Louisiana Redfish Status

On April 21, 2010 I was sitting in the New Orleans airport waiting for an early flight home after spending a few days redfishing in Venice. Over the course of three days, I couldn't tell you how many redfish we caught. At the time, I was working for Fly Fishing in Salt Waters' sister publication, Salt Water Sportsman, and on the trip we fished exclusively with popping corks and soft plastics. The fish were so abundant that it quickly became a game of landing a fish before another one came and ate the cork. I couldn't wait to get home and tell everyone how awesome the fishing was. As I sat in my seat waiting, I glanced up and saw the news about the Deepwater Horizon explosion. By the time I landed in Orlando, news of the spill was everywhere. About a month later, I was on a flight to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when the captain of the aircraft came on over the loudspeaker and said, "If you look out the window and you can see the oil from the spill." As I peeked out the window and saw the mess, my heart sank and I wondered if anyone would ever get to experience the fantastic fishing that I did only a month earlier on the Gulf Coast. It's one thing to hear about the incident but it's another thing when you see the magnitude of it with your own two eyes. As luck would have it, I weaseled my way onto a trip last week with Chris Peterson of Hell's Bay and Tim Pommer of Scientific Anglers to visit the same area of Louisiana and check out the fishing - this time with fly gear. To put it lightly, the fishing was just as unbelievable as my previous trip. The fish were there in great numbers and all of them seemed to be completely healthy. For now, it's a major sigh of relief but who knows if the region is out of the woods or not. All I can say is that I experienced a fishery that's second to none before and after the spill.