Frank Davis / Fishing Expert
If you got plans to fish this weekend, I’m here to tell you that from Hopedale, down Bayou La Loutre, and across the Biloxi Marsh, trout and redfish are just waiting in the wings for dedicated, dyed- in-the- wool, Louisiana anglers to claim their limits.
“In spite of the sketchy weather, both Saturday and Sunday of this week--as well as whenever conditions remain stable and unchanged for a couple of days on end--will be outstanding for really good fishing,” Capt. Kerry Audibert told me as he hauled another keeper trout over the gunwale.
“Frank, rafts of really nice size specks and hordes of tackle-busting reds are all over "the marsh," especially wherever you find a pocket, a shelf or ridge, or a shell reef. All you need to pull fish off these spots is a pound or two of stinky market shrimp for the redfish, and a fistful of "Opening Night" colored Hybrid Flurry plastics for trout, both fished under a chugging cork!”
Capt. Kerry noted that the best starting spot for locating these fish is in the Stump Lagoon, Little Stump, and Muscle Bay quadrant. He said fishermen would be well advised to set the cork about 24-inches above the terminal tackle, except when water depth (it’s usually somewhere between 2 and 3 feet back in the marsh) calls for more shallow rigging.
“Ideally, Frank, fishermen would want to keep the bait about 6 inches over the bottom strata,” Capt. Kerry continued. “With the water temperature running around 48 to 54 degrees these days, both the trout and reds will be suspended just off the bottom to take advantage of a few meager degrees of radiated heat. I suggest the guys vary the depth ever so slightly so that the lure falls within the appropriate strike zone. Believe me, they’ll know when they reach the target.”
Here lately, it’s been cool—and sometimes even downright cold—until about mid-morning or later, so it is not really necessary to roll out early and get on the water slightly after sunrise. For both fish and fisherman’s sakes it is best to “sleep in” a little longer and let things warm up, say, to something a skosh higher than 58 degrees.
“In other words, it’s best if you give the sun time to come out!”
Finally, as always, remember that if you’re not familiar with the Biloxi Marsh it has to be approached cautiously—submerged reefs, stumps, sand bars, and prior structures can ruin your day and destroy your marine equipment. So Kerry preaches that novices “go slow” until they feel totally comfortable with the underwater structure.
Of course, the best way to become familiar with the Hopedale and Biloxi Marsh area is to first book a trip with a charter captain who can show you in detail the methodology of fishing that particular tract of wetland. As the line goes in stage play The Music Man, “. . .first, you gotta know the territory. “ That one line also applies to fishing and learning to fish “The Marsh.”
So this weekend, follow the tips I’ve laid out for you, get outdoors, and enjoy! I can guarantee you’ll catch them if you do. All that’s left for you to figure out is “where, exactly, are they.”
Be careful, be safe, and be courteous.
P.S. To get in touch with Capt. Kerry, simply call 504-259-5304. Just stay out of my fishin' hole!!!