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Atchafalya and Red River Recap

Posted by stephen on November 8, 2016

Atchafayla Basin.jpg

These past two months have been the busiest I can remember; I had five events in that time span to close out the 2016 season.  Since then, I’ve been kind of winding it down.  I got to watch a great World Series and now I’m in Kansas for my annual deer hunt.  Before we know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a new fishing season.


This time of year is my favorite.  Between hunting, the holidays, and spending time with the family life is good.  Another reason I like this time of year so much is that it’s basically Christmas from now until the end of December.  The UPS guy is constantly bringing new gear for next season as a lot of the products from ICast are ready for market.  I just got the new St. Croix Glass cranking rods and can’t wait to break those in.  I’m also really looking forward to taking the new LiveTarget Swimbaits out around home and getting those dialed in.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.

As far as the final two events for the Central Opens, it was a grind.  It hasn’t really started to cool down consistently yet this fall and the fishing has been very tough.  I never really felt good about the Red River or the Atchafalaya Basin after finishing up practice. 

The Red is somewhere I have had success in the past, but it was a completely different monster this time around.  With prolonged flooding conditions there for the past two years, it’s really changed the fishery.  Many of the backwaters are silted in and a lot of the grass that had been present is all but disappeared; for me, this made it tough.  In hindsight, if I would’ve know how much it had changed, I probably would’ve been better off to come down earlier and bring my son Beau’s aluminum Triton down and get in some of those hard to access backwaters.

After the Red, we headed to the Atchafalaya Basin.  I had fished near there in the past when we had fished Classic’s out of New Orleans, but never actually have fished there.  I had heard great things about the Atchafalaya Basin, but much like the other few events I had fished in the area, I just wasn’t able to figure it out.  I did catch about every species of fish possible as pictured above.  Thankfully, that Gamma Edge line held up to the catfish, redfish, speckled trout, along with the bass.  After the event I figured out how small some of these key stretches were but never was lucky enough to stumble on them.  The cool thing about the whole trip though was the Atchafalaya Basin itself.  It really was one of the prettiest and coolest places I’ve ever fished in the country.

I signed up for the 2017 Bassmaster Central Opens and am looking forward to trying to get some redemption for a tough 2016 season.  We’ll be mixing it up with a pretty diverse schedule and it should be fun.  Table Rock and Grand should shape up to be tough fishing which I like.  The Sabine River will probably be tough too, but my buddy Dennis Tietje told me that it’s a better time of year than we normally have been there so we may have some better weights.  -SB