Conditions favor bass, sac-a-lait

The freshwater brethren among us have the promise of a much more productive weekend than saltwater guys and gals.

Another cold front is due Sunday, and like all fronts during March, the front comes with lots of before-and-after winds. But the strong southeast winds due Saturday are a good omen for the coastal folks. It will refresh most of the coastal bays, lakes and marshes east of the Atchafalaya River, and that’s something needed especially after the strong north winds during the past two weeks.

Southeast winds could also help push post-larval brown shrimp into the marshes to hasten their growth and provide a much-needed food source for speckled trout and redfish moving from the marshes and interior bays and lakes to the coastal
areas in advance of their first mid-spring spawns.Weather

A chance of rain late
Sunday after shift from light east winds Friday to 10-15 knot southeast winds and building seas (2-3 foot near shore and 5-7 foot offshore) Saturday through Sunday.

Expect lows in the 40s through Saturday and near 60 Sunday with afternoon highs in the 70s before the front drops temperatures.

South Louisiana’s big rivers are on a major fall.

Freshwater

Bass fishermen can expect a rare early March fall in the Atchafalaya River. It will bring Spillway water levels into the fishable level for most of this month.

That prediction comes with a note: The weekend’s southeast winds will push lots of water into the south end of the Spillway, the Lake Verret Basin and the marshes south of U.S. 90.

That means the Spillway’s middle-to-north sections, along with canals off Bayou Cheramie and Lake Verret, likely will produce better action than the “swelling” areas to the south.

Offsetting that push of water is the bright sunshine throughout this week, a time when, since Sunday, the sun has warmed water temperatures by as much as 8 degrees in some places, and a steady, then falling barometer into Sunday.

This warming trend should put bass more on spinnerbait, jerkbait and square-billed crankbait
patterns than jig-n-pig/soft-plastic “creature-bait” patterns of the past three weeks. (But don’t ignore 4-inch tubes or slow-sinking plastics.)

Atchafalaya’s falling water should stimulate the sac-a-lait bite, too, especially around brush-tops, logs and stumps along canal banks.

And if you must head into the marshes south of U.S. 90, remember that rising water temperatures and
rising water should push bass and sac-a-lait into grass beds along the banks.

The coast

Redfish continue to dominate the catches. With rising water coming this weekend, look for reds to push into the back end of canals. Use fresh shrimp or your favorite soft plastic under a cork.

Warming water and southeast winds could send trout east of the Mississippi River onto flats and trigger feeding not seen in weeks.