High water changes bite everywhere

This week is filled with mixed messages, like reports from the Atchafalaya Spillway that show catches are down and the next day when bass and sac-a-lait inhale just about everything cast their way.

And like word from Central Coast waters that speckled trout are few and far between followed by a report that trout are gobbling live shrimp on every cast east of the Mississippi River.

There’s reason to believe shrimping activity has cut into the catch in the Grand Isle area. At the same time, veteran anglers are quick to point out that trout and other species in that area are moving into the usual September “transition” period when the big trout move offshore and the smaller fish move to the marshes.

The constants for this week are that redfish are darned never everywhere and taking a wide variety of artificial lures and live bait, and the marsh bass are active on last weekend’s higher tides and southerly winds that shoved more “good” water into the bayous and canals south of U.S. 90.

Weather

Expect the high pressure to continue through the weekend. That means morning rains along the coast and afternoon showers for interior areas. The forecast is for 5-10 knot southeast and east winds with near-calm conditions through Saturday and slightly rougher conditions Sunday for areas east of the Mississippi River. For the Central Coast, look for 10-15 knot winds to put 1-3 footers along the barrier islands with choppy conditions in bays and lakes, then 2-3 foot offshore seas.

The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are predicted to rise into Saturday before starting on a slow, then hard fall next week.

Freshwater

Rising water plagued Atchafalaya fishermen for the past 10 days. Although some folks couldn’t find panfish, nor sac-a-lait, nor bass, there were some who did, and they moved to the last 50 or so feet where canals run into bayous. Finding mixing water and working baits like redshad worms and creature baits, even jigs, more slowly helped increased the bass catch.

Sac-a-lait, bluegill, chinquapin and goggle-eye are hanging closer to the bayous, too, and like tubes under a cork.

The coast

East side ponds have filled on the east and southeast winds and the higher water have pushed redfish into these areas.

Topwaters, spinnerbaits and gold spoons atop the grass are yielding five-reds limits by 10 a.m. Free-lining finger mullet and cocahoe minnows are good, too, and live shrimp under a cork in the canals and run-outs are productive.

The best Grand Isle area trout action is east toward Four Bayous, and there are loads of reds in the passes.