Changing conditions challenging for anglers

Catches took a dip last week, and nobody seems to know why. Water temperatures were OK; water levels, though a bit on the low side in the marshes were good enough; and, the weather, though chilly in the morning, was comfortable well before noon.

It’s even more confounding when the Monday reports arrived: Bass were taking spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and plastics around grass beds in the freshwater and brackish-water marshes, and the speckled trout action rebounded to unexpected levels.

What does this mean for south Louisiana’s great holiday weekend? With a cold front on the way Friday and rain in the Sunday-Tuesday forecast, your guess is as good as anyone’s.

Weather

Shifting winds will be the order of the next days: Expect light north winds Friday, then stronger 10-15 knot east, then south winds through Monday with rough inland waterway conditions and 2-4 foot nearshore and 3-4 foot offshore seas building to much heavier waves early next week.

Look for lows in the 50s with highs in the 70s with better-than-even chances of rain Sunday through Tuesday. The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers continue to rise.

The coast

The latest came from the Golden Meadow area, where Sulphur Mine catches were solid Monday. Black/chartreuse H&H Cocahoe Minnows worked on specks up to 18 inches long.

Redfish and specks were taking Bull Minnows (avocado/red glitter soft plastics) in the Buras and Venice areas. This smallish bait means fish there continue in the winter pattern. Quarter-ounce jigs worked on the bottom produced the best action on specks, while working this combination under a cork near run-outs and along points produced the best redfish action.

The MRGO is holding reds, drum and sheepshead along the rocks in the Shell Beach area.

The Falgout Canal area is holding loads of redfish. Drifting Lake DeCade with plastics under a cork is working on small trout.

Working jigs-and-plastics under birds in Lake Pontchartrain is productive when conditions allow.

Freshwater

The Verret area is producing sac-a-lait on black/chartreuse tubes in clear-water canals and bayous. Though it has been more miss than hit, crankbaits, jigs-and-pigs and “creature” baits are working on bass in the Belle River area.

The Shell Cuts are giving up the best bass action in the Atchafalaya Spillway. Slow-rolling spinnerbaits, black/blue jigs and crawfish imitations are working on points and on the flats. Afternoons are more productive than mornings.

Spinnerbaits and “creature” baits (Sweet Beaver and similar baits in the “California” colors) are working in the Amelia-Gibson area marshes.

Tom LeBlanc
contributed to this report.