Atchafalaya Basin likely best bet for weekend

If the adage is true that April showers bring May flowers, then what does April’s winds bring? How about miserable fishing?

It’s not that the weekend’s forecast is all that bad — plan to go Friday or early Saturday before the winds increase again — but the constantly shifting winds won’t let the water clear along the coast and don’t let the bass, bream, sac-a-lait and catfish find suitable spots to do what they do best this time of year.

Word is there are enough red snapper out to 10.357 miles to fill the three-per-angler daily limit, but know that federal enforcement folks have threatened to cite anyone taking snapper beyond what the feds recognize as the state’s three-mile seaward boundary waters.

Weather

Windy, as in 20-25 knot northwest winds shifting to north at 15-20 knots Friday, (6-8 foot offshore seas) before subsiding to east then south winds in the 10-knot range late Friday into Saturday, then increasing back to 15 knots for Sunday. Rough seas are predicted to fall into the 1-3 foot range late Friday into Saturday before returning to the ugly range early Sunday.

There’s no rain in the forecast until Tuesday. Expect a chilly start Friday and Saturday mornings, but warming to near 80 throughout the weekend.

The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are on a fall. The Atchafalaya is at a very fishable level and is predicted to fall for the next five days.

Freshwater

This week’s torrential rains will remove several hot spots from the list, notably the Pearl River and all the Florida Parishes rivers that were producing good numbers of bass during the Past week. Rising, muddy water will replace the clear waters in those rivers.

Unless you can find reasonably clear water in canals, water in the Lake Verret basin remains muddy and mostly unproductive.

For the road-trip crew, Toledo Bend is on and bass are taking shaky-head worms, Rat-L-Traps and watermelon soft-plastics. With heavy rains there, too, the middle and southern waters in the main lake will be more productive than the northern end and upper creeks.

The Atchafalaya should be on, too, for bass, sac-a-lait and goggle-eye. Water levels will fall from near flood stage at 4 feet at Morgan City to 3.2 feet by Monday. That means run-outs likely will produce the best catches. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits should work.

The coast

Winds have broken up schools of baitfish and shrimp in the open water areas east of the Mississippi River and along the Central Coast, but speckled trout continue to feed on shrimp and small baitfish in the upper reaches of the Barataria system. Chartreuse soft plastics continue to be the top lure, but topwaters are producing trout in the clearer water spots.

Redfish are everywhere: A can’t-miss is using fresh shrimp under a cork, or go to chartreuse soft plastics.