West winds could make coastal fishing tough

GRAND ISLE If Wednesday proves a predictor for the coming rodeo-filled weekend, it’s that folks along the coast will have it rough when it comes to catching prized speckled trout, redfish and all the other fishes that swim in shallow water.

It’s likely the big-game folks, the guys and gals in the bluewater divisions will be dealing with the same issues. That’s because the southwest and west winds that are blowing shallow-water folks off their fish will be the same conditions that should help them catch yellowfin tuna, wahoo and the other giants that swim in the depths off the Louisiana coast.

The westerly winds also should help in freshwater, because it’s there the fishing adage holds true: “Wind from the east, fish bite the least. Wind from the west, fish bite the best.” And there’s lot of sac-a-lait that need to be caught this weekend.

Weather

Expect 5-15 knot west and southwest winds throughout the weekend with nearshore and offshore seas running 1-2 feet through Saturday. Winds and seas will calm Sunday.

Look for morning lows in the mid-70s and highs in the mid-90s around Baton Rouge, with upper-70s to low-90s along the coast.

The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are on major falls, like respective drops from 28.1 to 23.3 on the Baton Rouge gauge, and from 4.1 to 3.7 at Morgan City between now and Monday.

The coast

Wednesday’s 15-knot plus west winds dirtied the entire Central Coast’s waters, and only after the tide hit its peak between 10-11 a.m. did clean water show up in the major passes and along the beaches. A heavy chop prevented all but the larger boats from getting to the beaches and through the passes.

Most charter skippers talked about decent redfish catches and sparse action on speckled trout. There’s enough live bait at the marinas and bait shops to hold through the weekend. Live croakers worked best on the speckled trout that showed up along the beaches and around the barges at Fourchon and the Four Bayous Pass areas, while redfish preferred live shrimp under a cork along the rock jetties and in the calmer water areas behind Grand Isle, Grand Terre and east to Coup Abel.

The protected, shallow-water areas in Delacroix are giving up limits of 17-21 inch redfish. Use a cork with live shrimp around marshy banks and over oyster beds. The afternoon action was better than the morning catch.

Freshwater

Bass and sac-a-lait catches are hot in the Atchafalaya area. Solid reports on medium-sized sac-a-lait are coming from the Bayou Pigeon/Cowan area on shiners and blue/white or black/chartreuse tubes.

Bass there are mostly 1-2 pounders with a few larger fish showing up on frogs, spinnerbaits, redshad worms and soft-plastic “creature” baits.