Tournament pro Eli Braud came up fishing the vast marshes of Point Aux Chene, Louisiana. During his formative years, he fished the area a couple times each week to prepare for the area’s biggest tournaments. Today, he is excited to share his favorite fishing hole with up-and-coming stars.
A sportsman’s culture combined with swamps, marshes and bayous fuels the explosion of kayak fishing in southern Louisiana. But it’s the people who make Pointe Aux Chenes, PAC for short, a hidden gem. Saltwater intrusion funneled by abandoned pipeline canals has brought redfish and speckled trout far inland.
In the northern stretches, the water turns brackish and I catch redfish next to largemouth bass. To the south, where the water is saltier, find big sea trout near oyster beds in deeper water. Originally a small fishing community of Native American tribes, Pointe Aux Chenes sits at the confluence of Grand Bayou and Point Aux Chenes Bayou.
The heart of the action is PAC Kayak Rentals, a paddle fishing commune in the middle of the action. Launch at the kayak marina and fish the marsh for redfish, trout, sheephead and blackdrum. Overnight visitors get a chance to fish the dock lights for sea trout. Return to the marina and share fish stories over burgers at the PAC Shack.
In 2015, Pointe Aux Chene became a kayak fishing mecca when PAC Kayak Rentals opened. The dedicated kayak marina offers floating docks designed for launching kayaks, a fully stocked tackle shop, RV park, fishing piers, restaurant and lodging. PAC Kayak Rentals is a regular stop for nationally recognized personalities, international guests and anglers from across the country. PAC Kayak Rentals, Montegut, Louisiana, packayakrental.com, (985) 466-3939
Matthew Carr is a tournament angler and local guide who offers guided kayak fishing
trips through PAC Kayak Rentals.
Dockside dining is available at the PAC Shack, located next door to the kayak marina. Their breakfast sandwiches and burgers are delicious. I’m a big fan of the onion rings. In the summer, they offer frozen snacks to cool the Louisiana heat.
The brackish waters of PAC are home to many species, but the most popular are redfish, speckled trout, flounder and sheepshead.
PAC is spoiled with great year-round fishing. October to December is my favorite time for reds in the shallow ponds and grass flats. Redfish are very aggressive during the fall, making them even easier to target.
A six-foot, six-inch medium-action rod with 16-pound braided line is the standard. A short piece of 20-pound monofilament leader is optional in the stained water. Topwater lures like Heddon Spook Jr or Rapala Skitterwalk will pull reds and trout from the shoreline. For sight fishing to tailing reds, I like a Buggs Fishing Curl-Tail jig. In warmer months, a soft plastic and quarter-ounce jig will entice sluggish fish.
PAC Kayak Rentals offers a fleet of Jackson and Hobie fishing kayaks. For sight fishing, a pair of polarized sunglasses cuts glare on the water.
To work topwater lures and fish shallow flats, use a stakeout pole or anchor.
The kayak marina has become the most popular launch in the area, but there are other places to launch a paddlecraft. A couple public launches give access to the Management Area. Island Road cuts across open water leading to Isle De Jean Charles, the small island is home to Isle De Jean Charles Marina, or “Theo’s” to the locals.
For redfish, start the day casting a topwater lure and walking it parallel to the shore. Once the sun comes up, I go into sight fishing mode, standing for a better look into the water. Look for clean water with underwater vegetation sheltering baitfish and crabs.
To sight cast a cruising redfish, cast the bait a few feet in front of the fish and slowly work into the fish’s path. If done correctly, hold on for a Cajun sleigh ride.
Petri dish of fish | Featured photo: Eli Braud