Conditions right for big catches
When you wake up Saturday morning, enjoy the last breath of spring, because it’s going to be the last for a long time. Yes, a cool front is blowing into south Louisiana and we’re supposed to have a 62-degree sunrise, then a 90-degree afternoon.
Not to worry: Winds are predicted to lay, seas will be near calm over inland waters with one-footers set for the barrier islands.
With Monday’s full moon and stronger tides, conditions likely will be near perfect for the Lake Pontchartrain Rodeo and Back to the Beach Festival, the Lake Charles Trout Shootoout and for speckled trout waters along the coast.
With the major rivers falling to summer lows, expect bass, sac-a-lait and bluegill action to hit a solid stride.
Expect Friday’s northeast winds to shift to 5 knots from the south Saturday and stay in the 5-10 knot range into next week. Offshore conditions should be right for the opening weekend of the recreational red snapper season with 5-10 knot southerly winds and 1-2 foot seas.
Topwater action rules for speckled trout along the barrier islands — from the Four Bayous area to Grand Terre to Elmer’s Island west to The Fourchon, the Timbaliers and to the Last Island chain. Big trout were taking a variety of hard-plastic topwaters throughout this area. The front of Grand Isle remained an enigma because only live shrimp under a cork was working around the rocks and into the beach on the rising tide.
If you’re not comfortable with topwaters, then marinas and baitshops are loaded with live shrimp and most have live croakers. Use the shrimp under a cork in the Breton, Lake Borgne and Central Coast waters. Put the shrimp on a Carolina rig to work the beaches and the Pontchartrain bridges. Carolina-rigged croakers are working along the barrier islands on a rising tide.
The bridges at Grand Isle and the rock jetties at Caminada Pass continue to produce specks and white trout with some specks reaching 5 pounds.
Free-lining croaker on 30-pound-test flourocarbon line is working: Drift the bait into the current around rigs in the Pelto, Barre, Timbalier and Caillou Boca (and rigs west of the Boca) areas.
Yellowfin tuna (mostly in the 60-pound class) continue to pound live pogeys around the deep-water platforms, while mangrove and red snapper are showing up around platforms in water as shallow as 40 feet off the Central Coast.
Atchafalaya River levels are predicted to hit 1.8 feet at Morgan City this weekend, so water is the lowest of the year.
Usually that means Grand Lake is the hot spot for almost any morning, and spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and small crawfish (watermelon and black/blue colors) are the best offerings.
Bluegill and giant goggle-eye are showing up in Big Pigeon, Grand Lake and the West Fork-Middle fork areas. Sac-a-lait are living
on the deep ends of laydowns.