Louisiana Redfishing with the Holeman Brothers

Lousiana Redfishing with the Holeman Brothers


“This here is just a little bitty one, still fun on a cold morning”

The best fishing trips sometimes come when you least expect them. I recently heard from a friend about a place tucked away in the Louisiana marsh where the “hot” redfish action would make you glad it wasn’t summer. This redfisherman’s haven, called Hopedale, was not only home to HUGE redfish during these winter months, but also to a couple of die-hard fishing guides, Travis and Bryan “Bear” Holeman. AKA… The Holeman Brothers!

Typically, the cold winter months are considered the toughest months for inshore saltwater fishing in Louisiana. Lucky for us, though, it’s the trout that can go dormant in the cold winds and waters, not the more hearty and tolerant reds that we were seeking.


“Mikie and Wes get the gear together, these are the guys that make it all happen!”

So, after speaking to Capt. Travis Holeman and hearing about the ability to catch these monster redfish on fly, I decided to gather the crew (and LOTS of warm clothes) and head for the Bayou.


“Joe Guinta AKA " Delacroix Joe" ... We had a fantastic meal at his fish camp, Joe like most of the people we met at Hopedale just couldn't have been nicer!”

Once we arrived in New Orleans, we met up with “Delacroix” Joe Guinta, a local who was kind enough to make sure we had everything we needed before we drove to the fish camp at which we were staying. He explained that since the hurricanes, there wasn’t much in the Hopedale area…except for fantastic fishing. You see “son”, down on the bayou, there were no grocery stores, no restaurants…just oyster boats, crab boats, and fishing boats.

Like New Orleans, Hopedale was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was then hit again by Hurricane Gustav just last year. We were reminded of the devastation and heartbreak, as signs of the severe loss of life and property were still very apparent along the roadways in Hopedale. Abandoned homes and piles of debris were part of the landscape. However, once in Hopedale, it became very apparent that this village was still full of life, both on and off the water.

As for stalking big reds on the fly, it doesn’t get much better than Hopedale in the winter, however it’s not necessarily the location that makes it good but rather what you know about the fish and their response to weather. This fantastic fishing doesn’t come easy, as this time of year on the Gulf Coast means extreme conditions with fronts moving in every few days. Obviously, weather plays a part in how productive your fishing will be. But, the key to consistent action, is understanding the fish’s patterns based on that weather. Not many people know and understand these patterns better than the Holeman Brothers, which was evident by our successful fishing.



“Travis Holeman, an incredible fisherman with an amazing understanding of the Marsh... Here is another little one on fly, this fish went 16 lbs. Prior to this we released a 30 pounder. No pics of the big one though we will put up a frame grab of that big one when we go through the tapes....”


“I hate Boga Grips... mostly because they still baffle me…”


Whatever Mother Nature threw our way, Travis and Bear knew exactly what to do -what technique to use, what baits to use, what fish to target, and where to focus our efforts. Every day on the water with them was spectacular.


“Bear at the helm”

Our time on the water may have been spectacular, but meeting locals like Rod “Cappy” Ward, Cojack, “Delacroix” Joe Guinta, and the others at Biloxi Marsh Seafood Company was definitely a highlight from this trip.




“Cappy Ward and the license plate of his swamp buggy! Cappy is an oyster broker who owns The Biloxi Marsh Seafood Company... Needless to say we ate well!”

This tight knit group of people welcomed us into their world, sharing a bit of their life on the Bayou with us.

“Cappy”, the owner of the Seafood Company, explained to me what specifically made for a great oyster…things like oyster liquor and water salinity all played a major part in the quality of his product. We witnessed bags and bags of oysters come in daily, as well as baskets and baskets of blue crabs.


“This was just a part of dinner on the bayou, poor things, they went from being really cold to being really hot... they were pretty tasty though!”

“Slurp!”

Lucky for us, we experienced life at the docks to the fullest. There’s nothing like the taste of a fresh oyster or blue crab right off the boat. 

As with any expedition, the people and places you encounter along the way are part of the adventure. While there, we embraced this little fishing village by engrossing ourselves in both their fishery and their lifestyle. In return, they embraced us and we now have memories and friends to last a lifetime. We look forward to the next time we hear the words “You in the bayou now, Son!”


“The Crew! Cappy gets the ‘HuH?’ award for naming his dog "Misty Bayou Flaming Star".... huh?”


For more info on the Holeman’s incredible fishery go to:

http://www.holemanbrothers.com/

 


“Cappy, in all his splendor!”


“Dees da kind of oistas a man dreem about....”


“Das not how you eet dem....”


“What the heck?”


“Here is a typical oyster boat in this part of Louisiana. They oyster part of the year and then they switch over to shrimping...”


“Delacroix Joe Fish Camp”


“Travis Holeman enjoying the chair swing at Breton Sound Marina”


“Cameramen extraordinaire Wes Miller and Mike Torbisco and Bryan Holeman, guide extraordinaire!”


“Wes Miller (AKA The Green Monster) and Mikie Torbisco ( AKA "Scrunch Face") doing what they're great at!”


“Say Goodbye... check out the goofy beanie plus hat combo”


“Shooting when it's cold”


“On location!”


“Are you a redneck? Maybe, if it's too cold and windy to go fishing and you go shooting in you backyard for fun....”


“Does this make me a redneck? How about a Cuban redneck?”


“Cojack "Co Co" , the oyster man who works with Cappy... everyone here has a nick name”


“On the marsh in hunt mode”


“Nice Black Drum a bonus especially when you are sight fishing for them!”


“Cameramen Wes Miller and Mike Torbisco warm their cold _____”

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