For several years I have been using all sizes of the old fashion trout float rig to float baits in and around the oyster mounds while fishing the shallow water creeks. This seemed like a way to guide my baits in and around areas that I thought reds were holding. I would toss the rig up from where I wanted the bait to go and with a little tension on the line and with the help of the current I could control the drift to position my bait to hit the areas that were hard to get to in big winds.
About three weeks ago, I was at Thrifty Bait and Tackle and as always, I like to walk up and down the isles looking for something that I do not already have. I stumbled across what to me was a new float rig, the Cajun Thunder. I have used the other floats made by another company that were very similar to the Cajun Thunder and was not happy with the distance that they would cast. The Cajun Thunder has brass beads on the bottom that ads the correct amount of weight, that allows you to make very long cast.
This float system appeared to be the ticket, a small float that allows long cast, just what I was looking for.
I put about six of the Cajun Thunder floats in the cart and made my way to the check out line.
The next day, I took the floats out of the packaging and stored them in a Plano tackle tray, put them on the boat and was ready for the next trip.
I laid in bed that night thinking of all of the new possibilities using a float that made noise when it was popped, cast long distances and was small enough to work around the oyster mounds.
When I put the boat in the water the next day, the wind was blowing about 20 and I knew that I was going to have a hard time casting light jigs around the oyster mounds without staying hung up and breaking off all day. I then remembered my new floats and thought, I could anchor in areas that reds cruised and work the new floats around the mounds.
I headed out in the direction of one of these spots hoping the reds would be there, so I could try the new floats. I eased up on my spot, set out my new Fortress anchor, drifted back to a good position a long way from where I wanted to fish and I was now ready to give them a try. I tied a Cajun Thunder to the line, tied on a 1 foot long leader with a 2/0 worm hook, put on a nice juicy mud minnow, made my cast up current of the area that should be holding fish and let it drift right to the area.
On the first pass, no fish. I repeated these steps several more times and still no fish. Are they here today, do they want a shrimp, is the tide low enough. You know what I was going through, second guessing yourself, your bait, the water depth and everything else involved when in pursuit of Mr. Redfish. I was about ready to move to another spot when one of the floats starting heading up current. I barked out "take up the slack and wind like heck". When the line came tight, the rod doubled over and the battle was on. The reel sang out as the red pulled line from the spool as he frantically tried to get away. We got a little line and he took a little. We battled the fish for about 4 or 5 minutes, around one side of the boat and then the other, under the boat then back out in open water. His last run was next to the boat and as he passed, I slid the net under him and in the boat he came. On the tape he measured 26 3/4 inches and weighed about 7 and 3/4 pounds, what a nice fish.
Alright, there are fish here and this does work. We cast up current of the spot and for the next two hours about every third or forth pass we either had a bite or hooked a fish, when the bait drifted into the spot.
We managed to land several more nice reds, all from a small area that I probably would have made one or two cast in and then left.
The Cajun Thunder allowed us to fish this area the way it needed to be fished and the results was a good day on the water.
As you all know when the wind is kicking, it is difficult to work the edges using the trolling motor. Most of the time with a stiff wind you end up with a lot of cast in the mounds of short of the spot that you are trying to fish. You have to have the trolling motor turned up so high that the fish hear you way before you get within casting range. These Cajun Thunder floats made it easy to fish an area that normally would not have received a lot of play, because of the wind. Our final tally was 8 reds to 27" from one little 10 foot long area. If we had not used the Cajun Thunders, we probably would not have caught a fish from this area. I like my new Cajun Thunders.
About the author
Jim Hammond is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He has been fishing with his father since he was five years old. He has since become a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain and a dedicated fisherman in the waters of northeast Florida.
From the St. John's River to the feeder creeks of the Intra Coastal Waterway, and the river jetties to the Atlantic ocean, Jim Hammond can help you catch red bass, speckled trout, jack crevalle, blue fish, flounder, sheepshead, shark, tarpon, black drum and many other species you haven't even thought of.