Wind to plays havoc with coast catch

No major storms, no oil spills, so nothing seems to be standing in anyone’s way of catching speckled trout, redfish and anything else swimming along the coast that we can take home and provide nourishing family feasts.

But check the winds lately? Winds were the problem last weekend when an ascending full moon and bearable sea conditions should have allowed everyone to load the boat.

What happened was westerly, then northerly winds put trout and redfish (and every other nearshore species) on one feeding pattern, then Thursday’s stronger southeast winds and the hard, rising tide that came with Sunday’s full moon pushed shrimp and baitfish into another pattern.

That put the trout off their feed for a couple of days, and it’s the same thing we can expect this weekend when changing winds will mean we’ll have to hunt and hunt and hunt until we find where the trout are feeding and what they eating.

That’s not to say no one is catching fish, because most folks are finding enough trout and redfish to make a trip. It’s just that few folks are able to sit in one spot and take home a limit.

Freshwater action is solid at Lake Concordia and in the Bayou Black marshes.

Weather

West winds will give way to southwest winds, then switch to the northwest on an approaching front (the weather folks are calling it a “cold” front, but 90-degree afternoon hardly fit that forecast). Expect 10-15 knot westerly winds by Saturday and 1-2 foot conditions in the larger lakes and along the coast (2-3 footers offshore) with gusty winds and heavier seas near and in thunderstorms.

Look for lows in the 70s and highs near 90 with a chance of afternoon rain. The major rivers are falling.

The coast

The westerly winds mean Atchafalaya River water blowing into the western edges of the Last Island chain and the Ship Shoal area, and Mississippi River water will push into western Breton Sound.

For the most part, trout and redfish are eating shrimp, and live shrimp are readily available at most baitshops. Bigger trout are taking live croaker, live cocahoe minnows and live pogeys. Topwater plugs are good near the beaches on the rising tide.

The bug-a-boo last weekend was presentation: One day the trout and redfish wanted the live bait under a cork, and the next day they wanted the bait Carolina-rigged on or near the bottom. The best trick is to have one fishermen rig up a cork, another free line the live bait and another put the bait on the bottom, then pick the best for that day.

The best reported action on trout came from waters east of Grand Isle.

Offshore action is terrific with loads of 40-80 pound yellowfin tuna and hefty blackfin tuna coming from the floaters. The Mud Lumps are producing red snapper. Mangroves and cobia are in the Grand Isle and Timbalier blocks in 100-130 foot depths.