Fishing report for Nov. 24, 2011

Woe to be a fisherman and an LSU Tiger football fan. If you can’t miss Friday’s LSU-Arkansas showdown, then you’d best get your fishing in early in the morning or you’ll miss the best fishing day during this holiday weekend.

Rain is back in the picture Saturday. Rough conditions will show up on the cold front that’s brings the rain and northerly winds are predicted to linger across south Louisiana into Monday.

We’re getting into the time during the late fall when we must pay attention to barometric pressure. Remember that a rapidly rising barometer cuts into the action on bass and sac-a-lait in freshwater, and years of keeping charts bear out veteran trout-man Dudley Vandenborre’s belief that speckled trout throughout the Pontchartrain Basin will not feed if the barometer hits a reading of 30.30 inches.

Weather

Southerly winds at 10 knots are expected into Saturday with a shift to the west and increasing to 15 knots Saturday night before northwest winds at 15-20 knots blow in Monday. That means choppy water inside, 2-3 footers nearshore by Saturday with an increase to 3-4 feet Sunday. Offshore conditions will be much worse.

Temperatures will moderate into Saturday, but turn colder Sunday and Monday.

River levels are at fall lows and are steady.

Freshwater

The Venice area continues to astonish even the most experienced bass catchers. Loads of largemouths are taking a wide variety of baits — spinnerbaits and buzzbaits in the grassy ponds, the old “splatterback” crankbaits along points and runouts, redshad worms and creature baits like the Havoc Pit Boss and Sweet Beavers along roseau cane-lined runs.

Usually finding clear water is a must, but, during the past two weeks, cloudy-water areas have been producing bass, too.

Use caution to run on the east side of the Mississippi River: Winds and heavy ocean-going traffic make for precarious runs in the river even for large boats. There is action to the west of the launches. Areas off Tante Phine Pass and Little Red Pass are holding enough bass to make it a good choice to run in calmer waters.

Bass in the Atchafalaya Spillway and Belle River are taking spinnerbaits and shad-colored crankbaits.

There’s solid sac-a-lait action in Big and Little Pigeon on small tubes. Crankbaits in the Red River are producing largemouth and spotted bass and stripers.

The coast

The trout action has picked up in the marshes, but the progression of cold front and changing water levels has left some areas muddy. The general rule is that clearer water is much more productive than dirty water.

Bayou Bienvenu, the Biloxi Marsh, Lake DeCade, Cocodrie (Petit Caillou, Bayou Terrebonne), the canals around Dulac and Calcasieu Lake were hot spots earlier in the week.