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So, what is the latest on redfishing down in Louisiana? Well, according to Jim Smith, owner of Uptown Angler in New Orleans and the biggest agent for redfish trips in the area, the marshes are all producing fish. At press time, he said he had two guides out fishing, and he was headed to the marshes himself for a fishing photo shoot with a major outdoor clothing manufacturer. “We had fishing all summer, despite the BP oil spill,” he said. “The only problem we’ve had is our phones quit ringing.”
Smith says the oil spill was a major event but it simply didn’t affect the redfish marshes south of New Orleans. A lifelong resident of New Orleans and an active fisherman, Smith says there have always been oil spills in coastal Louisiana, and some of the previous ones posed some risk to the marshes because they took place in shallow, inshore areas. The BP oil spill took place in deep water, far from the marshes, and it had almost zero effect. What did have an effect on the fishing for a while and on oyster beds in the marshes, he says, is a government move to allow much more freshwater than usual to flow into the marshes from the Mississippi River. The flow helped push the oil away, but it also pushed many redfish away, too. It also did some harm to oyster beds.
Smith says the flushing of the marsh is all over now, and all of his guides are catching fish. As usual, he says few large fish are being taken yet. The behemoths weighing 30 pounds and more typically become sightfish-able only after the first cold fronts have come through.
Smith urged Angling Report subscribers to come to New Orleans and go fishing. “My guides need the work,” he said. You can reach Uptown Angler by calling: 504-529-3597. Web: www.uptownangler.com).