No, this is not a dream.
Yes, it’s south Louisiana, it’s summer and we’re heading into a fourth straight weekend with a forecast of near-calm winds and near-calm seas.
What makes it even more unbelievable is that this run of high-pressure systems over our part of the Gulf of Mexico comes for the weekend of two major saltwater rodeos.
Even though we’re in the moon’s first quarter, we can expect strong tidal movement through the weekend.
The only problem is persistent afternoon thunderstorms, but with tides pushing hard to high in the early morning, it’s best to head out early and get back to landings before lightning and heavy rains.
West and southwest winds running 5-10 knots with seas less than two feet across south Louisiana with morning lows in the mid 70s and afternoon highs in the 90s. Again, expect afternoon thunderstorms. The Mississippi River continues to fall to near-record summer lows (1.9 feet at New Orleans), while the Atchafalaya River remains relatively high (2.8 feet at Morgan City) for this time of year.
Bad news here: Bream and sac-a-lait catches have dried up in most places and we haven’t had a decent public-waters report on either species in two weeks.
Bass are active in the Venice area now that the water in the Mississippi River has gone from muddy to green-clear. Bass are in the passes and are hanging around shade afforded by willow trees, grass beds and rows of roseau canes. Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and lipless crankbaits (Rat-L-Traps, Red Eye Shad) are being used to find concentrations of largemouths. The next step is to go to black/red (early morning) or watermelon/red (later in the day) soft-plastic lizards and “creature” baits.
Bass in the Atchafalaya are hanging around run-outs. Afternoon rains are putting water into the swamps and rainfall starts water moving through these run-outs, especially in the Little Pigeon, Grand Lake and Duck Lake (canals) areas.
From Breton Sound and Black Bay west into the Central Coast, speckled trout and redfish seemed to prefer live croakers during the early morning hours of the past week. The bite switches to live shrimp later in the day, possibly on stronger tidal movement (strong tides get shrimp off the bottom and into the water column).
Most of the action east of the river is around smaller oil/gas platforms. Reports from that area are that the Battledore Reef platforms are loaded with fish and fishermen.
Along the Central Coast, start in the barrier islands’ surf early, but if the beaches are crowded, reefs and sandbars are holding trout. Try topwaters early, but live bait remains the top producer. A variety of soft plastics under a cork are working on the reefs and in the surf.
Work cracked crab in the passes on a falling tide for giant redfish.