Weather should make trout, redfish easy to find

Photo provided by CINDY WITTMERMight proud ladyCindy Wittmer went to Leeville last week just to fish with her dad and brought along the only tackle she had, a Zebco rod and reel spooled with 12-pound test fishing line only to latch onto this 42-pound black drum. Show caption
Photo provided by CINDY WITTMERMight proud ladyCindy Wittmer went to Leeville last week just to fish with her dad and brought along the only tackle she had, a Zebco rod and reel spooled with 12-pound test fishing line only to latch onto this 42-pound black drum. " I don't know how long it took me to get it in, but, by the grace of God, we got it in," Wittmer said. "Once I got it to the top, I netted it, but had to get my dad to help me lift it into the boat." Wittmer said the monster drum as so loong that its tail hung outfrom the ice chest for the trip back to Prairieville. "Had a blast bringing this in," she said.

There’s a silver lining behind that tropical system that blew into the Louisiana coast Friday.

While moderately strong winds and rains swept the coast Saturday, the calm behind the storm should settle into eastern areas by Tuesday and on the west side of the Mississippi River by Wednesday.

During that calming, a period of northerly winds will push high water from ponds and small lakes and that brings the potential for the strongest feeding patterns for trout and redfish this summer.

It’s because the push shoves a baitfish anglers call “storm minnows” from the marsh ponds, and trout and redfish gather, with mouths wide open, near runouts to feed on this bonanza.

Whatever scientific description you give to storm minnows, this cocahoe-sized baitfish lives in the inches-deep (if that much) water out of sight and thus forage range of the beefier trout and redfish.

When tropical systems ranging from weak depressions to the strongest hurricanes shove water into their ponds, the minnows emerge post-storm from their hideaways and trigger a feeding frenzy for voracious predator fish.

The secret to success for coastal fishing this week will be to find runouts draining the marsh and hang on. Redfish will be on the prowl, and they’re likely to have loads of prey.

In the field

None of Louisiana’s three Elite Series touring pro anglers made it to Sunday’s final in the four-day event on Lake St. Clair near Detroit, but Cliff Crochet’s 41st-place finish in the 100-man field assures the Pierre Part fisherman a spot in the February 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

Crochet moved into the top 50 after Friday’s second round and finished with his third five-bass limit and a 45-pound, 14-ounce total.

We’ll have to wait for the final standings to find out if Gonzales pro Greg Hackney’s 19th-place, 50-3 finish will earn a Classic berth. Roanoke’s Dennis Tietje’s 91st-place finish had a severe impact on his Classic chances.