Hopedale reds are on the move in May

Capt. Charlie Thomason takes clients to catch a whole lot of redfish around points this month.

Capt. Charlie Thomason with Bayou Charters catches gobs of redfish this month near Hopedale, and one of the keys is understanding the migration of the fish.

“The redfish will be moving from the outer bays inward, and the other big (numbers) of redfish will move from the Gulf to the coastline,” he said. “They both kind of stage up. That’s all due to the movement and migration of the bait.”

Thomason (504-278-3474) targets the redfish on points with fast-moving water around.

“May is when the shrimp start to make their move in,” he said. “As they start coming in and you start noticing there is shrimp available at the marina, you’re going to start fishing more hard points with a lot of current.

“You want to fish areas that are heavy ambush spots.”

Thomason also said the fish can get into other areas that anglers need to keep in mind.

“They’ll get into places where you have big bodies of water and it just kind of funnels down into a pass. At the mouths of those passes, those fish will be sitting there waiting for the big droves of shrimp and mullet to get driven in,” he said.

Bait

If you’re an artificial bait fisherman, Thomason recommends throwing 3/8-ounce Chatterbaits, ½-ounce spoons and shallow-running crankbaits like Mann’s Baby 1-Minus, to catch redfish.

“All of those shallow-style vibration and displacement-style baits that are visual baits work very well,” he said. “The Chatterbaits are going to be fished on the edge of grass because those are definite ambush-style baits.”

If you’re an angler who wants to put a bunch of fish in the boat, it’s hard to go wrong with live shrimp. Thomason fishes them under corks, and he really favors the Versamaxx Hybrid corks.

“They work really well, especially for ambushing fish, because they make a lot of noise, and they just attract them a whole bunch,” he said. “It sounds just like a fish feeding.”

A crucial thing to do this time of year is to move a lot, according to Thomason. Staying in an unproductive area can really hurt your chances of a heavy ice chest.

“Don’t stick in a spot very long, because the fish are going to start to school that time of year,” Thomason said. “I live by the 5-cast rule, meaning five casts in the boat, not five casts per person.

“If you’ve got four people on the boat, it’s pretty much two casts each person and roll. They are either there, or they’re not. It’s not like you’re going to sit there and start pecking them off. Jump from point to point, and all of a sudden, you’ll get on a point that has a lot of them.”

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Joel Masson
About Joel Masson 158 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville and can be reached at Joel.masson19@gmail.com.

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