That addiction, the craving, the totally irrational desire for hoards of speckled trout is like a metaphorical deep hole we are held prisoner in.
But there is escape…we must learn.
For my age, I’ve done a lot. I’ve enjoyed working hard and sprinting for the goals that I set for myself. In fact, read my blog and you will learn more about me at an intimate level than what most charter captains would let on. I’m not thumping on my chest, I’m about to put this into the context of why I love fishing. I love fishing in Louisiana because there is so much to conquer. You never really quite reach that zenith where you have mastered the marsh and are just bored with it. You never learn it all and even the old-timers will tell you that you learn something new everyday. I could master a skill set in the Marine Corps or elsewhere, but in the brackish marshes of St. Bernard a curve ball can come out of nowhere. Every morning, when that beautiful Louisiana sunrise crests over the horizon, a new board is set. The fish will be one spot the day before then completely go OFP the next. (Marine jargon meaning Own F*cking Program…denoting that an individual is just on his own program and not on board with the rest of the team) Why do fish do what they do? What are they thinking? Why did all the conditions line up to be perfect just to have no fish show? WHY!?! It will drive a man insane.
If you’re like me, you don’t like getting skunked. You want to win, against all odds, all the time. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s not for the timid.
I was watching a fly fishing video on YouTube last night. The narrator made a comment how soothing and healing fishing is. I spit my drink out my mouth and hollered “YEAH RIGHT!” Get a man hooked on fishing and he’s up all night reading reports, spending money on tackle, and throwing said tackle into the water out of sheer frustration because the fish aren’t cooperating! That sh*t is like crack!” And so it is! It’s what drives us and the only thing that can really satiate this craving for slimy speckled things is by catching more of them. And more. And more!! But something I learned is that fishing is a thinking man’s game. Pay attention to your surroundings, even those parts of the environment you can’t readily see. And this is why I took a spin on “Silence of The Lambs” with this blog title. That addiction, the craving, the totally irrational desire for hoards of speckled trout is like a metaphorical deep hole we are held prisoner in. The only way out is to learn, so that we can get better at mastering our addiction. Getting out of that hole is a battle we face everyday, and we get out by learning more and more. Some days the learning curve is steeper than others, but if we come back to the marina skunked, then we receive the metaphorical cold blast of water from the hose. Am I making sense? Or did I just spiral off into some kind of twisted Captain Devin’s Twilight Zone?
It is 4am in the morning and there are people commenting on fishing photos in the SSFA Facebook. I told you this stuff is like crack!
*End Quick Digression*
If you’re like me, you don’t like getting skunked. You want to win, against all odds, all the time. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s not for the timid. Remembering that learning is our path out of the hole, let’s also remember the Information Super Highway, and the solace it can give us. In this day and age, there is all kinds of information out there, readily available, waiting for you to discover it. Because if you don’t, and if you keep doing the same thing expecting different results…well…that is the definition of insanity.
So let me share with you some things that are just awesome. They are helpful. If you don’t incorporate them into your fishing regimen then you are a crazy person. Just my opinion after having entirely too much coffee. So what’s our first thing?
The Shell Beach Buoy of Awesomeness
This is a buoy located in Lake Borgne just a hair outside of Shell Beach. It gives current information to include wind speed, direction, water levels, etc. Here is a picture of what it looks like.
And here is a picture of the information it puts out in a neato graphical form.
And of course, here is the link. Click on “Water Level” to see the information in graphical form. You can use the interactive Google Map to scroll around and find similar buoys that may be more local to your area.
I really don’t want to over explain this buoy, but know that you can now see how the wind, air pressure, etc. plays a role in water level, and that the water never moves quite like how it’s predicted. What’s great about this buoy is that you can sit at home and have an idea as to what is happening out at the marsh. Combine this with your own experiences or with fishing reports you read on RodnReel or LA Sportsman to get an idea as to how the fish will behave. You can learn what makes a redfish day and what makes a trout day. But don’t go anywhere yet…I have more treats.
The NOAA Marine Forecast of Infinite Accuracy
That title is kind of overboard. The NOAA Marine forecast has been wrong before, but out of all the weather forecasts out there it does the best job. More often than not, it’s far more accurate and helps me plan my trips with success. You don’t want to make a run for Breton Sound just to find out it’s inaccessible because of the sea state.
Visit this link: NOAA Marine Forecast by Zone
Use the interactive map to locate your area. Save the link to your area and refer to it to view your weather forecast on the fly. I saved it on my Android smart phone, so I can always access it at a moment’s notice.
More Buoy Awesomeness Courtesy of LSU
Check out this link to LSU’s Wave-Current-Surge-Information System or WAVCIS. It basically has more information for other buoys/stations further offshore. My favorite is this station. It is near the Breton Sound and will tell me the exact sea state. But it gets better. It gets much better and if you pay attention to the information maybe…just maybe…you can dig yourself out of The Hole and avoid a cold hosing. I thought I saw something about salinity levels in there at different levels in the water column. And maybe when a trout is tired from spawning all night, it could explain why he sits deeper towards the bottom.
Learn…or get the hose again!