Louisana Marshes Round 2, ice ice baby

1.17.2011

I would have written this up a bit earlier but I came down with some flu symptoms that has put me out of commission for that last few days. Headaches, coughing, mucus, body aches, cold sweat, hyper sensitive nerves, loss of appetite, dehydration.. you name it. It has been a very trying last 48 hours mainly spent in bed.

I tried the 3,000 mg of vitamin c every couple hours and that did not work. Nyquil help me fall asleep with out coughing and the only thing that made me feel any better was forcing myself to drink lots of orange juice. So far I’ve down almost 3 gallons of orange juice. The worst is over and I think I can finally function again. If you have been trying to get a hold of me lately and gotten no response I’ve been recovering.

I kept thinking what I came across or what I ate. The only thing I can think of was this last trip to Louisiana.

This past week Wanganchor Tom and I decided to get out and fish with Captain Greg Dini. Our goal was big fish on fly and Greg has been on them all season. Catching fish in Louisiana is not a problem. But staying on the “big big” fish can be a big problem is you are not on the water everyday like Greg is. Tom and I wanted big fish, I mean after all we can catch smaller fish right here in Tampa Bay.

We had a power trip planned. No messing around, our schedule was literally, land, eat, sleep, wakeup, eat breakfast, fish, eat dinner, sleep, wake up eat breakfast, fish, from boat ramp straight to the airport.

Unfortunately for us the day we were suppose to fish was to be the coldest day of 2011 at 26 degrees at the boat ramp. This is not, it feels like.. this is ice on the ground 26 degrees. On the run out I can see ice on the shore line. Tom and I was quadruple layered up from head to toe. Though we were warm, the fishing that day was ice cold. We saw perhaps 20 fish the whole day and only gotten one small fish to eat. Unlike Louisiana they were refusing our fly that day. I can only assume that since the water temperature was probably near freezing they were just trying to stay alive.

The air temperature that day never got above 40 degrees. We fished hard but there was no winning today. We left the ramp that day shaking our heads. Since we were fisherman though, we totally understand that weather plays a major role in fishing and Louisiana, no matter how dumb the fish are, was no exception.

A quick stop at the local Fly shop UPtown Angler and we were off to dinner. Uptown had the new “Polar” Buff which is a god send for cold weather. Tom picked up one and loved it. If you’re ever in the area and want to kill some time UA is small shop but got all kinds of cool fly gear.

Looking up the weather on the drive back to hotels we had high hopes. The weather was getting 10 degrees warmer, lower winds and bright sunny skies. All we had to do was find the fish and with the change in temperature should be a change in attitude. 10 degrees don’t sound like much but it’s the difference between the fish eating or a refusal.

We ran around to find good clean water which took a bit, but once we did, the fishing was on. Tom and I probably caught a dozen redfish on fly that was over 20lbs with a couple teetering in the 30 lb range. We even have a couple doubles on fly and nearly a triple as we gave Greg a rod as well. We got tired of catching them this day.

At last it was time to run back to the ramp as we had to catch the plane back to Tampa. I will have to nick named this trip “Zero to Hero, Louisiana ” Thanks again Greg you pulled it off brother!

Food Destination of note: Commander’s Palace
I don’t eat at many fancy places, but this place is a must try if you got the extra dollars on the trip. The service is 2nd to none and the food is excellent.
Here are the dishes I ate and do highly recommend. This is best food I’ve had in New Orleans so far. Drago’s is a close 2nd.

Gumbo – very rich, hardly, bottom line best gumbo I’ve ever had.
Turtle soup – was not impressed with this soup.
Steak – aged steak, the best cut of meat I’ve ever had. Yes, better than the expensive stuff I’ve had in Tampa, Orlando, Vegas, Colorado(sorry Lane) or Miami.
Pecan Pie and Ice cream: Ice cream was ordinary but the Pecan Pie was a 5 star.

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