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Hopedale Redfish bite improving — Pat Fitzpatrick

The  Fitzpatrick boat is back on the water, two reports! As is typical of late summer, the redfish bite is improving in the Hopedale marsh with better quality fish. But sometimes you have to wait them out and search. Last weekend made a solo trip, to Lake Robin hitting ponds and the shoreline. Had to stick and move, run away from trash fish (cats, ladyfish, pinfish, 6-inch trout) and the first red didn’t hit the box for two hours when the tide started falling. Got a limit, but the redfish bite didn’t peak until 10AM. Also bumped into the first keeper trout school of the season, including a 2.5 lb yellowmouth. This week Hermine pushed lots of water in, so Jerry joined me with the plan to get them early and beat the heat. We were in Lake Robin by 6AM, but again nothing for two hours. Later I noticed Jerry had a banana in the ice chest, and now the heat was on and no tide movement. The trash fish were even more vicious.  It was not looking good. Made the decision to at least run away from the trash fish, and went to the marsh north of Lake Coquille. Its a very remote area with narrow bayous, and I nailed at least three gar (thump, thump, thump) which in my books makes the day a success. Still, we needed some reds in the ice chest. It started off slow, but the trash fish were gone and we had some boils at the corks….there was hope. One finally was hooked and I threw him on the banana to make a future daiquiri for some crabs. I thought with the water high they may be at a dead end, and success. As we drifted the dead end pond the corks suddenly were going down, and it was on. We limited out with 20-24 inch slots just in time to head in…there was no wind, no clouds, a beating sun, hard on the system of us older men. When I cleaned the reds, they were full of minnows, so the school had corralled them in the dead end and were going to town. Its easy to find our spot. Just looking for the banana peel on the pond shoreline in the Coquille marsh.