Macaluso: Weekend conditions will be OK

OK, the hurricane season started Saturday, and we have an Andrea, a storm moving into Florida’s Bend area, and leaving a rough wake in her path.

The storm lifted water levels mostly in areas east of the Mississippi River, and offshore Louisiana likely will remain rough into Saturday morning.

Come Saturday, and in time for the Swollfest’s final day, offshore and nearshore conditions should produce solid catches.

In freshwater, Andrea has swelled water levels in the lower reaches of all areas east of the Atchafalaya River, but falling water levels should help catches late Friday through the weekend.

The month’s new moon comes Saturday, so look for lots of speckled trout movement into the shallows along the barrier islands for this prime spawning time.

Weather

Small craft advisories are posted into Friday morning on 15-20 knot east winds. Saturday morning will bring near perfect conditions: Waters east of the Mississippi River and off the Central Coast are predicted to run southerly at 5-10 knots with light seas nearshore and 1-2 footers offshore.

Heavy Midwest rains halted the falling Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, and we can expect these rivers to rise for the next 10 days.

Rain chances spike Thursday and Friday but are slim Saturday through Tuesday with temperatures running low 70s to low 90s.

The coast

The likely problem for coastal anglers will be the unsettled conditions and the length of time it will take for water to clear around the barrier islands and in the interior bays and lakes.

If conditions remain the same, then heavier speckled trout left little doubt they preferred live croaker over live shrimp during the last week. Small trout continue to eat live shrimp under a cork, or Carolina rigged if you’re working the platforms in Lake Borgne.

And the heavier trout along the Central Coast were in the surf during the early morning. Expect similar action this weekend because high tides are in the morning and the new moon triggers strong movement into shallow water for trout, reds and flounder.

The best Pontchartrain action will be at the U.S. 11 and railroad bridges. Live shrimp are working.

Wine Island is a good Pelto-Barre area spot. Use topwaters and Long A’s.

Red snapper are everywhere offshore, with the most consistent action for 10-pound-plus fish coming around reefs and rigs in 90-130 foot depths.

Freshwater

Tournaments proved that Henderson Lake is holding bass in the flats (topwaters, buzzbaits) and sac-a-lait (black/chartruese tubes) around the Interstate 10 bridge pilings. Other than Henderson, the Atchafalaya Basin is too high to fish.

Lots of catfish are showing up in the Lake Verret Basin along the shorelines of the big lakes. Bluegill continue to take crickets in the canals with relatively clear water.