight it was time to land him for a quick pic . I emptied my pockets and bailed in the warm gulf water to try to land a pretty green cobia. With a quick leader grad and some fancy dirt road wrestling moves we had him . After some quick pictures we released the beast and where on are way to get that shrimp po boy we had been talking about. It's always great to be able to share some time on the water with old friends and good fishing just makes it that much better.
The hardest fish to catch on fly, in the marshes of Louisiana, is by far the sheepshead! I compare them to permit, and anyone who has fly fished for permit knows how finicky, and skittish they can be. The anglers that choose to chase sheepshead with a fly rod have to have keen eyesight, be able to cast heavy weighted flies into strong winds accurately from all angles, and most importantly you have to strip the fly into position, and be able to read the fishes reaction in order to entice the bite. A sheepshead, or permit angler is cut from a different mold. It is not catching numbers of fish that excites us, it's the stalk, the overall shot, and all of the information that runs through your mind in a nano second leading up to the shot that really gets our juices flowing! I'm my opinion the anglers that fish for sheepshead, and permit on a consistent basis are by far the best anglers in the world! If any of you permit junkies out there are looking for a fish that requires the same skill set to catch as a permit. Look no further! The sheepshead will bring you to your knees in agony just like the famous black tailed devil! The advantages that sheepshead offer as opposed to permit is that you get a hell of a lot more shots per day, and you can fish for them year round! If you are an aspiring permit angler, you should take some time sheepshead fishing before you jump into a permit skiff. You can prepare yourself for every aspect of permit fishing that will arise by doing some sheepshead fishing before hand. To all you seasoned permit anglers out there. Sheepshead fishing can be done in the cold months that you can't permit fish. Sheepshead will keep your skills sharp year round! There is no need to show up on a permit trip rusty, when you can fish for sheepshead all winter. Oh yea, did I mention we fish out of New Orleans. Everyone loves the Big Easy!
The transition between winter, to spring fishing patterns are in full swing in the the Louisiana marshes. The fish are coming out of the deep holes, and channels up onto the flats to feed. Ever since the five strait days of rain ended the dynasty boys have all been reporting an increase in big reds tailing everywhere. The water is warming fast, and so is the fishing!!!
I took the time with all that rain, and flew up to Columbus , Ohio to get a new F150 from my longtime friend and, client Rhett Ricart. Needless to say I froze my butt off up there, and couldn't wait to get back south. Thank god I live where I do, and here's to leaving the snow, and two days later poling around in 78 degree weather, with tailing reds everywhere.
We have plenty of open spots through April. Come spend the day on the bow with one of the dynasty boys, and take your shots at bull reds tailing shallow!
Hey all tarpon junkies out there, we are now taking bookings for the 2015 tarpon season. The days are booking up fast so you need to lock dates in quick. We like 'em High,Happy,and Hungry!!!
Today was one of those days that guides dream about!! Me and Capt. Cody had the day off, and the weather was epic! Nice blue skies, warm south wind, and plenty of huge redfish floating in gin clear water. I knew when we pulled out of redfish camp, and got two miles down the road, and realized we both left our phones at camp that it was gonna be one of those days! Cody asked " should I turn around"? With our usual impatience, when it comes to going fishing, we both replied naaaa! It's always good fishing when you have no camera!
As advertised when we reached the first flat in the Biloxi marsh it seemed like no time and I was taking a shot at an over 25 lbs redfish floating just under the surface. With a well placed 5 inch grey and olive mullet fly, and some timely striping, the next thing I saw, was some huge white lips clamping down on my fly! I was hooked up and the fight was on! Me, and Cody took turns for the next 4 hours smashing pumpkins as we like to say! We managed to catch 10 over 20 lbs, with the biggest being 28 lbs. what a day!! Me and Cody both agreed, we didn't need a camera to document the memories we had burned into our brains, by those big ole reds!!!
Capt. Travis was booked today and fished with the writer, and producer of Monk, Doogie Houser MD, Northern Exposure, and many other shows that we all have seen. They pulled 7 nice 12-17lbs reds in the boat on a black and purple crab pattern. We all agreed that, the reds would have eaten most any fly properly placed into their face today!
Tight lines to some huge redfish, and here's to guides day off, with no phones or cameras! Thank god for days like today!!!
The weather in New Orleans Louisiana this time of year can be a little unpredictable. Down here on the bayou we make the best of everything and are guides have made the best of a few needed days off. But when the weather's good we've been on the water and the results couldn't be better.
I had the pleasure of fishing these talented young boys staying at WoodLand Plantation the day after thanksgiving . Check these guys out
Red Fish Dynasty
Louisiana fly fishing guides client catches and info