Think big bays for Hopedale fishing in May

Capt. Don Maille caught this perfect sized redfish in the marsh on dead shrimp fished 18” under a cork.

The word for this month from Capt. Don Maille is to head to the bigger outside bays for the best May speckled trout action.

“We always look forward to May, when all the great fishing action breaks out everywhere,” Maille said. “This May looks to be an excellent month. The bait is showing up in the big lakes and bays, and you know the trout are right there where the bait is.”

Already spawning

That’s one thing you can depend on. Where the food is, the trout will follow.

“Trout are already spawning and they like to lay their eggs in the saltier waters of the exterior bays, so that’s where you’ll find the bigger fish,” Maille said. “The smaller males also show up in big schools this month, often over oyster reefs and under the birds. And you know when you fish under the birds not everything will be keeper sized but they’ll provide plenty of action and you’ll usually find keepers in the mix.”

There are some spots that traditionally produce better and more consistent catches and Maille has a few of those favorite spots on his list for this month for sure.

Maille said he likes the big bays such as Lake Coquille, Lake of Two Trees, Lake Calabasse, Lake Machias and Lake Fortuna, and above the MRGO Lake Athanasio and the MRGO Long Rocks.

“The Long Rocks are perennial, steady producers of a variety of fish, from specks to reds, drum and sheepshead, evidenced by the sheer number of boats anchored along them every day,” he said. “You can generally put together a good box of mixed fish out there, and May is a great month to do it.”

Maille said wherever you fish, look for any signs of bait activity, look for cleaner water and try current-lines anywhere around points. Those are three keys that help you focus in on the best spots.

Popping shrimp

As for bait, Maille said live shrimp under a popping cork is the best bet, but he also likes the Vudu shrimp in the glow color, Berkley Power baits in the clear sparkle color, and Mojo Shrimp in the Pineapple Express color, all fished 18-24”under a Four Horsemen cork. Everybody has their favorites and once you find the fish, you have to try lures that you have confidence in.

Don’t let the winds this month keep you off the water. There are safe places to fish and catch.

“Another issue we often face in May is strong winds,” he said. “That’s when I head over to the Delacroix side and fish reds in areas like Lake John, Shrimp Lagoon, Bay Ponton, Lake Fausan… that whole area. I just look for good points, cuts, coves and bait activity, and fish live or dead shrimp 18” under a cork.

“Anywhere you choose to try, it’s a great month to fish.”

Capt. Don Maille’s “Peter’s Nets Fishing Adventures” can be reached at 985-974-1826.

About Rusty Tardo 367 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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