Hopedale lakes full of August specks

Move deep, use live shrimp and fill your cooler, according to ‘Frankie Fillet’

Frank Roberts, aka “Frankie Fillet” — the fastest fillet knife in the Gulf south — is also widely known as a storehouse of knowledge when it comes to St. Bernard Parish waters.

Where does he find fish in August, the hottest month of the year? He answered immediately,

“Fish the oyster reefs anywhere on the Hopedale side,” he said.

By the Hopedale side, Roberts meant Lake Robin, Lake Coquille, Lake Calabasse, Lake Machais and Lake Fortuna.

“Then, you head north across the MRGO and fish Lake Athanasio, Bay Eloi and on up to Morgan Harbor and Christmas Camp Lake,” he said. “All of those lakes and bays are loaded with oyster reefs, and the fish will be in there.”

Besides choosing to fish on days with milder winds and good tide movement; there are a few a few additional factors to keep in mind in August.

“Fish early, because its so hot,” he said. “The fish will generally bite better in the early morning, so hopefully you can find them and head in before the temperature hits heat-stroke levels.

“Fish a little deeper this month, because the trout do tend to hang deeper where the water is cooler. So if you normally fish 2½ feet under a cork, now you want to fish 3½ to 4 feet, or even 5 feet under a cork, depending on how deep the water is where you’re fishing.

“Fish with live shrimp, because it’s always going to produce. On rare occasions, the fish will actually prefer plastics, and when they do, I throw the High Water Get ’Um shads.”

Frank Roberts shows off a beautiful Hopedale speck that’s ready to meet the fillet knife.
Frank Roberts shows off a beautiful Hopedale speck that’s ready to meet the fillet knife.

Where to fish? 

“Just pick a spot,” Roberts said. “Head to any of those lakes or bays, get up in the oyster poles that mark the reefs, and fan-cast all around the boat. You can anchor or drift. Generally, I stick the Power Pole, and I like to have one person fish shallower under a popping cork, the other person fish a foot or so deeper but also under a popping cork, and I give a spot two or three casts, all around the boat. If nobody catches anything, move, but don’t move far. Just move 30 or 40 yards over, and try again. If an area only produces small, under-size trout, move again, 30 or 40 yards or so. If a whole area comes up dry, move a bit farther, but keep repeating the process until you find the keeper size trout.”

Roberts said it’s possible to also catch some nice reds in those same lakes; just anchor off prominent points or good coves, and fish live or dead shrimp about 2 or 3 feet under your popping cork.

“And when you need your fish cleaned, whether reds, drum, sheepshead or trout, call Frankie Fillet, the fastest knife on the planet,” said Roberts (504-657-4028).

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Rusty Tardo
About Rusty Tardo 338 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.

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