Don’t have to check a thermometer to know it’s hot, and fish across central and south Louisiana know it, too.
Reports from coastal, inshore and most freshwater areas have the action confined to the early morning hours.
That means heading out at first light.
The exception is for bluegill at Old River and in the lower reaches of the Atchafalaya Spillway.
Maybe the best bet of the weekend is heading far offshore and getting in on a solid run of yellowfin tuna and bull dolphin along rip lines and around platforms in 3,000 feet of water.
Today’s forecast of triple-digit heat across the Capital City area tells it all.
A front predicted in here late Friday will bring north winds through the weekend. That means a forecast of 1-2 foot waves across nearshore waters into Sunday with calmer conditions settling in early next week.
Offshore conditions will be about the same - 1-2 footers on 10-15 knot northwest winds Saturday then 5-10 knot north, then westerly winds Sunday and Monday.
The major rivers are nearing summertime lows: Sunday’s projected levels are 4.6 feet at New Orleans for the Mississippi River and 2.3 feet for the Atchafalaya at Morgan City.
The southern reaches of the Atchafalaya continue to produce bass, goggle-eye, chinquapin and bluegill.
Find moving water - a chore that’s becoming more difficult - and you’re going to find fish.
Moving water is cooler and fish stay more active throughout the morning.
Bass are taking a variety of lures. Get around matted grass or over duck seed and frogs are your best bet. Watermelon-colored creature baits are working, too, as are crankbaits in the sloughs and around points.
The panfish are eating crickets and nightcrawlers and small soft-plastics under a cork. Find a shady spot. Lily pads are good places.
The Delacroix area continues to produce bass, too, but only during the first few hours of the day.
Slowly worked floating worms and shallow-running, shad-colored crankbaits are good.
Under light-sea conditions, topwaters were taking heavier fish next to the barrier islands from Elmer’s west to Raccoon Island.
Good second options were live shrimp and chartreuse split-tail Beetles under a cork.
Rafts of mullet and pogeys are showing up in the surf, MirrOlures and MirrOdines are catching trout when worked under the mullet.
Giant redfish remain off the ends of islands on the morning’s rising tides and in the passes on falling tide.
Drum and sheepshead dominate the catches in lower Lake Pontchartrain and into The Rigolets.
The biggest question this weekend will be whether westerly winds will move dirty water into the barrier islands west of Grand Isle.