Hopedale Front — Tips for fishing specks after a cold front

A change of tactics will put speckled trout in the boat when Mother Nature gives you a high sky and dirty water.

Weather cycles pretty much make the fishing world go round in South Louisiana. The same cold fronts ­— along with the waning photoperiod — that drive speckled trout inland and the masses of white shrimp out also serve to sometimes violently flush the marsh when strong north winds make their way through the coastline.

Understanding the fish’s mentality as it pertains to the ups and down of barometric pressure and wind in the Hopedale/Delacroix area can go a long way toward turning a fruitless trip into a messy ice chest.

Dwayne Cooper finally took a look at the water he’d been avoiding the past five miles or so upon making the right turn at the bridge at the Ysycloskey bridge. The veteran Hopedale angler, who eschews closer venues to his St. Gabriel home, didn’t want to see what challenges lay ahead on this cold winter’s day — the only such outing he’d been able to fit into a tight schedule — until it was time to focus solely on them and not on the unexpected trailer-light issues he’d discovered two hours previous.

“But that’s just another thing to worry about. I try not to ever look at the water along the bayou until I get to the launch,” said Cooper, who’s been hauling boats of various sizes down I-10 to St. Bernard Parish for 14 years. “It started I guess when I was a kid when I was old enough to realize what water level and clarity meant to what kind of day we were in store for. There’s no sense getting in a bad mood until it’s time to get in a bad mood.”

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