Conditions perfect for Dad’s Day

Don’t think twice about this weekend: If you have the chance, then go — and take dad along for his special day.

If you’re heading to the coast, make sure to secure live shrimp, live cocahoe minnows or live croakers.

Live croakers are good for pitching to the red and mangrove snapper that filled up the boxes for the offshore crews over past weekend.

Now that daily downpours have left the forecast, the Florida Parishes rivers are clear, and when the boat traffic dies down during the middle of the week, catches of bass, bluegill and other panfish are strong.

Weather

A weak low front is predicted to move into the southern parishes Friday, but a strong high system is due Sunday and that means near perfect conditions. Expect light westerly winds through Friday to give way to southerly winds into next week with light seas nearshore and offshore.

Heat will be the biggest problem: Remember to use sunscreen, and drink enough water to match the heat, which is predicted to hit the mid-90s next week.

The coast

The most consistent reports are coming from the Central Coast, from waters east of Grand Isle west across The Fourchon and Timbalier to Raccoon Island on the far western side of the Last Island chain.

Work live and artificial baits into the surf on the morning’s rising tide. Make sure to bring your favorite topwater lure because trout are blasting these plugs on the light-wind days.

Most rock jetties and rock piles are producing speckled trout and redfish. It’s a typical summer pattern for bull reds: They’re in the passes on the falling tides and taking cracked crab and cut mullet.

Action east of the Mississippi River is best in Lake Borgne. Live shrimp on Carolina rigs around platforms in 10-16 foot depths seems to be the trick. Most times a quarter-ounce sinker works, but recent stronger tides (on the new moon) forced most folks to use a three-eighths ounce lead.

Two-per-day red snapper limits are common for all who venture to platforms in water at least 60 feet deep. Most of the better mangrove snapper action is coming around platforms 10 or more miles from the coast.

Freshwater

The Pearl River is running clear enough to signal first-rate bass action on quarter-ounce, double-bladed spinnerbaits (salt & pepper is a good color). Some shrimp and shad colors are working, too, on lipless crankbaits. Try lighter colors in soft-plastic lures.

The Atchafalaya Basin is still too high to be productive, but Henderson Lake continued to produce solid bass catches on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits in the flats. (Remember the new no-size limit regs take effect June 20).

The marshes in the Bayou Black area continue to give up bass and sac-a-lait. Moving water is the key for bass on bream-colored spinnerbaits and square-billed crankbaits, and heavy cover the spots to take sac-a-lait.