Contributing editor, Dustin Schouest, shares with us the story of PAC kayak rentals, the only legitimate kayak launch and marina in south Louisiana. PAC Kayak Rentals has everything a kayak angler could need to hit the water with ease to chase those famous Louisiana redfish.
I awoke when my alam sounded with a line from the Youtube series Final Fantasy VII Machinabridged. After waking up, brushing my fangs, and kissing Alli on the head, I grabbed my favorite flannel shirt, loaded up my doom metal station on Spotify, and got to driving down toward Pointe Aux Chenes. Today however, I was not visiting my usual haunt on the PAC Wildlife Managment Area. Today I was visiting Eddie and Lisa Mullen down at their operation: PAC Kayak Rentals, the only dedicated kayak marina in south Louisiana.
Eddie and his wife Lisa first started this operation in early 2016. The couple understood that there was a demand for a dedicated launch for kayaks in the furthest reaches of Oak Pointe. The only launch point, an older marina with more boat traffic than the Interacoastal Waterway, was not the safest option for a plastic boater. The ramps have been caked in thick algae since I was a kid (I have vivid memories of slipping in that water helping my dad load his boat on a trailer when I was a small kid), the docks have rusty nails and broken chunks of wood begging to go thru a foot, and the boaters using the marina are not the most friendly toward kayakers, nor do they care to know Louisiana laws pertaining to right-of-way.
The owners of PAC Kayak Rental set up shop cattycorner to that marina, which allows kayakers to get in the water without worrying about boat traffic, or being run down by the boat ramps. To help in loading kayaks, Eddie built two floating docks, each wide enough to hold a Hobie Pro Angler. The docks could go up and down with the tide, and had a roller up front to help the kayaker roll their boat into the water much easier. I first encountered this kayak launch through word of mouth in our kayak club. Only one person had used the launch before, and I wanted to check it out. It was a mildly windy morning in February when I pulled my truck and YOLO Board down the speed bumps going down Paw Paw Court, right off Highway 665. I looked around and finally found the docks. I got out of my truck and was greeted by the nicest fellow: a tall, lanky white haired, friendly fellow who introduced himself as Eddie Mullen.
He helped me get my board off the truck, and told me all about his operation. Eddie had wanted to start a service for kayakers involving a full service marina. He told me that soon shrimp, minnows, croaker, and even crab would be avaliable for catching any kind of fish in the bayou. As he was talking, my eyes were brought to a white painted Carolina Skiff with a steel frame welded on on side. I pointed to it, and Eddie told me that he had set up that skiff to do mothershipping, where he would take people out to fish in remote areas that the average yakker couldn’t make it to.
I was so impressed, I asked if I could get some business cards or pamphlets. Eddie handed me a few small flyers, and I put them anywhere I could. After putting them in my truck, I pushed off from the floating dock and did some exploring. The beauty of PAC Kayak Rental’s location is how far you want to go for fish. You can cross over the main bayou to get to the thick marsh that goes along Horseshoe Bayou, or you can just hang right as you paddle passed the marina and fish the tranasses, or cuts, and small islands literally right behind the marina. And while this trip, and the next one, would have me returning to the marina skunked, I still enjoyed the environment I could paddle in, as well as the great hospitality of Eddie and his wife Lisa.
The morning’s jams of Ahab (such a fitting band for someone as obsessed with fishing as I) kept me awake as I began the slow jaunt down Paw Paw Court again. The residents in the camps here had put speed bumps to prevent speed demons like myself from going fast and potentially hurting a child, or a stray chicken or duck. I saw the familiar sign of Eddie’s business and noticed some new buildings and items around.
The most prominent was the building near the water: the full service tackle shop. Upon walking in, one will see baits ranging from Tsunami to Matrix Shad to local baits that I hadn’t gotten the chance to use. Large minnow cages dipped into the water, containing hundreds of small lorge, or minnows as we Cajuns call them. Jackson Kayaks, all Cruises, were laid against the wall of a small office donning the name of the business. Instead of two slips in the floating dock system, now there were four. Before the docks were pieces of PVC pipe to eliminate the chances of the bulwark or cement scratching the bottom of a kayak. All in all, the setup that the two of them had created was the best I had seen in Louisiana yet.
Eddie and I spent about twenty minutes talking. A gentlemen launching at the same time I was had caught three nice sized drum fishing some cracked crab in the main bayou earlier in the morning. According to reports, even with dirty water, the fishing for reds was still good, and the speckled trout were biting very well. But specks weren’t on my mind: what I wanted were some of the bigger members of the croaker family. Priscilla, my camoed out Vibe SeaGhost 130 slid into the hard pushing current easily. The current was coming in hard, meaning that a trip across the bayou toward Horseshoe Canal was a no-go. So, the marsh behind the launch was where I would be hunting for redfish. The wind was howling a bit now, making the easiest places to cast my fly rod the leeward side of any bits of marsh. And it would pay off in spades.
A huge V-shaped wake about a thousand feet from the launch caught my eye, and I fired my popper at it. With two pops, the line went tight, but it was for naught: the redfish spit the fly as soon as it turned 90 degrees. Rats! I should have strip set harder! I poled around further to the North-West, heading toward one of the recently constructed levees that were made to help protect Oak Pointe from the dangers of storm surge. Another big take lead to a perfect eat: the fly hit the water, and before I even stripped it twice, the fly was gone in a huge splash. My kayak was towed a few dozen feet before a barely illegal sized red was brought to hand. With great care, I used my tag applicator to put a yellow tab in his dorsal before sending the beast back to the depths.
The water was becoming more and more murky, making sight casting a chore. I spooked more reds than I saw, before I saw the perfect sign. It was the back of a redfish, poking up out of the water. The redfish moved under, but its blue and indigo tail was still protruding. The first cast was a flub: the popper landed in front of the red, but the first pop spooked the redfish, pushing it away. I watched the V head away, and I decided to fire the fly right over the wake, and the fly was destroyed in a geyser of water. One of the most magical things about fly fishing is the fight itself. Especially with big fish. Not only will you feel fly line burn your fingertips as though you were failing that rope climbing exercise we all did in gym class, but as the fly line escapes your paws and goes to the reel, you now run the real risk of the fly reel handle busting your knuckle. And this happened about two times as this redfish began run after run, compounded with the wind pushing me the opposite way. Yards and yards of fly line disappeared, and I could almost see my backing making its debut.
Soon though, lactic acid began to take over the fish, and pumps of the rod and turns of the reel brought the fish closer and closer. Within minutes, the gorgeous copper body was in front of me. The fly was deep in the fish’s mouth, actually in the crushers. Boy, did he take it deep! I took the fly out, put the fish in the ice chest, and started paddling in as the wind had begun to kick up more. I pulled up into one of the floating dock slips and both Eddie and I got my kayak onto the trailer. I thanked him for all he had done for kayakers here in this area of Terrebonne Parish, and made my way home to cook up that perfect size redfish.
So, if you are ever in Terrebonne Parish, want to try kayak fishing, or already have a yak and need to wet a line, head on down to PAC Kayak Rentals! Eddie and Lisa will be happy to get you set up with all your needs, get your boat in the water, and they will ensure you have an amazing time!
PAC KAYAK RENTALS
4266 Paw Paw Ct
About the Author
Dustin Schouest is a veteran angler from the small disappearing village of Pointe Aux Chenes, La. When not fishing, Dustin is usually found tying flies, editing video, or writing about his adventures from his Vibe Sea Ghost 130. He is a member of the Hook1 Fishing Team as well as a member of Team Filthy Anglers.
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