Windy conditions to eventually calm down

Wednesday’s rain brought hard north winds, cold morning temperatures and a rising barometer. Those factors certainly don’t offer anything near the best conditions for the coming weekend.

Yet, there are positives to take to the launch in the coming days.

Gale warnings and 7-10 foot offshore seas are predicted to calm to 2-3 feet for the offshore folks getting after a solid run on wahoo and tuna at the Midnight Lumps; the 3-4 foot waves in the Pontchartrain Basin and “rough” surface conditions in “protected” waters will abate; and, we can expect light southeast winds to return Saturday across south Louisiana.

More good news is that last week’s warming trend pushed bass into the prespawn stage in the marshes, and pushed speckled trout from their deep-water haunts to the flats.

Weather

Expect cold mornings (especially on the water) well into next week with afternoon highs inching up from Friday’s predicted 62 into the mid-70s by Tuesday.

Look for Wednesday’s rain to raise water levels in the Florida Parishes’ rivers. The Weather Service’s forecast is for the Mississippi River to hit 29 feet at Baton Rouge and 11.3 feet at New Orleans sometime Saturday, when the Atchafalaya River climbs to 3.9 feet on the Morgan City gauge.

Freshwater

The hottest bass news comes from the marshes south of U.S. 90. The year’s first big tournament produced a 20-pound stringer, and while the north winds will push water from the marshland bayous and canals, the southeast winds should push water levels up and the bright sunshine should keep largemouths in prespawn status.

The latest from the Verret Basin is that catfish are biting in the muddy-water bayous and canals. Just make sure to stay away from the sinkhole in the Bayou Corne-Grand Bayou area. Use nightcrawlers and look for slack areas (behind logs and points) in the areas with moving water.

There are reports of sac-a-lait in the Verret Basin, too. Find clear water in the canals south of Pierre Part and use black/chartreuse tubes around heavy cover.

The coast

Delacroix, the “Wall” in the Intracoastal Canal near the new flood-control structure and the Oak River area are producing speckled trout.

Try the canals and bayous in the upper reaches of the Barataria Basin, Falgout Canal near Theriot and the Sulphur Mine/Bayou Blue area near Golden Meadow.

For redfish, the Buras, Biloxi Marsh, the Leeville canals and Fourchon area canals are producing limits. The trick is to find moving water around points and over oysterbeds.

There’s no one bait color outproducing the other, except try darker colors (dark backs or dark bodies) with some chartreuse on the bait’s body or on the tail. Or, use live cocahoe minnows.