Freshwater folks have been hitting the bait shops for crickets in the past week to take bluegill in the Verret Basin and the Lac Des Allemands area.

There’s a bonus, too. Channel catfish are showing up in the lake, but you’ll need near-calm winds to take advantage of this run. It helps to bring along nightcrawlers when you get into the catfish, most of which are ganging up around canals and run-outs into the main lakes.

Belle River and the Intracoastal Canal near Stephensville are giving up bass on shad-like lures and shad-colored spinnerbaits early in the morning. After the shad leave the shallows and areas near rafts of hyacinths, bass are taking black-blue crawfish imitations.

The lake & others

When winds allow, the Causeway is holding enough speckled trout to make a trip. The northern end of the 24-mile-long bridge appears to be better than the south-shore structure, and working soft plastics on a jighead is the best way to take the trout and redfish. The predator fish are feeding on pogeys.

Delacroix is another hot spot. Black-chartreuse soft plastics working either on a jighead or under a cork are producing near-limits of trout and 18-22 inch redfish. Search-baits and other floating or neutral-buoyant lures are working in the grass for redfish, and just outside the grass beds for trout.

Updated conditions

  • Weather Underground: wonderground.com. Users can type in locations across the state and the country and get current conditions, a 10-day forecast, and by clicking on a particular day can determine hour-by-hour predicted temperatures, winds, precipitation and barometric pressure.
  • National Weather Service’s River Forecast Center: Suzanne Van Cooten, the chief hydrologist at the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, passed along an update to get the current Mississippi River stages. She said she recommended the website: water.weather.gov. You can get river stages for other south Louisiana waterways, too. Listed in past issues was: crh.noaa.gov.
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Forecasts: nws.noaa.gov. Find the “Coastal/Great Lakes Forecasts by Zones — Gulf — New Orleans, La.” and a map with 13 different nearshore, offshore and Lake Pontchartrain wind and waves predictions for the next five days.