Hopedale inshore fishing is hoppin’

Capt. Marc Fradella caught this 12-pound redfish on a glow/chartreuse VuDu shrimp in a washout off of Bayou Alphonse.

Capt. Marc Fradella (985-290-2908) said he’s been on a good, steady trout bite for the last couple months and he expects it to continue through this month and well into March and April. That’s good news for fishermen in the Hopedale area.

“People have been catching trout and reds all along the MRGO, from the Hopedale Dam to the Wall in Chalmette since October,” he said. “The shrimp have been plentiful and the specks have stayed to eat them.

“The winter has been slow arriving and the milder weather has contributed to the steady bite.”

But colder weather is inevitable in late January and throughout February, traditionally our coldest months of the year. Depending on how cold it gets, the shrimp may vanish with the cold fronts or they might hang around until spring if our winter stays mild.

Fradella said he’s been staying close to the dock, fishing the deeper bayous around Lena Lagoon.

Avoid dead water

“Basically I’m fishing from Bayou Guyago to Bayou Mussolini, over to Bayou Alphonse and up to Bayou St. Malo,” he said. “I fish the cuts and washouts where I find moving water. That’s the key. Here’s an important tip. Dead water = dead action. It doesn’t matter whether the tide is rising or falling as long as its moving.”

And while many anglers are switching to bottom rigs for the colder months, Fradella fishes under a cork all year round.

“I’m fishing about 2 ½ feet under a popping cork, mostly with the 3 ½-inch VuDu shrimp in the glow/chartreuse, purple/chartreuse, and pink or orange colors,” he said. “That’s all I’ve been using and the trout and reds are not turning it down.”

Fradella said he fishes the drains and cuts and washouts into the bayous and has been catching nice sized trout with few throwbacks. There are also a few good reds in the mix.

“And the bonus about February fishing is that you can leave the dock later and still catch fish,” he said. That’s a really good bonus, especially when the nippy weather has a “bite” of its own.

About Rusty Tardo 372 Articles
Rusty Tardo grew up in St. Bernard fishing the waters of Delacroix, Hopedale and Shell Beach. He and his wife, Diane, have been married over 40 years and live in Kenner.