If you’ve been waiting for a weekend to repair your boat, clean reels and rods and rearrange your tackle box, then the coming days will provide that rare opportunity.
The only shot at decent weather comes Saturday morning: Otherwise there’s a chance of rain and thunderstorms through next Tuesday.
Rains have swollen all local rivers — check out the flash-flood advisories throughout the Florida Parishes — except the Mississippi and Atchafalaya, which are predicted to fall throughout the weekend, and rains and hard winds have muddied virtually all the coastal and near-coastal waters.
What’s worse is that the forecast is calling for rough inside conditions, 2-5 foot seas near the coast and 4-7 foot offshore swells.
What to do?
Offshore fishermen might want to take the days to get the new fee-free Offshore Landing Permit. Effective the first of this year, all offshore fishermen will need the permit to catch and keep tunas, billfishes, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers and snappers. You can get the permit on the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ website: http://www.wlf.la.gov/rolp.
After hearing the report from charter skipper Peace Marvel, you’re going to need the permit. Marvel said he’s taking wahoo up to 80 pounds from the Midnight Lumps, and predicted top-drawer yellowfin tuna action on The Lumps through the winter and early spring months.
Maybe the only shot any of us will have this weekend is in the Atchafalaya Spillway. Water levels are falling there, and with moderate barometric pressures and warmer air conditions bass could be in a solid feeding pattern. The only bug-a-boos are that cold rain is keeping water temperatures from rising and the lack of sunlight will not allow water temps to rise.
The best advice is to go small, and work quarter-ounce jigs-and-pigs or crawfish imitations (black/saffire and black/red colors) in the run-outs and around points.
Spillway sac-a-lait should respond to the cloudy conditions, too, and move away from heavy cover and be responsive to tube jigs under a cork.
Two areas that hold clear water under most weather conditions are Sulphur Mine Lake between Golden Meadow and Montegut and The Pen near Lafitte.
The Sulphur Mine and nearby waters have become the favorite target for Tom LeBlanc and Ron Aime. LeBlanc reported that Monday’s 33 speckled trout and one redfish catch came on black/chartreuse H&H Cocahoe Minnows in Old Bayou Blue, and came under similar conditions (15-20 knot east winds and choppy interior waters) as we’ll have this weekend.
Bass and redfish will be the target in The Pen and the grass beds there, and in canals off this lake that keep water clear and fishable. Use swimbaits.