We’re nearing the middle of August, and for the past three years that’s meant we can begin to look for the first approaching cool front.
The National Weather Service forecast indicates a front will push to the coast Friday, triggering thunderstorms as it goes, and shifting winds. albeit briefly, to the west, then north. We then will settle into calmer south and southeast winds through the weekend. The front is predicted to move back north through Sunday.
That might be just what the fish doctor ordered as action has been slow on speckled trout and redfish along the Central Coast.
Expect 10-15 knot west winds and seas running 1-3 feet on the coast into Saturday, with lighter southerly winds and calmer conditions through the Monday.
Anyone on the water should check for building thunderstorms. Lightning hit at least two boats Saturday and sent two fishermen to the hospital.
At 1.9 feet at New Orleans, the Mississippi River is extra low; the Atchafalaya River (2.5 and rising at Morgan City) is unusually high.
Bass near Venice continue to provide first-rate action on spinnerbaits and soft-plastic creature baits. Some are taking Gulp! Shrimp under a small poppin’ cork (use a 1⁄16-ounce jighead). Rat-L-Traps (blue/chrome) and square-billed crankbaits are taking bass, stripers and redfish in the Mississippi River and passes off the river south of Venice.
The Atchafalaya has come to life in the past week: Bass are taking spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and soft plastics around run-outs north and south in the Bayou April area and along Lower Bayou Sorrel and waters in and around Grand Lake.
Sac-a-lait catches are up, too, on shiners and tube jigs in Pigeon and Upper Sorrel areas. Look for brush-tops off banks early, then move to platforms in the middle of canals during the middle of the day.
Plan to fish the “heavy” shade patterns.
Speckled trout catches are the hottest in the Black Bay, Breton Sound and waters east of the Mississippi River. Live bait (shrimp, croaker) and early morning trips are the tricks here. A good example is Battledore Reef, where small platforms are holding loads of speckled trout, redfish and the occasional flounder. After the sun gets up, ladyfish, catfish and sharks move in.
Trout catches remain on the slow side along the Central Coast. Live bait is the trick, but with southerly winds, more favorable tides and a growing nubmers of white shrimp, the action should begin to pick up, especially in around The Fourchon, East and West Timbalier and the waters south of Cocodrie.
Calmer seas should make for terrific offshore action. Amberjack season is open, and there are enough mangrove snapper for limits. Go early for the best action.
Tuna, wahoo and bull dolphin catches are strong and tarpon are busting in West Delta 40 blocks.