Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Last Fishing Trip Of Summer

A painting by Elmore Morgan Jr.

I make a living as a swamp tour guide, and share the wildlife and natural beauty of our Louisiana swamps with tourists, but sometimes, I like a change of scenery.

Friday September 10, 2010

My fishing buddy calls me last minute to join him the next morning to fish for redfish in Vermilion Bay. My reply; "Of course!"

In retrospect, I realize it is a perfect way spend the day, nine years after 9/11/2001.

Saturday September 11, 2010
The day starts out at Cypremort Point in dim lit dawn.
Flat-bottomed clouds hang over the bay at about 500-600 foot altitude.

The high tide is peaking as we arrive in the public boat landing, as you can see in the photo above and the best fishing is almost always on a falling or out going tide.

It isn't long and we are pulling away from the boat landing...

and as we approach the bay, I again notice that the clouds are very interesting.

Then out into the bay, on our way to Shark Bayou.

I love mornings like this.

And it is not long before we are wetting a line.

And then the Cajun Navy passes us by...

and I continue to be infatuated with the popcorn shaped clouds.

At some point, I begin to reflect upon the horizontal imagery in Elmore Morgan Jr.'s art.

Maybe it was because he was being honored that night in Lafayette for the monthly, Second Saturday, artwalk in the downtown galleries and restaurants.

Elmore on the coastal prairie, painting a horizon filled with pink, popcorn shaped clouds.

Or perhaps he was out here with us in the spirit, enjoying the expansive clouded horizontal landscapes, he was so famous for painting during his life.

Either way, it was not long and we were leaving Shark Bayou behind and heading out into Weeks Bay.

And once again as the golden sun warmed up the landscape, Elmore and the inspiration he brought to so many young artists at ULL, was on my mind. The landscape, the clouds, and the morning light, seemed so surreal.

As we drove along this shoreline where the photo above was taken, I remembered about water skiing in this very location when I was a just a little more than a toddler, with my mom and dad a half a century ago, and little did I know in just a few days she would leave us and go to be with my dad.

Emilie Lampman Delahoussaye Rapp March 7, 1937 - September 15, 2010

From there we went into the trashpile,

and out to the point in Weeks Bay,

and then off towards Blue Point

Oh those horizontal lines and the popcorn shaped clouds that just seemed to linger lazily in the stillness of early morning.

Ed's little Lab puppy always eager and curious.

We had no luck anywhere in Weeks Bay so we headed south to Marsh Island.

As we rounded Cypremort Point, the sun was still just barely off the horizon.

Then as we entered Bird Island Bayou...

there was those popcorn shaped clouds again!

The game warden camp on Marsh Island is a place that always reminds me of some of my earliest memories on the water with my mom and dad.

We wind our way down the bayou and before long, we are catching our live bait at the first dam.

And so are several other boats...

As we leave the dam and come back into the bayou a couple of guys are anchored over the mudflat and casting out into the channel, and they are landing fish!

So we stop right there about a 100 yards from them and we start catching too!

Then my friends who were also cast netting at the dam came out and they anchored off the channel and they started casting out.

It wasn't long and Ed landed a huge Black Drum which dwarfed a 60qt. ice chest as you can see below.

Along with the drum and an assortment of smaller fish, we caught 9 fine, legal size redfish.

But, along with some really nice photos, and a nostalgic treasure hunt of my youth, we also brought home a surprize we did not discover until we parked Ed's boat in the driveway.

On the bottom of his hull, was a brown scum, and when we rubbed it with our fingers and felt it, between the thumb and forefinger, it felt just like motor oil, the feeling was smooth and lubricated.

It would appear the dispersant is doing its job and the BP oil spill has made its way 200 miles west of the spill site and is in Marsh Island.

Too bad we can't make BP pay to clean our boat, much less pay to clean up the largest barrier island and most pristine, until recently, unpolluted wildlife refuge in the state of Louisiana.

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