Complaints heard most often from the coast last week centered around short-striking speckled trout and the lack of tidal movement. Well, they go hand in hand.
It’s sort of like us during the summer: We know we should eat, but it’s so hot that all we feel like doing is nibbling on something small instead of sitting down to a big meal. Add a cool breeze, a cool drink and the appetite returns. A stronger tide is that “cool breeze” for trout and redfish.
This weekend’s tides are strong, so head to the surf on the rising tides, then look to platforms, sand bars and reefs later in the day.
Thunderstorms are the main threat this weekend.
After strong winds settle Friday, expect 5-10 knot southwest and south winds with 1-3 footers on the coast and 2-3 footers offshore.
The major rivers are on another rise, and the Mississippi will jump more than two feet to 24.6 at Baton Rouge and a foot to 8.5 on the New Orleans gauge. The Atchafalaya’s Bayou Sorrel reading will hit the 6.1 mark.
Look for morning lows in the low 70s and afternoon highs near 90 with rain chances near 50 percent Saturday and Sunday.
Bluegill and catfish provide top catches in the Lake Verret Basin, and chinquapin showed up around hard-bottomed areas there. Use crickets under a cork for bluegill (fly fishing with small poppers is good) and use nightcrawlers for chinquapin and catfish. The best spots are the down-bank outflows from bayous, canals and sloughs in the big lakes.
Bass action there was around points. Use frogs, buzzbaits and spinnerbaits.
Look for the same action in the Lac Des Allemands area. If you’re patient, take along shiners and work brush tops and logs for sac-a-lait.
Clear water will be a deciding factor for trout. Southwest winds tend to send dirty water into the areas from Raccoon Island east to Grand Isle. A reminder is that dirty water tends to be freshwater and clearer water will be closer to the bottom, which means fishing artificials and live bait on the bottom rather than under corks.
Remember, too, that dirty water-clear water lines hold trout and can be ultra-productive spots especially on the stronger tides like we’re expecting this weekend.
Over past weekend, the reports of the slow bite meant that using live bait attracted more strikes from hardhead catfish than from trout and redfish. Don’t let that bother you this weekend. Live bait should be a good choice in the next several days.
Areas east of the Mississippi River are affected less by southwest winds. That should give you a chance to catch trout and reds on topwater lures like Top Dogs, She Dogs and Zara Spooks.
For offshore anglers, remember that the federal red snapper season closed this past Monday.