We’re in for the season’s first “double whammy” weekend when Wednesday’s cold front will be reinforced by another stronger cold front set to blow in here sometime Friday.
For coastal fishermen it means lots of water will be blown from the marshes, and with rough seas predicted through Sunday, the marshes will be the only place to hunt for redfish and speckled trout.
On the freshwater side, the slug of Mississippi River water from Midwest storms earlier this month has run through the river, and with strong north winds ahead look for Atchafalaya Spillway water levels — and water levels in all south Louisiana bayous and rivers — to fall through the weekend.
With water temperatures staying relatively warm compared to the air temperature, and falling water levels, bass and sac-a-lait action should be solid. The problem with this cold front is we’re facing the highest barometric pressure readings since April, and that could limit feeding times for freshwater species.
All that comes on one of the very few fall weekends when LSU and the Saints aren’t playing.
Friday’s cold front will bring 15-25 knot north winds and extra rough nearshore and offshore seas. Winds will shift to the northeast, then to the east by Sunday, but are predicted to stay in the 10-15 knot range.
Look for morning temperatures in the 40s into Sunday with afternoon highs near 70 before warming slightly early next week.
The Mississippi River is predicted to fall to 14.7 feet at Baton Rouge and to 5.1 feet at New Orleans, and from 4.6 to 3.5 feet reading on the Atchafalaya’s Bayou Sorrel gauge by Monday.
The dramatic weather change makes it difficult to predict lures and action.
Run-outs and points will be the places in the Atchafalaya, the Verret Basin, Des Allemands and in the marshes south of U.S. 90. Try the same spots in Florida Parishes’ rivers, especially in the West and Middle Pearls, in the lower Tchefuncte and Bayou Lacombe.
Since spinnerbaits have been working on bass in these areas, try them first. Under the influence of the first strong, high-pressure system, think about going small and slow, a tactic that means going to smaller line, with smaller baits (6-inch worms) and slowing down on the retrieve for spinnerbaits and small crankbaits for the best action.
Winds will prevent trips into big lakes and bays, so concentrate around runouts and points where marsh ponds are dumping water into canals and bayous.
Redfish tend to lay closer to the shallows near runouts, while trout move to deeper water off points, which means working plastics under a cork for reds and on a jighead for trout.