Hopedale Lagoon 11-25-2012

I fished in Hopedale Lagoon on 11/25/2012. The weather was just too nice to let the chance slip away, so I left the house and was on the water at about noon. There was little water movement when I arrived, and the water clarity was good, with a temperature of about 60 degrees. The wind was mild and from the SE.

I decided to start at my favorite redfish spot, and pedaled about a mile to reach it. I was trolling a purple Gulp! shrimp on a 1/8 oz jig head as I went along. Suddenly I saw the rod twitch and heard the reel give a little line. I thought I had snagged a limb or some other obstruction and that it was being pulled along as I reeled it in. It felt as if I was pulling in a dishrag. Then I felt a small tug on the line, lifted the rod, and found a 15” flounder on the end of the line. Not a bad start. I worked down the bank and connected with a nice redfish that put up a good battle before coming in the kayak.

About the time I got the fish in the kayak some fellows came along in a boat and decided to fish near me. Kayaks are quiet and stealthy, and boats with outboards are not. They caught a couple of fish and then cranked up their outboard and moved a bit farther down the bank and set up shop again. This made me feel that “my spot” was ruined, so I went across the lagoon to fish the other bank. I cast the Gulp! shrimp out and immediately hooked into another nice redfish that was a little longer than the first. This fish put up a good struggle too, but eventually gave up.

I fished along and hooked up with a trout, but it spit the hook out at the kayak. Evening was approaching, so I went across the lagoon to fish my way back home. As I reached the junction of the canal and the lagoon I picked up a small trout, unhooked it, and tossed it back. I fished for another minute and got a 14” trout. I noticed that the current had picked up and was flowing from the canal into the lagoon. This condition turns the trout on and makes them feed. They can be easy to catch when they are on the prowl during these conditions. But the sun was disappearing fast so I decided to head back down Bayou La Loutre (http://wikimapia.org/6701897/Bayou-La-Loutre-old-course-of-Mississippi-River) before day was done. I snapped a picture of the sunset from the (old Pip’s Marina) launch on the bayou before the sun slipped below the horizon.

The final result showing the fish I brought home is here.

I was proud of landing my first Cajun Slam – a 3 fish combination of redfish, speckled trout and flounder. I cleaned the fish, and later we made faux crab cakes using the recipe from the back of CCA’s Tides magazine. They turned out well, and now I need more fish so that I can make more fish cakes.

Until next time…….

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