This past weekend I attended my third AFWC held in Delacroix, Louisiana. This year I was teamed up with Casey Brunning once again. Both of us looking for a repeat of last year. I left Sarasota Thursday morning and started my 11hr drive to Louisiana. This was the furthest I have ever driven to compete in a tournament. After a long day, I arrived at Casey’s home where I was greeted with some cold beer and platter of Cajun Crawfish. I had been wanting to try crawfish a long time and they did not disappoint.
The next morning we woke early and drove another 1 1/2 to Delacroix. We met up with the AFWC film crew and made our way to the marsh. Before launching I had to stop and take it all in. It was beautiful. This was a different fishery than I was used to. Looked like I was going to be fishing a swamp. This was my first time fishing with a film crew. It puts a bit more pressure on you. It didn’t take long for us to start catching fish. The water was very low and the Redfish made it very easy for us to find them. I missed a dozen fish the first 30 min. They were rolling over and smashing my top water plug but just couldn’t get one stuck. At one point I actually looked at my hooks to make sure they were not made of rubber. I decided to move on and scout another area. I couldn’t see Casey or the film crew in sight. I picked up my cell phone and stood up in my kayak to get a view over the grass. I started to pole my way in their direction when I was greeted by a nice large tail waving at me. I took a second and thought , should I take photos or catch this fish? This was a beautiful sight. I looked around for the camera crew but they were a bit to far away and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity so I took the shot. My Spook Jr just landed just past the fish and as I got closer I saw the fish turn and at that moment I knew what was about to happen next. The fish blew up on the plug and it was on! I was standing up in my Jackson Kraken fighting my first Louisiana Redfish. My first thought was, where is the film crew when you need them? They did make it over to me just as I was landing the fish. The fish was a donkey! About 29-30″. A great fish to start with.
The fishing was good. I posted up on a point with the camera man for about and hour where we watched at least 50 fish swim by. Had a few follows and blow ups but couldn’t stick one. After a while they shut down. We moved over roughly 100 yards and noticed a good push coming our way. My first cast was no good. Wind caught it. Second cast was on the money. The fish blew up on a Bass Assassin jerk bait. I’m hoping the camera was rolling for this catch. Another big Redfish.
Casey was having a good day as well.
It was a typical tournament day. Weather was horrible and the winds were blowing 25+ mph. We opened our map and made our way to the first check point. We avoided the mad rush to the ramp where most people were launching from. We portaged down the road and we were the first team to check in. We received our token and headed out to fish. The wind had blown out the water. Much less water than the previous day. I remember paddling through the mud into a strong wind as it started to rain. I thought to myself,yep just another tournament day. Casey caught the first fish and we headed back to the checkpoint. It was a good fish at 27 1/4″. This was a double point checkpoint. We were sitting good at 54 1/2″ and on our way to the next checkpoint.
The day never got any better for us after the 1st checkpoint. We made a couple decisions as a team that didn’t work out. We hit 4 checkpoints and turned in 3 fish. Our second fish jumped out of the kayak before he got his photo taken and it took 3 hrs to replace it. Must have been photo shy.The fish we replaced it with was very small. a 12″ bass. Our 3rd fish was a decent 17″ Trout. We ended up with 84″. Which was no where close to being in the top ten. We landed in the 20th spot for the day.
Many good fish were caught in tough conditions. Congratulations to all who placed in the top 10. Will be looking forward to next years event.