John's Journal... Entry 252, Day 4
FLEET FISHING EQUALS MORE FISH IN THE BOX
Biddy On GPS And Big Fish
Editor's Note: Captain Ronnie Biddy, a fisherman for his entire life and today a guide at Hackberry Rod and Gun Club in Hackberry, Louisiana, near Lake Charles, has guided on Lake Calcasieu for 11 years. Today, Biddy will share his GPS and fish-catching techniques.
As I fished with Captain Ronnie Biddy, I noticed that as we wind drifted across an area that held trout and redfish, Biddy had the plotter on his GPS turned on. "I use the plotter on my GPS for several reasons," Biddy explains. "First, I want to make sure I drift over spots where I've caught speckled trout and redfish on this reef before. By watching my plotter, I can make sure that my drift goes right over those spots. Too, if I start catching fish anywhere along the drift, I may want to make that same drift again. So, I'll circle upwind, return to where I've started my drift and make sure to keep my boat lined up with the trolling motor to make that same drift once more. If I don't catch any fish on the second drift, I'll drift further on that second drift than I have on the first, because the fish may have moved."
Although Biddy fishes primarily for speckled trout, almost every day he'll catch redfish also. The redfish generally are bigger and fight harder than speckled trout do. I asked him what his secret is to landing those big redfish. Biddy says, "You want to take your time when you reel them in. Let the redfish do what he wants to do and go where he wants to go. Generally, it will take you much longer to land a redfish than it will a speckled trout. You can't get in a hurry when a big redfish is on your line. I've had redfish come to the boat two or three different times before landing them. Most fishermen try to pull redfish in too quickly. You have to play the fish and let it tire itself out before you bring it to the boat. If you don't, the redfish probably will break the line, or you won't be able to dip him up with the dip net as efficiently as you should. I have a couple of guide friends who try and force a big fish to the boat, and because they put too much pressure on the fish, they have never been able to successfully land a big trout or redfish. A fisherman will want that big fish he has on the end of the line, and he wants him in the boat at that instant. Whenever I hook a fish and I know that it's a big fish, I always will loosen the drag so that I won't put too much pressure on that fish. If you hook a big redfish, the fight can last from 20 minutes to an hour. If you try to shorten that time, you usually will lose the battle."
Biddy also catches flounder, and this year he and his party have caught quite a few flounder on oyster reefs. "We've caught as many as six flounder in one day fishing the reefs," Biddy reports. "But the mouths of the cuts and ditches that drain the marsh are the best places to catch flounder. Although the flounder will take plastic baits, they often prefer live shrimp."
Captain Biddy and the other guides at Hackberry Rod and Gun consistently catch good numbers of speckled trout and redfish almost every day they're on the water because Lake Calcasieu is a pristine estuary area. "This marsh around the lake produces tons of shrimp and baitfish for the sport fish to eat," Biddy says. "In an average day of fishing, I'll catch 30 to 35 speckled trout and redfish with a party of two fishermen, but on some days we may catch more."
To learn more about how to catch more speckled trout, redfish and flounder at Lake Calcasieu or to book a trip, go to www.hackberryrodandgun.com or call (337) 762-3391.
For more formation on Trilene Big Game line or other Berkley fishing products, visit www.berkley-fishing.com.
TOMORROW: BIDDY'S TOP-WATER BAITS