Please Sign In

New To Sportsman Network?

New to fishing in Hopedale area waters

I recently purchased a flat boat for my son and I to do some REAL fishing instead of bank fishing. I have been hearing some good reports in this area but I don't know the water. So I bought a quad map of the Hopedale area 7mi x 7mi which includes Lake Ameda and Hopedale Lagoon. Can someone inform me to some ideal spots to fish until I learn the area. If you know how to use photo editing software you can edit the attached picture and forward it back to me othewise explain it the best way you can. This will help me plot it on my real map. Thanks in advance.
I can help you out with the biloxi marsh side, not as familiar with the hopedale side.
Biloxi Marsh
What area is concidered Biloxi Marsh?
A flatboat and a good trolling motor is all you need fishing SOUTH (Hopedale side)of Bayou La Loutre. You can try Bayou Pisana and venture into many ponds as a good starting place. No worry about "big boats".May encounter some kayakers on a 'cajun sleigh ride"with hung reds in the area . In fact you can see many "warriors' running up and down the spoil canal while you are in cuts wearing out a clicker.LMAO . Bring a push pole to punch your way in some of the cuts at low tide and a north blow. No need to run way up into the biloxi marsh -stump lagoon etc.

Biloxi marsh is across the ship channel from whats on this map. You dont need to worry about that you should find fish here. I believe you can drift hopedale lagoon some not sure exactly what time of year it produces though. I am not up on fishing holes in hopedale either but can see my duck pond on this map.
don't bother with biloxi marsh
That's a long run in a small flatboat, you'll pass up all kinds of fishing holes. You are on the right track in the area of your map. In the cold, you want to fish the deeper holes in the bayous and canals, usually in the bends. Trout and sheepshead can be found in good numbers that way. When it's warmer, just pick a pond. HINT, kill your motor and push pole, paddle or trolling motor once you are in the pond, or at the mouth. When fishing the ponds, look for baitfish, and redfish wakes. Chat up the guys you see at BSM in the little boats, make a few friends and the learning curve will be shorter.

Also, search Capt Rory Rorison's reports on this site and others. He winter fishes his charters in the area of your map alot. When you read the reports, focus on baits, and the area. You won't get specifics (ie; exactly which pond or hole has fish) but you learn the basics. I've been fishing Hopedale for 13 years, and that specific area of your map in a 15' flatboat for the last 4. I didn't learn what I know overnight, but I made a lot of friends who shortened the curve.

ps, if you can afford it just once, charter Capt Rory for a winter trip, you'll learn a ton.

Oh, and I haven't burned more than 1.5-2 gallons of gas per trip in the last 4 years.
forgot to mention the obvious new hotspot, the dam in MRGO. With an aluminum boat, you can tie up to the rocks, get out, and fish the other side without running 8 miles or more to go around on the north or south.
What does MRGO stands for?
mississippi river gulf outlet....
The MRGO dam is only about 5 minutes from the dock. Search my fishing reports on this site and you will pick up some info.
Good advice cajunhopper! I've been fishing hopedale for the last 5-years in a very small skiff. There is no need to make long runs into the biloxi marsh area. I launch alot at PIPs and in the winter go to 1-qt lake(ameda)where you may use 1-qt of fuel to get there. Get a pushpole explore ponds and cuts around pisana and bernard.Keep a log and mark your map. The guys at Campo's really can help with some advice and give you a really fair count on live shrimp . It's well worth the ride if you are launching elsewhere.
I enjoy fishing hopedale. Folks at the launches-bait shops are glad to see you and do not have the attitude that they are doing YOU the favor of serving. A 5- 10 minute run tops from Pips or BSM south of MRGO and you can catch fish. If you ever want a crash course of the premier guide that knows the area call Rory Rorison with united charters. He's a teacher that enoys the marsh and sharing his knowledge.
many spots
There are many spots to fish in the Hopedale area. I'll target the area shown in your map for this time of year. Keep in mind summer is a totally different pattern.

First, a hint. If the water temperature reaches 53F or colder, the trout will not bite. The Shell Beach buoy and the USGS tide gauges show water gtemperature.

If less than 53F, you will want to target redfish first. The trout *might* bite later in the day if it warms up or the sun comes out.

Now, the spots:

For trout (and sometimes reds)

1) The manmade canal where it intersects bayous
2) The bends in the bayou going to Bernard Lagoon
3) Oyster Bay
4) The point where Hopedale Lagoon and Ameda occur
5) On a sunny day after a sub53F start, target shorelines with exposed oyster reefs, they warm up first

For reds, the mouth of bayous near deep water when the water is low

For reds under normal water conditions, fish the windy side of grass shorelines where bait is being pushed. Keep moving until you find them.

Baits: Plastic jigs, cocohoe minnows, dead shrimp (for reds)

If you see large mullet jumping, try a Catch 5 lure, you may get a big trout.

That will get you a start
Which one is the man made canal you mean
Which is the man made canal you talked about that intersects the Bayous (#1).
man made canals
most of the canals that look straight are man made, good spots that I like to fish that are not far from BSM are Lena's lagoon and Bayou St. Milo, both are very short distance and can produce a nice mess of fish. Stump lagoon and lake eugenie are hot right now but they're at are at least 10-20 miles from boat launch. and its easy to get stuck the farther out you go. I stripped the hub in my prop last time I went threw crooked bayou toward eugenie and I couldn't get boat on plane and had to go 5mph all the way back to BSM. the ride took over 2 hours.
which canal?
The one near Bernard Lagoon, very close. The fishing there is not consistent, but the trout sometiems show up and is worth a shot, so is the bayou towards Bernard Lagoon.

The fishing north of Stump Lagoon generally is better, but a long run for your boat and sometimes dangerous in low water conditions.

I personally think the dam is overhyped, haven't caught much there other than some nice flounder. Its close enough to try, though.
I think the flounders have moved the dam. We were on them pretty consistent for a couple of trips but struck out last week.
tide gauge information
Here's one more tip. The website for the water gauges is at:

I like looking at Bay Gardene south of Hopedale, American Bay for Biloxi Marsh. You can see previous tides, water levels, water temperatures, and other meteorology variables.

I just checked water temperature, and right now its 11 Celcius (52 F). That's the coldest this fall. So, the trout will be in their winter holes now, and will not bite until later in the day.

You will also note that there is little tide range right now, called a "neap tide". It occurs twice a month. For the next two weeks after a neap tide, the tide will typically fall in the morning, and rise in the afternoon. High tide and low tide will occur one hour later each day until the next neap tide.

Its important to understand tides, because without water movement, fish often will not bite. Right now, I would fish Saturday afternoon, the rain will be over, the tide will be rising after a neap tide, and Saturday will be warmer than Thursday or Friday.

Sunday is even better, but then again there is that Saints game thing!
Thank y'all for the help.... My son thanks you too! After the weather passes maybe we can get a shot to go.
another tip
Another tip. We caught alot of nice sized trout and reds within the vicinity of the map you have posted last saturday within one hour of daybreak. We then decided to run all over hopedale and biloxi marsh with not one more fish to show for it. Sometimes the pasture is not greener on the other side.