Here is a little update on the LSU kayak fishing teams and a report from a great Florida State Park. Today LSU 1 and 2 fished against University of West Florida 1 and 2 on their home turf at Big Lagoon State Park. With finals quicly approaching we weren't able to stay as long as we would have liked but we made our 24 hours in Florida count.
First off the state park is excellent, with very private camping spots, friendly staff, several nice pavilion areas, an excellent kayak launch, a boat launch, and a few nice sand combat launches. The park is about 4 hours and 15 minutes from Baton Rouge. The park also has several trails and wildlife (we saw 4 deer Friday). There was also a heroes on the water event this weekend which meant the park was full of kayak fishermen. Unfortunately, we launched at opposite ends of the park and didn't get to talk to any heroes and only a few supporters.
Friday Sunset at Boat Launch: Image: https://photos-5.dropbox.com/t/0/AADZ1wLINH6YJDDfq0aNuIFf85TDcWWFRKaqGZ-afya2xg/10/11730915/jpeg/32x32/3/1366574400/0/2/P4190021.JPG/ioi9jWLuNHA6Tt23faRyVe9PzOWJX4DwEiEKIDmmje8?size=800x600
View from observation tower: Image: https://photos-3.dropbox.com/t/0/AADn3_KPfPTkbaeqUSSpu0pGUIXXU7lQS-8a4Vv6XcFQXA/10/11730915/jpeg/32x32/3/1366574400/0/2/P4190015.JPG/QGlRcpuaYGC0i3eJRNRXVsWQu_EoDe4uRA3tcnLq4YY?size=800x600 Image: https://photos-2.dropbox.com/t/0/AAC35pA9zCmwS0R53IeU6g1m0eyZYBTODg18G4UjFL_SOQ/10/11730915/jpeg/32x32/3/1366574400/0/2/P4190002.JPG/q6qI9kGYJ7CgQ2VLNlbnmaFbiU1jN51w6yQ5fZovqM0?size=800x600
We arrived Friday to lingering rain from the cold front which we worried would turn the weekend into a skunkfest. After a few hours of sleep with 6 guys crammed in a 12 foot utility trailer, it was time to fish. We launched at the boat launch on the west end at 6 AM and immediately paddled about 1.5 miles West to some flats that our "ace in the hole," resident Florida teammate, had spotted on Google Earth.
Having no experience fishing clear water like this, we were expecting the trout to be few and far between and the reds to be practically non-existent, and that was before the cold front... However our secret weapon came through and we started picking off trout on the flats (although not killing them). Then the wind picked up around 7:30 and fishing got tough. By noon, team 1 had four of our five fish (3 members submit five fish, max two per fishermen, CPR), and team 2 had 2 nice trout.
Taking a break on a small island: Image: https://photos-6.dropbox.com/t/0/AADukagUmftRHXM4T23Te4QrXpvFfr2hy1IlbH5_iyHNOA/10/11730915/jpeg/32x32/3/1366574400/0/2/P4200039.JPG/yOYyd9_4bPuwMkLmUN9_9oVBteppeKWHyFOgf-n3l1M?size=800x600
Sidenote: This area is the intracoastal waterway, while it doesn't get as much barge traffic as in LA, there were some big boats powering through the area. However, their are many no wake zones and shallow areas to escape the stinkpots. So be aware of your surroundings
Nice trout Image: https://photos-1.dropbox.com/t/0/AACf-WegLVVP3ahvG7-D_r5VdbfIbUQCkmBI_1_tD_8dDg/10/11730915/jpeg/32x32/3/1366574400/0/2/P4200032.JPG/KJnIbI6RkaS0DWBCC8JD66msoLkKMGl-Gc3_erZecJ8?size=800x600
Near the end of the tournament, we paddled back towards the launch against the current (not too strong but I imagine it could get that way). We had an hour to kill in the area and Team 1 needed its fifth and final. Sure enough, with only 30 minutes to spare, we pulled in a 27.75" redfish to cap off the day. Image: https://photos-3.dropbox.com/t/0/AADQ7EZozcFy86NYCh8GvwBZ2XVwAQ60kxaZqUhMBLVH6A/10/11730915/jpeg/32x32/3/1366574400/0/2/P4200056.JPG/EWtJhTK2cRTX7vVdzC2ZGyEDwMQBlTgbuQPv16Hu0Qs?size=800x600
We headed back to the launch where team 2 was waiting. Special thanks to KC Kayak Company who generously lets us borrow kayaks for all of our matches. Image: https://photos-1.dropbox.com/t/0/AABbTaAC48ZJTzyI54lX4SrlwPzHI-T3a1D0H2rmIvRJyA/10/11730915/jpeg/32x32/3/1366574400/0/2/P4200059.JPG/2eZLOV4ufzK03IfAnJmHKjDC1HDJBD41r0-O0XbYlxc?size=800x600
LSU Team 1 - 89" (2 Reds, 3 trout)
UWF Team 1 - 82.5" (5 trout)
UWF Team 2 - 44" (1 red, 1 trout)
LSU Team 2 - 33.5" (2 trout)
So LSU 1 (ahem...jimbeam's team) won a hard fought battle over UWF on their home turf! At 6-1, LSU 1 is making a statement (I may be a little biased) at what will be a number two ranking after today! An LSU 2 member had the trout's number today catching 10+ with a nice 18".
It was a tough day fishing in the cold morning and 15mph winds on open water all day. With better weather this place has great potential with good sized fat trout. Very few trout caught today were under 14" and all fat. Fish were caught on Rip N Slash by Unfair Lures (check them out), light colored soft plastics over the grass flats, and the big red on a gulp under a cork.
Hope you enjoyed the read!
Credit to DakotaFred for the write up.
This post was edited on 4/21 at 2:22 pm