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Right so I went fishing Essex on Friday (report still coming).

A big problem I was having was figuring out how to properly work over the area. Oyster reefs were everywhere, the current was flowing fairly fast, and the wind was blowing me every which way - even with the bit of protection the landscape afforded.

I was having the problem of jetting past the reefs I wanted to cast between (you could visualize them by the ripples on the surface combined with they were darker than the cuts). I could make 1 cast at best and then rip past. If I got a good bite and wanted to try again, I had to turn around and re setup for my cast, and the fish had either moved or spooked by then.

I was going with the current so maybe that was my problem? Combined with the wind at my back and no way I could properly work over the area.

I'm not sure what I should have done, but eventually I busted out the anchor to go back to a spot after getting bites. Maybe I needed to not cast as I drifted since I was simply going too fast, and simply have the anchor ready to drop when I saw a promising spot? My other tactic was to beach myself on the oyster reefs lol.

Another problem with going so fast, my jig heads were snagging oyster constantly. Made for an over all frustrating day. I tried a wake bait (manns - one) but they weren't interested in top water. I never tried a super spook, I'm not very good at walking the dog.

Oh, my rudder decided to break during the trip too :( not sure if that would have helped anything.

How do you guys properly work over flowing bayous with strong current?
I like a stake out stick. I have it at the ready and deploy with one hand. I have a short section of shock cord attaching it to the kayak.

Stake out, cast, move forward, repeat.

I prefer to toss my offering and bring it with the current or at least perpendicular to the current. That can be tough to accomplish in a narrow bayou when the wind and current are moving mostly in the same direction. Sometimes, I have to quietly edge by a section on the opposite side of the area of interest and cast across the area to the “good” side. It takes some planning of the route to avoid spooking fish and some pretty precise and delicate maneuvering. Narrow oyster bayou fishing in my experience is about a lot of precision. Casts have to be pretty perfect as does the retrieve rate if you are going to fish subsurface. Often, the retrieve starts just as the cast lands, otherwise, the jig head or whatever will surely snag the shell. Fly gear works well in tight bayou areas as there are so many ways to weight a fly pattern and the patterns can be drifted over the structure with line mends that can’t really be done easily with other gear. I’ll repeatedly cast to almost the same spot and try to get the drift and mends just right. Sometimes, there’s a fish pretty much anchored in one little depression mostly out of the current and will only hit at something that drifts by in the perfect spot.

A lot of wind and current can add up to a lot of frustration. If I can find a little spot to make casting and the retrieve/drift work with the wind and current being what they are, I’ll fish it hard and then not beat my head in trying so hard on spots where the wind and current make for unfavorable casting and retrieve/drifts. Little bayous generally have a lot of twists and turns and if one stretch sets up badly wind and current wise, the next stretch might be much better.
I stick out my leg into water and use foot as anchor. :-) I typically fish skinny water or there is an oyster patch nearby that allows me to do it. If fishing a drain or channel -- just park yourself strategically on the bank, work the area, move, repeat.

As for working over shell -- use TSL or norton eel. You'll need to master eel to do latter -- fast retrieve with rapid twitches with your arms up in air. Amazingly enough fish still hits it, even though it moves fairly fast. Also, depending on jighead shape and how you put eel on the hook -- it'll end up diving (and digging) or gliding (slightly up) with each twitch.

One of the best days I had (18 reds) was in 15mph+ wind :)
I have a home made stake out pole from 8' fiberglass tree support pole from Amazon. I added a "T" handle and eyelets to attach rope. I drop it anywhere I am 4' or less of water. Anything deeper I use an anchor.
As for fishing shell, try using a lure like the TSL Grasswalker with a swim bait hook with the weight, if you use it, on the hook shank and the hook comes out the top and you set it up as weedless by barely "anchoring" the hook point into the soft lure. When the fish bite it hooks up but if going over shell it just bumps and there is no lead jig head to hold it down or get wedge in the shells or rocks. The soft lure can be dragged back easily and being lighter without the jig head it can "bounce" right off the shell.
All good info above.

If the bayou is too deep to stake out stick then many times it's worth parking the yak and walking down the shoreline. Granted you'd need proper footwear like wading boots and waders since you don't know what's in the marsh grass and some form of protection is advisable.

I agree with the others, you're going to get more strikes working the bait with the current and not into the current, cross current is also good. You can work with bait almost stationary but that becomes really hard with a lot of oyster and a moving boat.

See the reef, go out and passed it, paddle into the slack edge of water 40 yards downstream of the reef, then get your stake out or anchor ready, paddle into position to quietly stick it or anchor on short leash. I think I would prefer to anchor slightly down and further out and with the wind blowing the way it was you'd cast more cross wind or at worst quartering into the wind.

and kicking back is correct, that's actually why we made the TSL - GrassWalker (aka oyster walker) so we can fish that stuff.
Well I have a stake out pole I made from an aluminum tent stake. It works ok most of the time but I tried to stake out on the oyster reef and it was too tough to punch through. The cut was too deep to stake out to also.

I made a Cajun anchor awhile back out of a piece of 4 ft heavy aluminum grounding rod with a shackle. But last time I used it it was so windy the rod was pulling out of the mud, but I was in pretty deep water so it was hard to set properly (you are supposed to spear them into the mud). But, it still slowed me down even when dragging. I stopped bringing it but might give it another try after these tips. The more I think about it I think it could be nice in a shallow bayou.
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