Saturday, October 10, 2015

Lake Pontchartrain - October 2015 Boondoggle X

The tenth semi-annual Boondoggle is in the history books. I’m really glad that Marian and I have been part of this great event. I would like to thank the crew at Bayou Adventures for their Louisiana hospitality. Shannon and her crew bent over backwards to ensure that our experience in the St Tammany Parish will be unforgettable.

Thursday evening we decided to head to New Orleans only 26 miles or so across the estuary of Lake Pontchartrain. Marian asked at the Bayou Adventures about a great “locals only restaurant”. It was suggested that we go to the “Ye Olde College Inn”. We were told then to go next door at the “Rock 'n' Bowl” to experience some dancing to some Zydeco music. I will tell you that the food was great and the dance floor full. Later that evening we decided to go do the tourist thing a walk the French Quarter and have beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde.

Friday we decided to hit Lake Pontchartrain for some jack crevalles. We planned on using fly rods for these monsters. Marian planned on using her 8-weight with floating line and I with a 10-weight that had a sinking tip. The leader material is made of fluorocarbon 9 ft length rated at 15 lbs tippet. To prepare for this trip we tied some popper flies for targeting the jacks. Our experience resulting in casting at various bait balls in a water depth of 2 – 3 feet, occasionally we would spot a jack. Unfortunately Friday will not be our day to get a sleigh ride either in the Jackson Big Rig or the Cruise 12 from a jack crevalle. Friday evening I learned in the “Vendors Village” that the Louisiana HOW Chapter had an event on Saturday. Marian and I decided that we would provide some assistance.
Friday evening Shannon from Bayou Adventures introduced Mr Green. He has been fishing Lake Pontchartrain for years and shared his knowledge with the Boondogglers. He described what type of habitat to look for. This habitat had to have the abundant sea grass, which is still attempting to come back from Hurricane Katrina. Also look for the mullet or pogies and work these areas. Besides sharing about what habitat to look for he also shared his favorite lures and colors that he uses.  After the seminar, Mr Green spent time to visit with the folks sharing more information based on the questions that he received. 

The HOW event met at Bayou Cane with paddling and fishing from freshwater into brackish water and into Lake Pontchartrain; the participation of warriors was fantastic. Not everyone was yak fishing. There was a group that just went paddling to enjoy the nature of the bayou. Marian & I followed the fishing group. The fishing was really slow but I did manage to land a small largemouth bass. By the time we caught to the mouth of the bayou into the estuary the wind had some good gust. There were reds and speckled trout hitting the mullet. No one experienced any hook ups so we made our way back up Bayou Cane to the landing. After loading up the gear the local VFW in Lacombe provided lunch for the volunteers and warriors.

Saturday evening there were more seminars in the Vender’s Village. Seminars planned were related on Fly Fishing, using a GoPro, and others that I don’t recall. I did attend the GoPro seminar conducted by Jameson Redding and Robert Field. I found their tips to be suburb and plan on applying their suggestions to being my videos to the next level.  

Sunday a few of us decided to fish Bayou Lacombe down to Lake Pontchartrain for sea trout and redfish. Marian decided to launch a ramp not far from Bayou Adventures and paddle to Lake Pontchartrain. Pete, Wendell, and I will drive down to Lake Pontchartrain for some trout and redfish. Pete really wanted to cross off the redfish from his wish list and this will be the final day for the Boondoggle for most of the anglers. We launched and went on our search along with several other Boondogglers. I managed one trout and missed several others using the Vortex Shad.

While this Boondoggle had some distance for Marian & I in driving from South Carolina we did split the trip into two days. I need to point out that we had anglers from not only Louisiana, but also from Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri and other areas unknown to me. While the next Boondoggle X has not yet been announced the original Boondoggle format for February 2016 (12 – 15 February 2016) has been. The next Boondoggle will be in Florida at Ginnie Springs Outdoors ( We hope to see you at the next Boondoggle.