Another windy week ahead for anglers

Another week and another cold front bringing in hard winds and a handful of reasons to plan on staying away from big, open water.

Saturday appears to be the only day in the next week when you’ll be comfortably able to get near the coast (not “on” the coast).

For saltwater, that means looking for redfish and trout in runouts and along points, because Friday’s 15-25 knot north winds will blow lots of water from the marshes.

Freshwater holds more promise: Again, open water will be a problem, but the north winds should help push fish near runouts.

Finding clear water will be a must, and a big problem after another week of constantly shifting winds.

Weather

Extra windy, first from the north, then the east by Saturday, then the southeast on Sunday into next week. Expect equally rough seas with prediction of 4-6 footers nearshore into Saturday morning, then 3-5 footers through Monday, and 5-8 footers offshore, then 3-5 footers into next week.

The front will drop morning temperatures into the 40s Saturday and Sunday, with highs getting back into the 80s next week.

The Mississippi River is on a hard rise (a five-day rise 7.4 to 8.1 feet by Monday at New Orleans) and the Atchafalaya River is predicted to stand steady at 3.9 feet at Morgan City (a 10th of a foot off flood stage).

Freshwater

Check the pecan trees lately? If the fisherman’s adage is true that bluegill begin to bite when the pecan trees send out their first buds, then now’s the time to get that cricket bucket out, get several dozen crickets to fill it and head out to your favorite bream spot. Saw some pecan trees with leaves in the last week, but not every pecan tree has leafed out.

It’s difficult to predict what the Lake Verret Basin will produce for bream. The area has been plagued by muddy water for most of the past month, but anywhere you can find clear water (usually along the banks), there were hungry bluegill and goggle-eye.

Muddy water means colder water, but with the approaching full moon (it comes next Thursday), it might be worth the trouble to scout for bedding bream. And check out willow trees along the banks of canals for signs of caterpillars spinning webs over the water. Bluegill gang up under these webs waiting for a caterpillar to fall and make for an easy meal.

Whatever bass haven’t spawned across south Louisiana waters have to push to the spawning beds, and the chilly winds rolling in Saturday morning likely won’t push the bass off those beds like it did in February and March (when a majority of bass spawned.)

The rising Mississippi River means Old River is off the menu for sac-a-lait action, but with water levels on the rise, look for bream to show up in the Ball Park area between Lake Mondieu and the levee.

Toledo Bend continues to provide the most consistent bass action. The recent run of warm afternoons produced heavy bass on the Ribbit Top Toad.