Macaluso: Hard winds mean big problems

Don’t expect the winds to lay anytime soon, and that’s going to determine where and how you’re going to do what you like to do in freshwater and coastal areas.

Left out for the weekend are the offshore hot spots: That’s because Friday’s 5-7 foot seas won’t calm enough throughout the next five days to allow telling out to take advantage of another red snapper, wahoo, yellowfin tuna weekend. You can cross off the Pontchartrain bridges, because constantly shifting winds will keep the water too stirred up and muddy to be productive.

With warmer days ahead, you might want to think about the first bluegill trip of the season.

There are some hot spots, but remember to wear life jackets and taks along rainsuits.

Weather

Expect the 15-20 knot north winds to shift to the east then southeast through the weekend and remain in the 5-15 knot range inland and 15-20 knots offshore. There’s a chance of rain daily through Tuesday.

Look for cooler morning temperatures through Sunday with afternoon highs climbing into the 80s. The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are predicted to go on a fall for the next 10-14 days.

Freshwater

The Atchafalaya Spillway is at a fishable level, but the latest reports are that finding enough “quality” fish is a problem. Shifting winds could be the biggest problem, because water levels fall on the north winds, then the south end swells on string south and southeast winds.

The Flat Lake area has been productive on north and easterly winds, but south and west winds swell water levels and rough the lake, a pattern that sends fish too far into the grass or makes them move off the trees-and-grass beds pattern that they hold on when water is falling.

Spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and jerkbaits have been working from Murphy Lake through the Zig-Zag Canals and from Grand Lake down into Middle Fork and points south. You can use redshad worms, watermelon/red flake lizards and the “California” colors in creature baits are catching a few keeper (14-inch) bass, and lots of nonkeepers.

There is some action on sac-a-lait in the Spillway’s middle section and in canals off main lakes in the Verret Basin.

Grassbeds in the Des Allemands, Turtle Bayou and Orange Grove areas are holding bass, goggle-eye and bluegill.

The coast

This has been the big gamble lately: Water levels push trout and redfish to and fro, and staying on fish day by day has been the problem.

Cocodrie, the southern reaches in the Lafitte area (Barataria’s midsection), Myrtle Grove and The Wall/Bayou Bienvenu have given up trout in the last five days.

Again, redfish are everywhere and everything from fresh shrimp under a cork to topwaters and wide variety of soft plastics are working in canals and along marshy banks in smaller lakes.