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More on Hackberry Rod and Gun Club at Louisiana's Lake Calcasieu

How to Find Redfish in the Marsh in a Blowing Wind

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Hackberry Rod and Gun Club on Lake Calcasieu, in Hackberry, Louisiana, is one of the premier speckled trout and redfish destinations in the South. People from all over the nation make pilgrimages to Hackberry each year to pull speckled trout and redfish from the bounty of Lake Calcasieu. Kurt and Guy Stansel, near Lake Charles, Louisiana, plow the waters of Lake Calcasieu in their boats almost every day of the year, searching for speckled trout, redfish and flounder. The Stansel brothers guide fishermen to the fishing trips of their lifetimes. This week, the Stansel brothers will tell us how to catch specks and reds in bad weather, and Michael and Dan Sheldon of Sheldon’s, Inc., the makers of Mister Twister and Mepps lures, will talk about testing the new Mister Mino and Mister Shad lures at this top fishing spot.

Question: Kurt, yesterday you said that when Lake Calcasieu has a high wind, you go to a lee shore and then move back up into the marsh.
Kurt Stansel: At this time of the year, the shrimp, mullet and other baitfish will move bacClick to enlargek into the marsh and will be holding in 12 to 18 inches of water. The redfish will follow the baitfish out of the main lake. Everyone knows that out on the main lake you can find a school of birds working and catch speckled trout and redfish under them. But what most people don’t realize is that the birds will work deep in the marsh, much like they do out on the main lake when you have a heavy wind and bad weather.

Question: What do you mean by the birds will work?
Kurt Stansel: Schools of speckled trout and redfish will herd and corral schools of shrimp, small mullet and other baitfish, and they will push that bait to the surface as they feed on it. As the schools of mullet, minnows and shrimp come to the surface, the seagulls overhead spot the bait and begin to dive on it. Now, the bait has a real problem. They have speckled trout and redfish below them trying to eat them, and seagulls diving from above like World War II kamikaze pilots to feed on the bait as it tries to get away from the redfish and the speckleClick to enlarged trout. When the birds are working, the seagulls are looking at baitfish down below them, and the speckled trout and redfish are herding and moving the bait toward the surface. Therefore, if you see the seagulls diving on the bait (working), you know where the schools of speckled trout and redfish are holding. Even when the specks and redfish get in that skinny water that may only be 12- or 18-inches deep, they’ll herd the bait, and the gulls will start feeding on them.

The real secret to catching the redfish in the marsh is to try to determine which way the redfish schools are moving and position your boat so that the school of redfish will come to you to get within casting range. But you have to stay far enough away from the schools of redfish not to spook them before you can cast to them.

Question: Why don’t people fish the marsh on windy days?Click to enlarge
Kurt Stansel: You really have to know the marsh to fish it, because you can get in a marsh on a high tide, and if the tide starts falling you can become stuck in the marsh and not be able to get out until the next high tide. We duck hunt in this marsh as well as fish in it, so we know where the little creeks and channels are and how to navigate them. Often the real secret of being able to take the redfish in the marsh is to have enough room to get your boat up on-plane and keep it on-plane, until you reach the area where you want to fish.

To learn more about Hackberry Rod and Gun, call  (888) 762-3391, email or visit
For more information about Mister Twister’s and Mepps’ top-quality lures, go to and

Tomorrow: How to Catch Redfish in the Marshes of Lake Calcasieu

Check back each day this week for more about "More on Hackberry Rod and Gun Club at Louisiana's Lake Calcasieu"

Day 1: How to Catch Specks and Reds in Bad Weather
Day 2: How to Find Redfish in the Marsh in a Blowing Wind
Day 3: How to Catch Redfish in the Marshes of Lake Calcasieu
Day 4: How to Catch Hemmed-Up Redfish
Day 5: What Equipment to Use when Fishing for Redfish and Speckled Trout on Lake Calcasieu


Entry 461, Day 2