The warm and dry spring of 2022 in Louisiana has put all of the sandy rivers in the Florida parishes in good shape. The USGS water gauge on the Bogue Chitto was showing the lowest level in the last year, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to do a kayak float fishing trip. There are a couple tubing operations on the Bogue Chitto that also rent kayaks, and offer shuttle services if you want to bring your own kayak. I showed up around 10 am on a weekday and the parking lot was empty, so the employees were happy to help my drop off my kayak and drive my truck back down stream for me. I’m not sure this arrangement would work so well on a busy tubing weekend during the summer, and I’m not sure I’d want to be around all the tubers anyway, so I think this is definitely a week day type trip.
The water was nice and clear, but still moving pretty quickly. When I was looking for information online the day before my trip I saw alot of mentions of this being a fast moving river. I never felt unsafe, but it made for somewhat difficult fly fishing as I was constantly paddling to steer away from logs and branches in the channel. My research had also suggested that the spotted bass in the Bogue Chitto prefer to hold in current breaks more in the middle of the river, as opposed to near structure on the banks, which is what I’m used to in the creeks I usually wade. Based on that research I spent alot of time early on throwing streamers in the current breaks, but I wasn’t getting any strikes. Eventually I switched to the tried a true method of popper fishing the bankside cover.
I finally had some strikes, and landed a small spotted bass with the popper. I ended up with a few more strikes, including a brief hook up with what looked to be a nice size spotted bass that swam out from under a log to grab my popper, but I never got a good hook set on him. I did have a set time I needed to be off the water, and I wasn’t exactly sure the distance left to get back to the landing, so I fished the last half of the trip pretty quickly. When I go again with more time, I’ll probably make more stops and wade fish in order to not have to battle with keeping the kayak out of trouble as much. All in all it was a great day on the water!
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