Redfish providing excitement at Hopedale Marsh


Posted on February 24, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 24 at 8:20 PM

Frank Davis / Fishing Expert

HOPEDALE, LA - From both sides of the MRGO Dam, all the way to Lake Robin, and every stop in-between, Hopedale is still producing some pretty decent hauls on redfish and some occasional speckled trout.

Charterboat Captain Kerry Audibert showed me today exactly where the prime fishing spots are in St. Bernard at this time of year.

“Frank, they run the gamut from Bayou Biloxi, Brick Lagoon, Muscle Bay, Little Stump, up and down the length of La Loutre, Magnolia, and Lake Lori,” Capt. Kerry itemized.

“And the fishing is rather simple—you need only a 3/8 ounce jighead tied directly to the monofilament for bottom fishing. No Carolina rigging is necessary. Just be sure to bring along a lot of extra jig heads—snags and stumps will cause you to lose a lot of tackle.

“If you’d prefer to fish up shallow, tie an 18-inch shock leader fitted with a quarter-ounce leadhead jig, directly under a popping or chugging cork. Work the terminal rigging flush along the shoreline, which you will find is where most of the heftier reds will be grubbing. Frozen market shrimp is your preferred bait.”

Presented with the opportunity to haul in some bigger reds (like, for example, if you see them zipping through the shallows along the bank), you might find that live Cocahoe minnows will take precedence over frozen shrimp. So I suggest that you bring along a dozen or so minnows.

Paraphrasing Capt. Kerry. . .

1. Fish wind-blown coves, oyster reefs, shell banks, mud flats, and marsh drains;

2. In shallow water ponds and lagoons, proceed quietly with minimal disturbances in the water;

3. Be at the fishing site at or shortly after sunup to take advantage of the sunrise bite;

4. Focus on current lines and any other situation that creates agitation in the grassy shallows (this attracts fish to feed at that location);

Now be aware that this particular kind of redfishing is a “specialized kind of redfishing.” It’s not just bait up and throw the line in the water. These fish need to be finessed, the bait needs to be presented properly, it takes a degree of skill to locate them, and then it takes another degree to entice them to bite. And finally, if after they’re hooked they’re not played properly, chances are they’ll throw the hook and get away.

The best way to avoid this scenario is to get with a pro and first learn how it’s done. Capt. Kerry can teach this technique hands on. Feel free to give him a call at 504-259-5304 and book a trip with him.

Till next Thursday, be safe, enjoy the weekend (weather is supposed to be beautiful), and catch a limit or two!

Tight lines and good times, y’all…

Frank Davis