Just at the time when the coastal guides started to report better-than-average speckled trout and redfish catches, along comes this latest in a series of cold fronts to shake up action for the next several days.
Yes, since Sunday, guides were staying inside and catching fish from the lower Barataria area west into the bays and lakes around and south of Cocodrie. And, no, there wasn’t much to report from Pontchartrain, because the conditions have been too rough at the bridges and south into Lake Borgne to make productive trips.
But those Central Coast reports were good enough to keep folks believing we could be seeing a turn in April’s strong winds and rough seas. Not yet, and the question for this weekend is where do we go from here.
Conditions are predicted to calm by Saturday with a call for 5-10 knot south and southwest winds and seas one foot or less into Sunday for Lake Pontchartrain. The Central Coast forecast is 1-2 foot seas and light chop for inland areas on a 5-10 knot south wind, while 5-10 knot south and southeast winds and 2-3 foot seas ahead for offshore waters.
Expect low 60s to low 80s for a temperature range with a chance of showers beginning late Saturday into Tuesday. The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are on a hard rise.
With live shrimp available, it’s a good bet specks and reds in the Barataria system, out east into the Four Bayous area and west to Barre and Pelto lakes and to Caillou Boca, will eat shrimp under a cork. With some white shrimp remaining in most all coastal systems, laughing gulls are hovering over shrimp and pointing the way to schools of feeding speckled trout. An odd note is that redfish have been found under the birds, too.
For plastics, it looks like anything chartreuse will catch fish, including chartreuse bodies and most colors with chartreuse tails. Dipping lures’ tails into chartreuse dye is working, too.
If conditions allow, points on the east side of the Mississippi River between Boothville south to the river delta are holding reds and some specks. The south and southeast winds will help push salty water (and fish) into the points. This front’s north winds push water from the passes and, most times, move the fish off the points, and south winds push the predator species back to the points and run-outs that are providing their food.
For the continued weekend red snapper season, state Enforcement Division agents advise using best judgement about working outside the three-mile boundary.
With the Atchafalaya on the rise, and recent rains turning the Verret Basin and the Florida Parishes rivers into rolling mud, the marshes continue to provide the most consistent bass and panfish catches. Loads of goggle-eye are coming from the Turtle Bayou area on Beetle Spins, small spinnerbaits and small worms in watermelon and redshad colors.
Toledo Bend is bass heaven.