Guess when you talk about fishing prospects, it’s like talking about beauty, you know about it being in the eye of the beholder.
For some folks, the recent warming trend means holding on to fall conditions a little longer. For others, south winds and rises in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers mean swelling water levels and a decrease in the action — and rougher inshore/offshore conditions.
With the duck and goose seasons on hold, lots of folks have penciled in a fishing weekend, but under the current conditions, “catching” will not hold the same promise as “fishing.”
Strong south and southeast winds will dominate as will rough open water, nearshore (2-4 feet) and offshore seas (3-6 feet Saturday, 6-10 feet Sunday) before rain accompanies a moderate cold front pushing Sunday into south Louisiana. The Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are on a hard rise from rains throughout the entire Mississippi drainage.
Expect lows in the mid 60s, highs in the 70s and cloudy conditions through Sunday with Monday morning’s low near 50 under clearing skies.
Despite rising water, bass and sac-a-lait continue to show up in Atchafalaya Spillway catches, but catches are on the decline mostly because of muddy water. Canals continue to be the best places to find fish. Clear-water bayous (mostly in the Bayou April/30-Inch Canal areas) are producing, too, on gold jerkbaits and chartreuse/white/blue spinnerbaits in the latest warm-up.
The Verret Basin is holding bass, too, and lipped and lipless crankbaits in the deep bends and on points along the Intracoastal is a good pattern.
Pearl River’s three runs, the MRGO area, Delacroix and the canals in the Theriot area continue to produce the bass/redfish mix on swimbaits. Try VuDu Shrimp under a cork for both species in Delacroix and Theriot. Both species will take redshad worms and Gulp! Natural Shrimp, too.
Along the coast
Delacroix, the Biloxi Marsh, The Wall and the upper reaches of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet continue to produce trout and redfish with an occasional bonus of flounder and drum. Trout appear to have come from the deep holes during the past three days. It means finding and fishing ledges — a trout’s stopping-off point between the shallows and deep holes — should be the payoff pattern through Saturday and early Sunday.
Remember that strong southeast winds will swell water levels across the coast, but levels will be higher on the east side of the Mississippi River. This will push redfish into the ponds where swimbaits, gold spoons and heavy-wire spinnerbaits are productive. High water could position trout near run-outs in the back end of dead-end canals.