Last weekend’s paradise-like conditions — catches across the state proved it was — will fade to something on the other side of the fishing spectrum this week.
Rain and moderate winds will plague south Louisiana and put a crimp into what was the first first-rate weekend catches of the year along the coast.
And with the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers on the rise and combined with a upwards of a 50 percent chance of rain Friday through Monday, last week’s first-rate freshwater action is bound to take a dip, too.
Just remember, Sunday is Mother’s Day.
Get your trips in early Friday through Monday. The forecasted chances of rain increase during the afternoon throughout the weekend. Northeast winds at 10-15 knots will shift to the southeast, then to the east before dropping to 5-10 knots late Sunday, when the winds will shift back to the north and continue to rough the Pontchartrain Basin west into Central Coast waters.
Expect mostly southeast, then southwesterly winds along the Central Coast with 4-6 foot nearshore and offshore conditions Friday and Saturday before dropping off to 2-footers Sunday.
Morning temperatures will be in the low 60s with afternoon highs in the low 80s.
The Mississippi River is predicted to rise from 14.9 feet to a 20-foot mark on the Baton Rouge gauge in the next five days and will climb from 4.4 feet to 5.9 feet at New Orleans. The Atchafalaya is on the rise with a 5-foot reading at Butte LaRose scheduled to go to 8.2 feet by Sunday.
Weekend rains haven’t affected the Florida Parishes rivers that badly, and bluegill and bass are hanging around cypresses and any grass beds along the banks. Spinnerbaits and small soft plastics are working on bass. Use crickets for the bluegill.
Atchafalaya Spillway action has been best in the middle sections from Lake Murphy and Grand Lake southward into Bayou Mallet, Skeeter Den and down to near Duck Lake. Southerly winds and this week’s rise have slowed the action on the southern end of this basin.
Bayous in the Verret Basin continue to hold bluegill, chinquapin and catfish. Use crickets. Flyfishermen are taking the panfish on No. 6 and No. 8 chartreuse/black poppin’ bugs.
Last weekend’s specked trout catches were off the charts. Limits were common from the front of the barrier islands and in the bays in the near 100 miles from east of Grand Isle westward to Raccoon Island.
Topwaters produced bigger trout, and there was plenty of action on jighead-rigged soft plastics (watermelon, avocado, black/chartreuse and purple/chartreuse colors.)
Baitshops had live shrimp, which attracted limits of smaller fish. Live croakers and live pogeys took trout on the beaches, along rock jetties and near the barges at The Fourchon.
Several reports came in on limits of mangrove snapper.