Finally I had the opportunity to fish Thursday for the first time in nearly eight months. A heart-felt thank you to Capt. Charlie Thomason The fishing out of Hopedale was incredible and the company was even better. It was my first return to the marsh interiors since the rude “eviction” from my humble Port Sulphur abode on Sept. 29. While the entire region remains in ruins there are some signs of the monumental cleanup and some rebuilding. Like Plaquemines Parish, St. Bernard has a long road to recovery. I can’t say enough about “Capt. Charlie.” He’s a pro, never a loss for words and one of the most knowledgeable guides I’ve ever met. I don’t know much about the Hopedale area but the patterns of the specks were fairly consistent every stop we made.
There was an unusually high tide, falling, but only three-tenths of a foot. We also faced 15-20 mph winds for much of the day. Capt. Charlie worked the trolling motor and a hydraulic power pole in tandem to move and precisely position his 24-foot Triton in all the right areas. He kept a close eye on his dept finder to mark the ledges and drop offs where the fish were congregated. We ran to Lake Amadee and worked our way back through Bay Lafourche. I noticed that the east banks of most areas were virtually unscathed by Katrina. But the west banks sustained much more damage. We picked up a few redfish and Marsh and Bayou’s Chris Tiblier caught and released a monster black drum. As the air temps warmed around 2 p.m. we began drifting the open bays not far from our starting point. The waters were stained but the specks aggressively attacked any Bass Assassin we threw at them. We picked up 23 and left them biting at 3 p.m.
I’m really not sure exactly where we were. But after talking to several other anglers in lower Plaquemines Parish on Thursday, they reported similar observations and patterns. Drift the open bays as you might do in October over oyster reefs. When you pick up a couple – stick the anchor. The fish are now scattered throughout the bays in the upper estuaries. Look for the fish to start their move southward as the water temps warm during the next couple of months. Can’t wait till spring gets here.
Good luck and God bless!