Where do we start?
Even during the past weekend, fish were piping in the Lake Verret Basin and in isolated spots in the Atchafalaya Spillway. Piping is what it’s called when the fish are on the top of the water trying to get oxygen through their gills. It’s the last sign of life before they belly up and die.
Dead fish showed up in the Florida Parish rivers and bayous from Blind River over to Bayou Lacombe. It’s nothing like Katrina’s kills, but dead fish are showing after the surrounding swamps drained from Hurricane Isaac’s storm surge and more than 12 inches of rain two weeks ago.
And it’s a good idea to stay away while crews are working oil/tarballs clean-up along Elmer’s Island and The Fourchon beaches.
There’s good news: The marshes south of U.S. 90 are giving up bass and goggle-eye, and Old River sac-a-lait are reacting to the sun dipping lower in the southern sky and feeding heavily.
Offshore action is solid, especially for tuna.
East winds at 5-15 knots will plague us through the weekend, and that’s sure to stack up a lot of water everywhere east of the Mississippi River. A low-pressure system slipping in late Saturday is predicted to bring a chance of daily rain into next week. Expect choppy conditions through Saturday with seas calming Sunday and Monday.
The Atchafalaya River fell hard in the past seven days and is more than a foot lower on the south end (a 2.8 to 1.8 reading at Morgan City.) The Mississippi River remains low with a 2.6-foot reading at New Orleans.
Try small white spinnerbaits and 6-inch soft-plastics around structure in the bayous and canals out of Bayou Black in the Turtle Bayou and similar areas. Some sac-a-lait are taking Roadrunner-like baits worked on ultralight tackle around off-the-bank grass beds and off the deeper sides of points.
Grand Lake is about the best place reported from the Atchafalaya, and bass were aggressive on the falling-water conditions. The action in the run-outs and around points slowed Tuesday.
At Old River, the reliable black/chartreuse tubes are taking sac-a-lait on the shady sides around houseboats and from brush tops off the ends of piers. Work shallower during low-light hours, then go deeper when the sun gets higher in the sky.
Some bluegill are hanging under the houseboats, and are taking crickets. Bass are feeding on shad on the island side.
Most marinas are open and doing business. The Venice area is slower to return from the storm than most other spots. Speckled trout are coming on live bait and soft plastics in the Grand Isle-Fourchon-Cocodrie run, mostly in Timbalier, Terrebonne, Pelto, Barre and Caillou Boca waters.
Yellowfin and blackfin action is first rate and most trips from Grand Isle and Fourchon docks targeting offshore shrimp boats.