For the first time in two months, there’s more good news than bad, and that’s because the weather, conditions and water levels have stabilized. All we need now is for what usually are calm Octobers to provide consistent weekend patterns.
The Atchafalaya Spillway and the freshwater marshes south of U.S. 90 near Bayou Black are producing lots of bass, and it looks like speckled trout are starting to gather for the push to inside waters for the fall and winter. Redfish are everywhere — even schooling in Lake Pontchartrain — and bull reds are feeding in darned near every pass along the Central Coast.
East winds and near-calm water across the southern parishes will give way Saturday to 5-10 knot southeast winds and 1-2 foot nearshore seas (10-15 knots and 3-4 footers offshore) under mostly clear skies with little chance of rain through the weekend. Expect morning lows in the upper-60s, with highs in the mid-80s. The major rivers are low, and water levels stable.
Spinnerbaits are the early morning trick for most Spillway bass that are feeding on shad. That means going with willowleaf spinners in clearer water, and round blades in muddy water. The trick is to match skirt’s color to mimic shad, so white or clear-bluish white with a few strands of chartreuse and/or blue will work. By midmorning, bass are moving to the edges of cover (near deeper water) and feeding on passing shad. “Punching” soft plastics is working then. In deeper canals and points where canals run into bayous, try shad-colored crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastics later in the day.
Some sac-a-lait are showing up in the Pigeon area. Try blue/white tubes in muddy water and black/charteuse in clear water. Afternoon catches seem better than mornings.
Heading to the marshes? Concentrate on grass beds. Bass are between grass and the banks early, then move to the grass later in the morning. Buzzbaits, some topwaters, swim baits and spinnerbaits are working.
There’s not much on the Lake Verret-Belle River side (Hurricane Isaac fish kills), but there was a report of bass on deep-running crankbaits in the Intracoastal in the Stephensville area.
Live bait continues to produce trout and redfish along the Central Coast. Topwaters along the beaches on calmer days yield heavier trout, but keepers are common on reefs from Grand Isle to the east, and around platforms and sand bars in the Timbalier and Terrebonne areas.
While folks await “World Series” trout on the Pontchartrain bridges, redfish, drum and flounder are showing up in good enough numbers to make worthwhile trips (see the Bayou Liberty story). Lighter colors of Zoom Flukes and Gulp! Jerk Shad worked on quarter-ounce to half-ounce jigs are working on rising and falling tides.