Inside key to catching fish after front

LSU has an out-of-town date against Georgia and the Saints take on the Dolphins on Monday night.

While that football schedule usually is a trigger to fire up for a weekend on the water, the forecast of east and southeast winds and mildly rough seas means you should plan on staying in the marshes, or in the lee of the winds.

All this comes on the heels of Wednesday’s “cold” front, but the good news is that winds and seas are predicted to calm Monday just in time for Tuesday’s opener of the 14-day recreational red snapper season.

All in all, catches have been solid along the coast. The best areas have been east and west of the Mississippi River near Buras on the east side and in the Shell Island area on the west.

Weather

East winds up to 15 knots will rough up Lake Pontchartrain, Borgne, Breton Sound, and put 3-4 foot seas along Grand Isle west to the Timbaliers into Sunday morning. Look for slight rises in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, but nothing that should slow the action in either area.

Expect morning lows in the upper 60s with afternoon highs in the upper 80s in a forecast with showers Sunday afternoon.

Freshwater

The Venice runs off the Mississippi River are producing bass. Flip redshad worms around roseau cane, buzzbaits and spinnerbaits in the ponds, and black/chartreuse minnow imitations under a cork.

Find moving water in the Atchafalaya and you’ll find bass on small crawfish crankbaits and spinnerbaits. On bright days, bass are moving into the grass and “punching” with heavy jigs rigged with soft-plastic creature baits is paying off. Grand Lake and Duck Lake are good in the morning.

Spillway sac-a-lait have moved to heavy cover and like black/chartreuse tubes in clear-green water and blue/white or pink/white tubes in murky water. Expect to take goggle-eye and larger bluegills on these baits. Otherwise, take nightcrawlers or crickets for these panfish.

Lake Verret bass are hanging on points, and there were two reports of sac-a-lait coming on brushpiles in the canals off Verret and in the Bayou Cheramie area.

The Pearl River is producing bass with some redfish and speckled trout moving into the lower reaches.

The coast

Small trout have moved into the bayous and rivers off Lake Pontchartrain and are taking a variety of plastics fished under a cork. Get closer to the lake and remove the cork to look for more active trout.

Redfish have moved into the Leeville area and were feeding on storm minnows when water moved out after last week’s high water.

The same falling-water pattern was key to take reds and trout on the east side of the Mississippi River from the Biloxi Marsh down to California Point.