What: Trout, reds, bass, flounder
How: Try for trout, reds and flounder at the MRGO rock dam. Use popping corks with live bait or plastic tails near the rocks. Fish flounder away from the rocks on the north side using Gulp or live shrimp on a quarter-ounce jighead. Bottom fishing can be good, but the water is over 30 feet deep and lined with rocks far out from the visible dam. Be prepared for many snags, or use a sliding cork to keep your bait off the bottom. For Lena Lagoon and the spoil canal marsh, fish trout with a popping cork and live shrimp or plastic tails. Be prepared for grass, and use rigs that are more weedless. Don’t overlook topwater lures, as the fall bite up on top can be incredible.
Plan for thick grass beds around the entire perimeter of Hopedale Lagoon. Try weedless jigheads under a popping cork near all of the cuts and drains for trout, reds and bass. Drift or slow troll off the shoreline and middle of the lagoon for trout — same for nearby Lake Ameda.
Launch: For the MRGO dam, spoil canal marsh and Lena Lagoon, launch at Hopedale Marina. There is a $5 launch fee and live bait and tackle are available. For Hopedale Lagoon and Lake Ameda, launch at the old Pip’s Place launch — there are no facilities, only a concrete boat launch with a $5 honor box. Both launches are located on the right side of Hopedale Highway in St. Bernard Parish.
Insider tip: If fishing Tuesday through Saturday, stop for lunch or dinner at Rocky & Carlo’s in Chalmette. Everything is good, but don’t pass up the “Baked Mac.”
What: Bass (Bonus trout and reds near the lake)
How: Bayou Lacombe is heating up for its famed fall bite. Target hungry bass with a white spinnerbait or soft plastic Zoom Fluke Jr. in Arkansas shiner color. Slowly bounce it along the shoreline, making sure to hit all the cuts and curves in the bayou. Fish with 12-pound test and be ready for hungry trout and reds as they stack up around the mouth of the bayou near the lake.
Launch: Turn south off of Highway 190 onto Lake Road (Highway 434) and launch at the Lake Road launch in Lacombe. It’s a free launch. Paddle up the bayou and fish along the grass for marsh bass. Work your way back toward the lake and add some trout and reds to the box.
Insider tip: Stop in and see Shannon Griffin Bordelon at Bayou Adventure at the corner of 190 and Lake Road for the latest intel and the coldest beer anywhere. They have a large selection of tackle and bait, including Manley Rods that have an adjustable length butt that’s perfect for fishing from a ‘yak. Kayak and fishing gear rentals are available, and Bordelon is a FeekFree kayak dealer.