If south Louisiana fishermen dislike cold and rain, they hate fog, and that’s exactly what’s in the weekend’s forecast — dense, early morning fog.
It’s a cautionary note, especially with the prediction of light winds, warmer temperatures and much calmer seas than any time in the past month.
From all reports, the Midnight Lumps has to be the hottest fish-catching spot off the Louisiana coast, but only those with radar are going to be able to get down the Mississippi River early enough in the morning to make the return trip by nightfall.
While most rivers and lakes, including the oxbow lakes, are recovering from recent floods, the Atchafalaya Spillway and the marshes south of U.S. 90 remain the most productive bass/sac-a-lait areas. Speckled trout are tough to find, but redfish are in most every canal system.
Expect light, southerly winds and light seas into Monday. The fog is coming after a weak cold front pushes through but stalls and heads back across the southern parishes as a warm front sometime Sunday.
Warmer days are ahead with afternoon highs in the upper-70s, and morning lows in the mid-50s. There’s a slight chance of rain Saturday morning.
The big rivers are rising: The Mississippi is predicted to push past the 29-foot mark at Baton Rouge this weekend (to an 8.7 reading at New Orleans), while the Atchafalaya will hit 3.8 feet at Morgan City.
Think small in all areas, small, slow-rolled spinnerbaits (but up the size on Colorado blades to help slow the bait down), smaller jigs-n-pigs and “creature” baits. Think dark, too, even going to black/white spinnerbaits and black/red glitter soft plastics — and think small diameter line, even down to 8-pound monofilament because it helps baits sink faster and stay down. This means you’ll have to re-tie lures more often.
Reports in from the Spillway and the marshes is that cypress and gum trees are holding fish in areas near drop-offs, and the most consistent action is coming after noon when sunlight has had the morning hours to warm the water.
Areas off the Pearl River, places where you can find clear water, are holding bass. Use small jigs and soft-plastic creature baits.
And consider that the warmer conditions combined with the long string of sunny days will start moving fish to prespawn areas.
Big wahoo and some tuna are showing up at the Midnight Lumps, and the forecast of near calm seas could make this the most comfortable weekend in two months.
Every speckled trout report during the past week calls for slowly working small soft plastics on jigs along the bottom in deep water. The Intracoastal Canal appears to be the best spot east of the Mississippi River, and canals off ponds and bayous the best along the Central Coast.
Use shrimp for redfish.
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