Please Sign In

New To Sportsman Network?

I have fished out of Hopedale, Louisiana, for many, many years. This is a SE Louisiana village of fisherman and sports anglers since its inception. What you see here in these pictures is a striking view of a lone tree in an endless field of marsh grass and water—standing out like an announcement of survival to all its viewers for endless miles around. I can’t tell you how long it has stood here. I can only tell you it has survived some of the worse hurricanes known to man, including hurricane Katrina. While the entire area seen waters over 20 feet above the streets, decimating the entire area of homes, boats, life and businesses--- the Tree of Life still stands unhampered, as if a miraculous hand is protecting it. The most unusual part about this tree--though not readily approachable unless you brave walking into wet marsh grass--is that it appears to have a distinct grass-like garden surrounding its base—you can see it if you look closely. One marina owner told me soon after hurricane Katrina when I inquired why his boat lift hoist was still not in operation after many months, he replied: “The electric motor was damaged by saltwater waves that drenched it. And I’m still waiting for parts.” This hoist is over 23 ft above the ground, underscoring the height of the tidal flood surge.

And the Tree of Life still stands tall

March 22, 2013 at 11:18pm

Hopedale Cold Day, Low Water Trout Slam,

Today I left out of Hopedale solo to fish Lake Ameda. Reports had it, slow trout fishing this time of year due to cold water temperatures. I already knew this, having fished all seasons in Louisiana waters for over 40 years. The water temperature was 52 degrees under partly cloudy skies and cool weather. This was a warmer temperature than previous trips where it was 42 degrees. I checked out a few of my favorite spots, one of which yielded 2 under sized black drum and one undersized redfish. I went into the lake and checked out another spot, but nothing was obliging until I headed to the middle section of the lake. Lake Ameda is an oyster-bottomed lake and, like any other oyster bottom lake, warms quickly as the oyster shells hold the sun’s heat, warming the water quicker than mud or sand bottom counterparts. At first things were looking bleak, I was not catching any trout, but there were 2 other boats and they weren’t catching anything as well. So I changed up the fishing strategy to accommodate cold water fishing: 6/20 braided on the reel with 4 ft of 10 pound Vanish line tied to it and a ¼ oz. jig head on the business end with a Saltwater Assassin Opening Night and an egg clip-on cork 3 ft above. I dipped the lure before every cast in Berkley Gulp solution. After casting it out with a slow retrieve, I realized this was the ticket to success. Trout were obliging and in quick order. Don’t get me wrong, I had my days where I watched others catch fish while I watched and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t. But, today, was my day—my turn! I didn’t see any of the other boat land one fish during the time I was bringing aboard speckled trout in good order with few under sized throw-backs. I limited out—25 keepers—and headed back to the launch by 9:30 am. As I drove back, passing up several other boats along the way, I still witnessed not a fished landed by any of them. It was my day!

Good fishin’,

Pictures show my box of speckled trout, the low tide at the launch ramp, traffic heading back into New Orleans I-10 west bound, and me driving solo.

January 29, 2011 at 5:05pm

Hopedale Redfish Blowout,

Today Philip and I left out of Hopedale to fish redfish in the marsh. After launching we used the cast net to catch some live shrimp and porgies. We immediately got into a good catch of redfish limit and one flounder and 2 black drum fishing the mouth of ditches and ponds. After we caught our limit of reds we caught and released another two limits. The tide was falling all day and the wind was moderate under partly cloudy skies.

Good fishin’,

September 11, 2010 at 3:14pm

Hopedale Breton Sound MRGO Slam,

Today Henry, Chris, and I left out of Hopedale early to beat the rush at the lunch and headed to the MRGO. Weather was perfect with an incoming tide all morning. Plenty boats out as a result. Our first stop was dive-bombing seagulls chasing shrimp escaping the jaws of hungry keeper-size specs. Every case we all had fish on, putting a quick mess of trout in the ice chest within 35 minutes before they diminished. We headed further down the MRGO and fished the rocks not far from the end of the rocks where more seagulls where nailing shrimp with trout underneath. Trout in this area were larger with hardly a throw back. While fishing and landing trout, I hooked into a bull redfish which tied me up longer than I wanted to be as I missed catching the trout and had to halt the others aboard from fishing to prevent tangled lines. The heat was horrendous with no clouds to block the sun and, to top it off, little or no wind. We all fished white Berkley Gulps 3 inch under clicking egg corks and ¼ oz. screw jig heads 36 inches down. We discovered that after the sun heated the water, the trout moved away from the rocks and were hitting 60 ft. from them. Many other boats stopped catching as the morning aged because they persisted in fishing close to the rocks. Early morning bite is very good and you need to get out early to both beat the heat and to get them while they're biting. Many workers with the oil spill clustered the roadways heading into the area. We left the fish biting around 9:30 am, happy with an ice chest of pretty fish.

Good fishin',

Chris and Henry smile as they show off the catch

June 26, 2010 at 2:42pm

Hopedale Solo Trip In MRGO,

A cancellation and good weather and tide sent me on my way today solo. No problem, was able to knock out fish without any assistance. Plenty boats on the water, however, and all were catching fish-- at least those near me. No use in bragging then... Using Berkley Gulp white and New Penney on clicking cork with shrimp snipits ( fresh shrimp clipped in small pieces with scissors for keeping the shell in tact on the hook) I managed to limit out before 10 am on specs. Mixed catch included white trout and one giant sheepshead. I threw back 15 undersized specs and have to admit that I got into a good bite under dive-bombing seagulls again with keeper trout. It helped me get a head start on the trout limit before they petered out around 10 AM. Left the area around 10:30 am and got checked by the LWDF, but all was in compliance. Make sure you have registration with you not to mention all else.

Good fishin',

June 06, 2010 at 3:40pm

Hopedale MRGO Knockout Trip,

Today Dave and I left out Hopedale to fish the MRGO rocks. Weather was very nice and overcast with decent tidal movement. First stop was dive-bombing seagulls eating up jumping shrimp escaping hungry trout jaws. We caught a nice mess of keeper-size specs and moved toward our destination-- the MRGO rocks. After checking out a few locations, we found a good bite using Berkley Gulps in white under clicking eggs corks tipped with shrimp. We caught a mixture of trout, croaker, reds and drum. Some of the specs were 4 pounds. Plenty boats out today fishing the rocks. We left before noon with a nice ice chest full of fish.

Good fishin',

Dave shows off some of the MRGO specs

May 23, 2010 at 11:52am

Venice Spillway & South Pass Blast,

Saturday afternoon Glen, Ernie and I decided to fish Venice in one of the river spillways at night with the generator and lights. The evening was partly cloudy and the weather was favorable with light winds and a good tide movement and most of all the river stage was low and clean. Our first stop in the river produced nothing but we headed to South Pass at the mouth to try for redfish. The redfish were very hungry eating up our fresh shrimp presentations on bottom rigs and hookups were sometimes three at the time as we had to juggle for the landing net. Many of the redfish were in the bull-red size but we caught enough catch and release and left them biting leaving with 8 keeper size and sore arms and plenty broken tackle. Spanish mackerel were also among the frenzy and many redfish battles were the cause of loss sinkers as mackerel hammered our lead weights flashing through the clear water. Before sunset, we headed to our favorite spillway and set the lights and generator up. Fishing started slow and it was sporadic. We saw only one other boat which was about a 45 ft yacht that also setup housekeeping to night fish. We caught specks, white trout, croaker, redfish and released one 45 pound black drum. We ended the trip with a nice mess of mixed fish and look forward to another trip to Venice.

Good fishin’,

September 06, 2009 at 4:38pm

Breton Sound Hammer Time With the King,

Today Nolan and I had the privilege of fishing Breton Sound with Captain Frank Moore and first mate David. The morning started out a bit breezy out in the open sound but settled down as the morning matured under overcast skies. Frank had the live bait well loaded with his favorite ammunition— Campo’s live shrimp and we fished them both on Carolina rigs and corks. Trout action was very consistent as Frank directed us as to certain techniques for better productivity. The proof was in the results: we had limited out on trout by 9:30 AM. I can honestly say that this trip ranks at the top of the list for fun and hot trout fishing action. If you want to catch fish and have a super time doing so, you need to book a trip with the King— I highly recommended it.

Good fishin’

July 01, 2009 at 8:20pm

Breton Sound/Venice Overnight Trip

Saturday afternoon Joshua, James and I left out of Venice Marina to night fish one of the Breton Sound rigs and to also wade fish Sunday morning. The marina was very busy with a rodeo going on, but we got there when many were leaving. We were armed with live shrimp and our Honda generator as we headed across the sound from Baptiste Collette waterway. The river is unusually high and dirty water right now and the river water extended all the way out to the north end of the island. As we headed out to the Central Rig, the water became very clean and green. We caught a few specks on lures and live bait at different rigs before the Central Rig. At sunset, we setup the generator and lighting at one of our favorite rigs closer the ship channel, and all sorts of different fish were being boated: channel mullet, croaker, specks, sheepshead, black drum, grouper, blue fish, redfish and Spanish mackerel— some sizable reds broke lines. We even had ballyhoo swimming under the lighted area. The speck fishing would have been better but I ran out of the 70 live shrimp. All the trout wanted was live shrimp. We tried other lures and baits but no good. We conclude the night fishing and headed to the island to bed down until the next morning. Sunday morning we got into the water and there were mullets all over the place. The water was halfway decent and we caught scattered specks in 2 feet of water using purple and chart/tail cocahoe lures tight line. We saw several other boats, but they were fishing from their boats near the rock section of the island. All and all we had 2, 48 qt. Igloo ice chests filled with a variety of fish and had a reel blast.

Good fishin’,

May 31, 2009 at 3:30pm

Solo Hopedale Disappearing Water Trip,

Saturday I left out of Hopedale and headed to an experimental location I don’t usually fish— but regularly pass through, seeing fish on my graph. This is a winding canal that is between 6- 15 ft in depth that connects two lagoons. The water was low and falling so I figured I’d head to some deep areas like this. Using twin opening night curly tailed lures on 1/8 oz. jig heads on 8 pound test on an ultra light reel, I bounced them off the bottom slowly while drifting with the current. Right away I started catching trout. After about 10 fish the bite slowed so I headed to a nearby dead end canal to fish reds. No redfish; had one strike. With nothing happening in that spot, I went to Grand Slam lagoon where several boats were already fishing. I picked a few more specks out of that area but it too was a slow production. I headed to One Quart of Fuel lake and started using the MirrOdine ¼ oz. MirroOlure and drifted around that area and One Pint of Fuel lagoon where I snagged several more specks. These lures are thin and flashy, with realistic fish appearance. These will prove to be great when I head to Breton Island soon to wade fish. Anyway, I came in early because the water was disappearing very fast all around me. I made it back to the launch with 17 trout and threw back a few small ones.

Good fishin’,

February 08, 2009 at 9:12am

Hopedale No Tide Slam,

Today I left out of Hopedale with much optimism even though there was hardly a tide and the last few trips were not that good. This time though I had narrowed down the odds with the use of the new Berkley 8 pound clear test extra sensitive/extra strong line on a very high tech reel— the Daiwa Steez spinning reel. It started out very slow in a deadened canal fishing for reds and only yielded one redfish. I headed to One Pint of Fuel Lake and drift fished tight line with Saltwater Assassin opening night lures on 1/8 oz. jig heads (curly-tailed). To my surprise with every drift I picked up speckled trout. Not the large size but mostly keepers. They were very lethargic— hardly moved when hooked. It was almost like hooking an oyster shell. I ended the day with a limit of specks and one redfish. If the fish don’t bite— go ultra light:

Goiod fishin’,

January 31, 2009 at 5:52pm

Start The New Year Off Right: GO FISH,

While most people were back home popping newspaper wrapped gunpowder sticks and tying one on, I was out on the Hopedale waterways popping the trout and tying lures on my line. Today was cold with very good tide and overcast skies. The fishing started fast but slowed up as fast as it started. It wasn’t until I moved around to different locations that I found the scattered trout. Drift fishing and using clicking corks and ¼ oz jig heads with Saltwater Assassin space guppy, I managed to pull out a limit of specs. In between the hunt, I also found some hungry reds along a bank side canal and caught 5 on gold spoon but 3 were just under size. I ended the day before noon with a limit of trout and 3 reds. I only saw 4 other boats today on the water where I was.

Good fishin’,

January 01, 2009 at 3:52pm

Christmas Day Foggy Trout Slam,

While most people were passing ribbon-wrapped gifts under ornamentally decorated pine trees, Mickey and I were out passing the landing net to each other, pulling in fat Christmas specks. Today was a very foggy, calm day with great tide movement and virtually no boats out on the water.—other than a few family-less, insane individuals like us. Action started off fast and kept on going all morning. So much so we found ourselves over the limit when we made a trout count, having to throw back more than we care to state, leaving them biting. Water clarity was very clean and the trout were hitting clear DOA’s under clicking corks, tight lined cocahoe minnow lures in black/chart tail, Saltwater Assassin space guppy, and smoke colored stingray grubs fished on ¼ oz. jig heads. After limiting out on specks, we headed to a redfish spot where we picked up on 5 keeper reds and 4 black bass. The fog lifted around 11:00 am and we had enough fishing for one busy morning.

Good fishin’,

Mickey poses with a box load of reds and trout for this Christmas day Hopedale slam— full of smiles!

December 25, 2008 at 3:31pm

Hopedale Inside Big Dody Fishing Report,

Today Glen (alias “Big Dody”), his wife Lynn, and I left out of Pips’s Place to fish one of our usual fishing haunts. The weather was very cold early morning and the tide was falling till the evening with a 2 ft differential.. The water was 45 degrees when we launched the boat and the weather was predicted to be moderate. Using clicking corks and 3 inch New Penny Gulps with 1/8 oz. screw jig heads; it wasn’t long before we were into non-stop redfish. Lynn started out slowly but after figuring out that she could cast a real rod & reel and not that antiquated Zebco her husband gave her, she kept up with the big boys casting and catching fish. We landed about 8 keeper reds but threw back about 4 under sized ones. The reds stopped biting as fast as they started so we headed to One Quart of Fuel Lake and trout fishing was slow to start. Many boats were out in the lake today. We drift fished and got into sporadic bites with nice sized trout mixed in. We threw back a bunch of under sized trout but ended the day with a nice mess of trout and reds. It didn’t take Lynn very long learning how to flip the trout into the boat without the use of a landing net just like a veteran angler. The trout really liked the clear DOA’s today for some reason, better than the usual Gulps.

Good fishin’,

December 13, 2008 at 8:18pm

Hopedale Inside Cold-Weather Trout Report,

Today I decide I’d head out by myself to see how the trout were biting despite cold weather and slow tide. My first stops didn’t yield much but I really wanted to head to Grand Slam Lagoon. After boating a few trout on a clicking cork and 3 inch New Penny Gulps on 1/8 oz screw jig head, I finally headed to Grand Slam Lagoon where I found someone else sitting on the spot. I managed to edge in and using cocahoe and beetle tandem rig I started to put some fish in the boat. These were nice fish and very few if any were throw-backs. The other boat had 3 people fishing and they were doing very well. I just about had a limit but I felt uncomfortable fishing too close to someone else so I left and headed to One Pint of Fuel Lake. I picked up 2 more trout and had my limit and was back at the launch before 11:00 am. Every boat I saw was catching fish. The weather was fine but cold and the tide was a bit on the low side but not too bad.

Good fishin’,

December 06, 2008 at 3:33pm

Hopedale Thanksgiving Trout Bonanza,

While most people gathered round the table passing turkey and cranberry sauce, Dale and I were gathered round our favorite fishing spot passing the landing net, pulling fat speckled trout aboard. Today the winds were calm and the trout were very restless. No one should be bragging about catching limits of trout this time of year in Hopedale. Our first spot started out slowly, but it picked up after I figuring out I was in the wrong place. Anyway, trout were coming aboard one after the other on 3 inch New Penny Gulps and 1/8 oz. screw jigs heads fished under balsawood clicking corks. NOTE: I make these because the Styrofoam ones silence the clicking sound after several trips of use due to the insert at the bottom becoming pounded down. I know those who use these type corks don’t know what in the world I’m talking about. RIGHT!!! (see ) Anyway, I hope for Christmas fewer boats will be out. We were back at the launch at 10:30 am limited out, but I could have been back sooner if we really tried. Tide was falling all morning with an almost 2 ft. differential. Water was very clean. One Pint of Fuel Lake was very hot but so was Grand Slam lagoon. We saw more than the usual boats today but it appeared everyone was doing well on their catch.

Good fishin’,

November 27, 2008 at 1:45pm

Hopedale Grand Slam Report,

Today Don and I left out of our favorite launch site in Hopedale and headed straight to Grand Slam Lagoon. Weather was great and the tide was falling all morning—water clarity good. We were ready for a trout smack-down using 3 inch Berkley New Penney & Natural Gulps on 1/8 oz white screw jig heads under egg clicking corks fished 2-3 ft down with a 1/16th oz. split shot sinker halfway down from the cork. Trout action was immediate and basically non-stop. Key point of interest is to not anchor but stay trolling and drifting outside the in-flowing canals by 50-100 yards as they enter the lagoon. The trout were very nice with only a few throw-backs. We limited out with 50 trout and left them biting by 8:30 AM.

Good Fishin’,

November 08, 2008 at 1:16pm

Hopedale/Delacroix Muddy Water Trout,

Today Glen and I left out of Hopedale to fish Delacroix’s 4 Horsemen’s Lake. The weather was calm in the morning but the winds picked up a bit as the morning aged. The water in Delacroix was murky but some trout were still caught. Tide was high but falling all morning. Lots of throw-backs under dive-bombing birds but the action was still slow considering due to bad water clarity. We fished with clicking egg corks and ¼ oz. jig heads with New Penny Gulps. Plenty boats out today competing for every conceivable spot. When things slowed in Delacroix, we headed to Amede in Hopedale and drift fished and caught some better-sized trout, but as noon day approached, things got very quite and we headed in with a small mess of trout.

Good fishin’,

November 01, 2008 at 3:10pm

Hopedale Inside TROUT Slam

Today I left out of Pip’s Place and headed to Delacroix to fish The Four Horsemen’s Lake. The tide was just about flat but the weather was very nice with decent water clarity in that area. It didn’t take long before I was on a good trout bite under dive-bombing seagulls and fish were coming aboard with mixed throw-backs. I almost limited out right there, but after throwing back a bunch of fish, I was short of the limit; so I headed back toward Hopedale and toward Lake Robin’s Nest. But in route down a certain canal, I came across more dive-bombing birds but this time the fish were very nice sized. Fishing 3 inch Berkley Gulps in New Penny and 1/8 oz screw jig heads under a clicking cork, the trout were obliging once again. The trick here, which I feel a bit guilty to divulge, is using the rotation method with the Gulps. Here’s how it works- but don’t tell anyone but report back to me to let me know if I was jerking you around- use two rod and reels rigged same way as aforementioned. Cast one Gulp out and let the other Gulp soak in the Alive juice until you catch a fish. Repeat the method by always having one Gulp freshly soaked in the Alive juice ready to go as you alternate rod and reels with each fish caught. Make no mistake about it, these baits work best when freshly soaked in the Alive juice. The more they stay in the water being fished, the weaker the Alive scent becomes.

Good fishin’,

October 25, 2008 at 3:17pm

Hopedale Box-O-Fish Marsh Trip,

This morning Nolan, Rene, and I left out of Pip’s place instead of another nearby launch to save 15 cents in fuel seeing that all of have been losing our you know what’s off in the stock market. The weather was very breezy and clear and the tide was high but falling all morning. Water conditions were murky and fishing started out slowly but picked up as the day went on. Using avocado cocahoe minnow lures in chartreuse/red flick under clicking corks the trout were obliging but slowly with an occasional black drum and some redfish. We fished No Parking Lagoon and saw one other boat familiar with the area but did not see him catch any fish. We on the other hand weren’t doing much better but did catch a few throw-back trout. Lake Ameda has been producing some trout drifting across it but they are scattered. Fishing really didn’t turn on with any consistency until around noon where we caught some decent sized trout in a back lagoon off of Hopedale Lagoon out of the high winds which were persistent all day. We end the day with a mess of trout and a few drum and one channel mullet— a box of fish at best.

Good fishin’,

October 18, 2008 at 8:25pm
A comment titled: Re: Tiger pass in response to a report titled: Tiger pass

Don't even think about going down Tiger Pass, it's impassable. I just had to call Sea Tow to guide me back out to the Gulf and to Red Pass--got stuck on a sandbar. The water is very shallow 1 foot or less in some spots and there are no channel markers in Tiger Pass. The Sea Tow captain that came to rescue me said: 'Tiger Pass is non existent , use only Red Pass.' Sign into the entrance read 'Danger.'

November 20, 2019 at 8:39pm
A comment titled: Red -faced?????? in response to a report titled: Scorching Hot Weather Buras Trout Report,


Are you embarrassed or or you just red-hot????????????????????

July 01, 2007 at 2:05pm
A comment titled: What in the H is this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in response to a report titled: Good Weekend

This looks like an unmitigated slaughter. A picture to draw comments and that is exactly what's it's done!!!!!!!!!!

June 23, 2007 at 8:28pm
User has no ads at this time.