Macaluso: Finding clear water a must for success

There’s not enough sugar to coat this week’s news: Lots of rain, wind and dirty water is hampering freshwater and saltwater action.

The secret is to find clear, moving water. Most folks who are finding those conditions are catching speckled trout, redfish, sheepshead and drum, and nailing the bass and sac-a-lait despite barometric pressures that are supposed to put the quietus on catches.

Weather

Not good: Another cold front is sitting over south Louisiana, and we can expect 5-20 knot northerly winds through Sunday. Rain is in the forecast for Saturday. Friday and early Saturday looks to be the best period with 5-10 knot northeast winds and choppy waters for inside waters. Coastal and offshore seas will be rough and uncomfortable.

The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are on a slow rise and are predicted to push to 4.9 feet on the Mississippi at New Orleans and 16.9 feet at Baton Rouge, which means the river will push into the Old River oxbow, and inch up to the 3.4 foot reading on the Atchafalaya at Morgan City.

Expect cold mornings and with afternoon highs in the low 60s.

Freshwater

Bass and sac-a-lait have started pushing from the bayous into the deeper canals throughout the middle section of the Atchafalaya Spillway. Smaller black/blue jigs-n-pigs (dark-colored crawfish imitation trailers are working best) and creature baits like Baby Brush Hogs, Sweet Beavers and soft-plastic craws are catching bass near heavy cover inside the points.

Same’s true for marshes near Amelia and Gibson, and you can add Texas-rigged redshad and blueshad worms and small swimbaits to your tackle box.

If you’re looking for a road trip, the impoundments (Toledo Bend, Saline, Larto and others) are holding lots of sac-a-lait in deep water. Working with shiners and tube jigs down to 30-foot depths is yielding hefty 10-16 inch-long fish.

The coast

Live cocaho minnows and fresh shrimp are good choices for the Barataria system and areas east of the Mississippi River (MRGO, Biloxi Marsh).

The chilly conditions have specks and reds laying along dropoffs. And on the coldest days, the fish are on the bottom in deeper canals and places like the Intracoastal Canal.

The Sulphur Mine Lake between Golden Meadow and Montegut is holding trout (slow retrieves with H&H limetreuse, black/green and avocado.red glitter Cocahoe Minnows) in the lake and surrounding waterways.

Falgout Canal and Lake DeCade continue to produce trout and redfish, but the area, like all others, needs sunshine to trigger a solid feeding pattern.

When we get decent conditions and back-to-back days of sunshine, head to The Causeway and work the pilings with watermelon/red glitter and blue moon/chartreuse soft plastics on the bottom.