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Nutria Rat Cannon Balls!!! Catch a Flounder and Win a Yeti Cooler!!!

Actually got to get into the woods for the last couple of days. Did not get a deer, but saw plenty and had a great time with the gang from Guice Offshore. Before I headed north, we were able to get in some great trips.
Was able to run a trip for Capt Brian last weekend(his trip, his pics, his story). Just wanted to say thanks for the work.
Got some decent weather earlier in the week, and spent it down south in the Louisiana Marsh, playing with the red fish. The Cat Island crew were on board for one heck of a fun one. Dr Don Gaddy, Walter "The Mayor" Gaudin, and Mr Bob. Everything with these guys is a competition, and red fishing is no exception. From start to finish, they had running tally of who had the biggest red, the most, and who missed the most. Making matter worse, the two biggest reds were almost identical so it created quite the ruckus back at the dock.  Always a great time with my buddies from the Cat Island House.
Capt Matt an I ran some boys down to the LA Marsh for some picture perfect sight fishing weather. Both crews were bringing fly rods, but my crews fly fishing story was not your typical fly fishing experience...
Capt Matt had the Dewey 2 man crew. These young whippa snappers were flinging the bamboo all day long. With low water and plenty of sunshine, they were getting shots at reds all day. I know they had several in the boat, but released plenty. I had my my ole buddy Bragg Williams and Chef David. The area we were in was full of fish but we never found the big packs until later in the day. The last pond however, was slap full of reds in big packs. The pond was also loaded with nutria rats. No kidding, if we saw one nutria rat in that pond, there must have been over 50. Bragg had been holding off with his fly rod until we got into the big packs of fish. It is much easier to get one out of the packs and he didn't want to mess things up for Chef David. Well, you could see several large packs of reds coming down the bank for several hundred yards. Bragg got his fly rod out and picked out spoon fly. The fish were crushing everything in their path and we were set up perfectly. Bragg put the fly 10 feet in front of the feeding wave of reds and let it sink.
It was just a matter of letting the pack get to the fly. The fish were inches from the fly when we heard a rustling in the marsh grass along the bank. Out of no where, a big fat nutria rat hurled itself out of the marsh and landed dead center in the middle of the school of fish. It was like a 4 year old kid sprinting and doing a cannon ball into a pool. The fish bolted in every direction, some maybe died from a heart attack.
With only one cast under his belt, Bragg broke down his fly rod, and stowed it for the rest of the day. Competing with wind, water clarity and overcast skies are one thing. Having to compete with leaping rats into our fish was just too much. We all got a very good laugh about the whole thing, but we also got a new found hatred of those darn nutrias. Back at the dock, ALL the reds we cleaned were packed to the gills with mud minnows. Thought for sure we were gonna see a baby nutria in one of their bellies. I was  a little ticked off this time, not to see one...

Before this last front hit, we had a couple of boats out. Capt Jimmy Ray had a very bubbly bachelor party set up by Stephan Parker. The boys opted to stay in close and take a MS near shore trip. Capt JRay was happy to oblige. The last text I got from them was that they were moving from fish(sheephead, drum, whites, ground mullet and specks) to find some reds. Sounded the boys had some good clean fun, on the bachelor party.
I was out with my buddy Morgan Corey from The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Lab(GCRL). They are doing a study Southern Flounder. What they really need is samples caught in December to February. Anyone who has fished for flounder knows how tough they can be those months. Most of them head offshore for the winter. Always up for a challenge, we headed out and fished the area we had done so well in early Nov. On our last trip, we had caught 14 and missed many many more. This trip would not be a repeat, or even come close. We fished several hours, and only had one small flounder shake off right at the boat. We did catch some trout and reds, but the flounders eluded us.
Speaking of challenging flounder fishing. USM GCRL is so serious about getting samples(Dec-Feb), they are giving local anglers a chance to win a 45 Quart Yeti Tundra cooler. Since southern flounder are not as numerous as they are during the warmer months, anyone has a shot at winning. For more info, check out this link(http://gcrl.usm.edu/mec/flounder.project.php) or email Mrs Morgan Corey at Morgan.corey@eagles.usm.edu the good folks at the lab do a lot for our local fisher folks. Please help them out if you can. Thanks

ESTABLISHED IN 2003. The Largest inshore fishing company on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Specializing in speckled trout, redfish,
flounder, tripletail, black drum and more! We fish the Louisiana Marsh, the Mississippi Barrier Islands and many other areas. Our full-time fishing guides are extremely knowledgeable, courteous, and professional. We have many boats available - small and large groups are welcome. Anglers under the age of 13 fish for free! All of our boats and guides are licensed to fish in Mississippi and Louisiana. We supply rods, reels, tackle, snacks, drinks, ice, fuel, bait, and fun. No charge for fish cleaning and bagging. Be sure and ask about our all inclusive overnight fishing packages to the Cat Island House. www.shorethingcharters.com or 228-342-2206.
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