Redfish running the banks between Hopedale and Shell Beach


Posted on February 10, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 10 at 7:36 PM

The waterway that parallels the road between Hopedale and Shell Beach has been The number one hotspot the past four weeks for catching redfish. And yep—I’m talking catching big, bragging-size redfish from the bank! Here’s the scoop right from Glenn Sanchez, the proprietor and primary operator of Breton Sound Marina:

“Frank, most of the action is taking place in Bayou La Loutre and the Hopedale Canal in the vicinity of the Yscloskey bridge,” Glenn Sanchez, proprietor and primary operator of Breton Sound Marina told me Thursday. “The fishing has been going on for about four or five weeks now, and fishermen standing on either side of the waterway have been catching limits or near limits of keepers just about seven days a week.”

Glenn, as well as the dozens of fishermen I talked with Thursday, all said the same thing:

1—The most productive spot is adjacent to the bridge, although reds have been caught consistently from the marina all the way to the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet dam.

2—All the fish have been averaging 16 to 20 inches.

3—Because of the cold water temperature the reds have been holding directly down the center of the canal in the deeper, warmer water.

4—Best technique for taking them is a ¾ ounce lead-head jig, baited with dead market shrimp, tied directly to the terminal end of the line, and fished dead slow on the bottom.

5—The best time to fish, ideally, is from about an hour after sunup through mid-morning. Some days the action continues through the noon hour. And on other days anglers admit they can catch the reds all day long, from sunup to sunset.

6—Colder days seem to be more productive than warmer days. Days when the tide isn’t ripping at a fast pace also seem to yield more fish.

7—It’s a good idea to bring along extra leaders, hooks, and sinkers. The areas where most of the reds have been hanging out seem to be cluttered with lots of bottom snags and hang-ups. So be prepared to lose a lot of tackle.

8—This entire stretch of bank has become exceptionally popular and usually is crowded with fishermen. For that reason, especially this weekend, you will have to exercise lots of patience and tolerance. Try to be courteous when fishing elbow-to-elbow next to other fishermen.

“Frank, there’s a small deli at the site of the bridge when folks can buy supplies,” Glenn added. “And down at the marina itself there is just about everything a fisherman would need for a bank-fishing trip, including baits, drinks, ice, sandwiches, snacks, and tackle.”

By the way, Glenn did say that while the emphasis this week is on fishing from the bank, fishermen with boats, however, can count of some outstanding redfishing action back in the Hopedale marshes. With market bait (dead shrimp) and two rigs (one for fishing bottom on a jig head and the other for fishing under a popping cork), putting full limits in the boat in short order should be like a walk in the park. So. . .maybe this weekend? Whatchathink?

Now next week, we head back down to Delacroix to fish with Captain Ahab. I’ll let you what the story is the moment we get back to the dock. Meanwhile. . .do you know how to get to Hopedale?