The launch was uncrowded and the temperatures were already starting to climb as Ron Begnaud and I prepared to head out in search of some willing redfsih in the marsh. Begnaud, who lives in Lafayette Louisiana, is about as hard core a marsh fisherman as I know. Many of our conversations begin and end with thoughts of new and unexplored regions of the marshes that border Calcasieu Lake. Finding a prime redfish pond that has no fishing pressure is like finding the Hope diamond in a gumball machine, it probably won’t happen but look out if it does.

Armed with aerial maps, topographical charts, fly rods and other associated gear we set out in search of parts unknown, at least unknown to us. Our quest to find some unpressured water was soon rewarded as the skiff came down off plane and settled into the dark clear water of a large marsh pond. In an instant we could see the wakes of cruising fish as well as the tails of some feeding reds. This place was full of potential and void of any traffic, we had found a jewel. Our own private living aquarium.

After a coin flip to decide who would take the poling platform first I got the honors of casting to the first fish. A small group of redfish were gathered up and feeding intently as Ron pushed the skiff into range. At first I didn’t know if I wanted to cast or take a picture, the redfish had their tails high above the water and they were backlit by the sun in an amazing display of red and copper. Much to my dismay the camera was still fogged up from the change of temperatures, going from the air conditioned truck to the summer heat will do that. Witout the camera option I was “forced” to go ahead and cast. The Orvis T3 7 weight fly rod loaded up and sent one of Begnaud’s “Ron’s Red Chaser” flies directly at the feeding fish. The cast was accurate and the redfish were receptive, the strike was almost immediate. The big redfish took plenty of line as the other fish scattered and muddied up the shallow water. The fight lasted ten minutes or so until the big red finally gave up. As Begnaud slipped the Boga Grip into the fish’s mouth we both were amazed at the size of this bruiser. The Boga registered 12 pounds and the fish taped out at 33 inches, an extremely nice fish for the marsh.

The day continued to be good as both Ron and I landed more redfish in our own private little pond. The plan had worked perfectly and we were rewarded with great fishing and no pressure from any other boats. As a matter of fact we never saw another boat anywhere close to our area, truly amazing by todays standards. The effort we put forth to get away from the crowd is work

that most folks are not willing to do. That little extra effort can mean the difference between fishing and great fishing. In almost every saltwater venue on the coast there are some out of the way places that receive little or no pressure, these places are the hidden treasures that many folks dream about. They are there for those who are willing to find them.

The day ended with a bang as Ron landed the final redfish and we headed for the dock. The endless maze of marsh grass lined canals promised more fishing in the near future. Even though we had found a great new place to fish both Ron and I knew that surely there must be others in the same area. Over the hum of the Yamaha outboard in the background we both agreed that we would back, and soon.