Macaluso: A weak cold front near? In July?

Thank goodness we’re not facing the unusually poor conditions along the coast that we did last weekend.

Except that the forecast calls for a weak cold front to push into the Central Gulf of Mexico early Saturday morning, we’re not looking at torrential rain, nor constantly shifting winds caused by raging thunderstorms and not sickening 4-to-7 foot seas.

What was worse about last weekend in the Grand Isle-Fourchon-Cocodrie areas was all that Friday-through-Sunday weather brought dirty water along and off the beaches and into the coastal bays, lakes and passes.

Wednesday’s reports from east and west of the Mississippi River were clearing water by the day since Monday and with much lighter, although shifting winds in the forecast, most areas should have “fishable” waters for the weekend.

On the freshwater scene, the recent fall in the Atchafalaya River is over. River predictions call for the river to push from a very fishable 3.3-foot level at Morgan City to 3.8 feet by Monday.

Weather

Look for northwest winds Friday and staying westerly until a southerly push in the 5-to-10 knot range settles in for the weekend and the first days of next week. Expect 1-to-2 footers offshore, 1-foot seas along the coast with calm or near-calm conditions in the interior, except that we could find 1-to-2 foot waves in Lake Pontchartrain.

There’s a chance of rain in the forecast through Tuesday with lows in the low 70s and highs in the low 90s.

The Coast

The rising Mississippi River could cause problems in areas south and east of Venice. On the fall for the last 10 days, speckled trout started creeping closer to the river, and redfish were being taken on topwaters and large soft-plastic lures either under a cork or tight-lined. The reds had moved to points off the distributaries on the east side of the river.

With increased flow, look for reds in slack water off the current to feed on baitfish blowing out with the water flow.

Along the Central Coast, this week’s reports confirmed that live bait is the trick. Problem is some days it’s live shrimp, and the next day it could be cocahoe minnows or live croakers. Most all action is coming under a cork. Larger, 6-inches or longer, live croaker are best worked on Carolina rigs into the surf or free-lined into the rocks off East Timbalier and rock jetties at Belle Pass and Caminada Pass.

Freshwater

Catfish in Lake Verret provided the big catches there, and bass fishermen reported the new no-size-limit, 7-bass-per-day regulations were easy in runouts in the Pigeon, Bayou Mallet, and the upper and lower Sorrels.

Small black/white or black/gold topwaters (Tiny Torpedoes, Pop-Rs) worked in several runouts where the water was mixing. Better action came on redshad worms, June bug- and black/blue and green glitter-colored creature baits caught the most bass.