A cold front and rising water in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are a double whammy few south Louisiana fishermen could conjure in their dreams.
Guess what? It’s here.
The cold front that blew in Wednesday won’t bring a respite from the heat, and you won’t see the heavy seas and winds you’d expect from a frontal passage. Just about every location, except for a prediction of 2-3 foot seas along the Central Coast early Saturday, will be quiet with lighter winds.
Even with the water pushing up from the recent, heavy rains, the Atchafalaya Spillway provided the best chance for productive trips along with some down-river spots near Venice.
Another week of constantly shifting winds will hurt speckled trout catches, but settling into light winds and calm or near calm seas east and west of the Mississippi River should help congregate trout, redfish and flounder in coastal waters. The forecast of 1-3 foot seas offshore should help tarpon and bluewater trips, too.
Midwest floods will shove Mississippi and Atchafalaya levels up to the 4-foot mark on the Mississippi at New Orleans and to a 2.8 reading on the Atchafalaya at Morgan City.
Head to the Shell Beach, Delacroix and Hopedale areas for redfish and bass hanging in the ponds and shallow lakes. Try open water for trout. Smaller trout are in canals, small bayous and rivers. Live shrimp under corks work on all three species (even bass), and redshad worms, spinnerbaits and walk-the-dog topwaters are taking reds and bass most places.
The only Pontchartrain reports are that live shrimp rigged Carolina-style and dragged on the bottom at the bridges are scoring a few trout along with reds, drum and the occasional sheepshead and flounder.
The Atchafalaya is loaded with fish, so much so that older guys are talking about the kind of bass-catching action of 30 and 40 years ago.
Frogs, topwaters, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, shad- and crawfish-colored crankbaits and redshad worms (red because bass continue to feed on red crawfish) are the top producers.
Fishermen continue to find areas of “black water,” so avoid those areas, unless you come upon areas with muddy water mixing into the black, clear water.
Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are working in those spots.
The black water is moving south, and the most productive places continue to be Little Pigeon into Big Pigeon (and bayous and canals off these bayous) and out into Grand Lake and points north and south in the lake. Take care running to the north because the flood left new sandbars in the lake toward Keelboat Pass.
Sac-a-lait continue to take tube jigs and shiners in big numbers. The “normal” trip in the past week is 30-50 sac-a-lait per boat.
Old River bass and sac-a-lait are settling around cypress stands and piers.