Waters’ conditions big problem for fishermen

Clear water, muddy water, rising water. What’s a fisherman to do?

Guess the answer is to find water that’s not so clear, not so muddy or not rising. Anglers along The Fourchon and Elmer’s Island reported gin-clear water, so clear they could see the anchor in 10 feet of water, while muddy water from the still-high Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers dirties coastal waters. For freshwater folks, water rising throughout the Atchafalaya area is hampering bass and panfish catches.

Weather

Thursday’s 10-15 knot southeast winds that whipped Lake Pontchartrain into a frenzy Wednesday will calm and move to the south, then southwest and calm to 5-10 knots for the remainder of the weekend. Expect calm-to-1 footers in inside waters, 1-2 footers in Lake Borgne, Breton/Chandeleur and the Central Coast and 1-3 footers offshore, depending on time of day and approaching thunderstorms.

For the weekend, expect a chance of rain every afternoon, with lows in the low 70s and highs in the low 90s.

The Mississippi is expected to jump more than a foot on the Baton Rouge gauge and the Atchafalaya is set to rise from 3.9 to a 4.1 reading at Morgan City by Monday.

Freshwater

The new seven-fish, no-length-limit rule for bass in the Atchafalaya was tested in recent days, but only because so many bass stacked up in accessible areas. Catches in the Grand Lake-Bayou Pigeon area were as high as 50 bass. Reports had bass piling up along points and the mouth of canals and bayous in the lake, and around runouts in canals off bayous in the Grand Lake areaus. Spinnerbaits and redshad worms worked.

The only other decent catches came from the Bayou Black marshes. Runouts with nearby grassbeds were the most productive areas. Add buzzbaits to the list of early-morning lures.

Catfish continued to rule in the Verret Basin on a variety of offerings.

The coast

Anglers reported slow action along the Central Coast, but live bait and the new VuDu Shrimp made the hit parade during the past week. The drop-off in catches was the result of almost constantly shifting winds and the lowest tidal ranges of the month.

The clear water along Fourchon was the result of north wind pushing water off the beaches, and the clear water produced little action. Areas east toward the eastern side of Grand Isle and farther east yielded trout mostly in the 1-2 pound range. Trout action around East Timbalier was slow, but the trout ran up to 4 pounds.

The before-sunrise trout trips into Lake Borgne were solid. Try live shrimp on Carolina rigs. Look for platforms with current moving around them in 10-14 foot depths. Be prepared for sharks.

Two 7-pound-plus speckled trout were reported from the bridges on the southeast side of Lake Pontchartrain. Most specks coming into boats were on the heavy side, but numbers-per-angler were 10 or fewer a day.