Target reds off the bank in Hopedale

Capt. Charlie Thomason said low water conditions in January typically move redfish further away from the shoreline, so position your boat closer to the bank and cast away from it.
Capt. Charlie Thomason said low water conditions in January typically move redfish further away from the shoreline, so position your boat closer to the bank and cast away from it.

Lower water moves fish away from shoreline

Marsh Redfishing 101 says to throw baits tight to the bank for reds that are hugging the shoreline. However, that tactic doesn’t apply this time of year, according to Bayou Charters owner Capt. Charlie Thomason.

In fact, the Hopedale guide finds most of his redfish away from the shoreline this time of year.

“The majority of the time in January the water is going to be kind of low, so primarily all the fish are going to be at least 30 to 60 feet off the bank,” he said. “You’re going to place your boat very close to the bank and you’re going to throw out.

“There will be some fish that are kind of close to the bank. There might be 50 fish in a whole pond that are close to the bank, whereas there are 500 fish that are off the bank. That’s where they’re holding.”

Thomason throws either live shrimp or Gulp under a cork for reds this month.

“If I can get live shrimp, then I’ll get it,” he said. “I always carry live shrimp with me, even if my customers just want to do artificial.”

Thomason uses the Versamaxx Bolt popping cork, as well as the Hybrid Versamaxx, and he’s very particular about his leader length when targeting the redfish.

“I always want to make sure my cork (leader) is about 6 to 8 inches deeper than the water I’m fishing,” Thomason said. “You want the bait to stay on the bottom.”

To help it stay put down there, Thomason uses a 3/8-ounce jighead under the cork.

“It’s usually windy, and I want the cork to stay stationary,” he said. “I don’t want it to move. When I’m popping that cork, I want that thing to stay within a 3-foot area because I’m calling the fish to the sound of the cork.”

Joel Masson
About Joel Masson 155 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville. Sammy Romano is a lifelong hunter who has worked in the archery industry for more than 24 years. His expertise includes compounds and crossbows. He can be reached at samboka31@aol.com.