If we could solve this incredible summertime heat problem, then all would be grand in south Louisiana’s fishing world.
The Atchafalaya Spillway is on fire, speckled trout have moved back to the beaches from Grand Terre west across East and West Timbalier to the Last Island chain, and offshore catches are solid enough on mangrove snapper, cobia, tuna and bull dolphin to make high-dollar gas trips worth the expense.
Stronger tides through the weekend are a plus, and unusual four-tide days early next week mean water will be moving along the coast, in bays and marshes for the next six days.
Problem is it’s hot and there’s no relief in sight.
Expect southwest and west winds until the National Weather Service forecast of a “weak cold front will slip near the north gulf coastal waters by Sunday night.” It won’t bring relief from extra-hot afternoons, but it will bring drier conditions, lighter winds and a forecast of nothing more than 1-2 foot offshore seas and near calm waters along the coast.
There’s a small chance of afternoon rains through next week. The major rivers are down to summer lows.
Better Spillway catches are coming from areas south of Bayou Pigeon to Flat Lake.
Find clearer moving water along points and from runouts. Then it’s a matter of choosing your favorite lure.
Reports are streaming in that buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and watermelon-colored Brush Hogs and Sweet Beavers are best, but crawfish-colored crankbaits, gold jerkbaits, a variety of topwaters and soft-plastic frogs (over duck seed and around grassbeds) are working, too.
Catches are running up to 80 bass a day with the chance to catch eight or more 14-inch-or-longer “keepers” in a day’s trip.
Action in the Pigeon and Grand Lake areas is down, mostly because of muddy water, mats of common salvinia and restricted access because of sand build-up after the spring-summer flood.
Sac-a-lait are taking tubes (black/chartreuse is best) under a cork around brushtops and downed trees across the Spillway.
At Old River, sac-a-lait are hanging under the deepest piers/walkways and bluegill are under the houseboats.
Try soft-plastic shrimp colors and live shrimp under a cork along the barrier islands.
Find laughing gulls working clear, green water in the surf for the best spots. The tip is that the western ends of the barrier islands are producing more than the eastern ends.
Topwater action is adding extra excitement for trout and redfish catches. Try red/white colors before going to the mullet (greenish) colors in the surf.
Tuna catches are at the far rigs (more than 60 miles out), but rip lines are holding lots of blue-water species.