Think about the past two weekends and the start of strong winds, rising water levels and rough seas — exacerbated by Tropical Storm Debby at the end of last week — and expect the exact opposite this weekend.
And throw in the days leading up to Tuesday’s full moon and Wednesday’s July Fourth holiday, and we can welcome our nation’s birthday with a full-blown, all-systems-go fishing party.
Hot (so drink plenty of fluids) with little chance of rain, light southerly winds, light nearshore conditions and 1-2 foot offshore seas. The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are on a fall.
Throw out reports of the past several days because all coastal areas began to recover from strong easterly winds and TS Debby beginning Wednesday. With southerly winds and light seas ahead, we can expect speckled trout to move back to their usual haunts like the barrier islands’ surf and reefs and platforms in bays and coastal lakes.
Live shrimp have been the mainstay for catching trout, redfish and flounder for the past month, and nothing will change that. But for large trout in the surf, make a move back to live croaker on a Carolina rig.
Better yet, the much calmer conditions should result in clear water at the beaches and that means it’s topwater and/or MirrOlure time.
Remember that bigger trout will move closer to the beaches in the first hours of the rising tide (early morning), and the full moon should trigger another speckled trout spawn.
Bull redfish will move to the passes on the falling tide and will take cracked crab and cut mullet on the bottom. With water levels falling in the marshes, redfish will move to the points of run-outs (ponds, trenesses) and will take most anything thrown their way including scented artificials and live worked under a cork and spoons and topwaters worked on the falling tides.
The offshore prediction is that red and mangrove snapper should begin to feed more hardily as waters clear and baitfish begin to school around oil/gas platforms in 80-160 foot depths. Calmer conditions will allow anglers to get to the deep-water platforms and grass lines for tuna, wahoo, bull dolphin and lemonfish.
The Atchafalaya’s Little Pigeon-Cross Bayou area is the hottest around. Sac-a-lait, goggle-eye and bass are the targets (in that order) and all three species are living in different spots.
Sac-a-lait like downed trees and brush piles off the banks (add brush on points for a can’t-miss spot) and like shiners and black/chartreuse or blue/white tube jigs. Goggle-eye are eating Beetle Spins and small white/chartreuse spinnerbaits around stumps. Bass throughout the spillway are eating Sweet Beavers and crawfish imitations near run-outs, on points and under floating water hycinth.
The west bank of Lake Verret is holding bass and bluegill (use crickets).