The strong north winds will force us to change tactics much more than colder temperatures in the next days.

Remember, we’ve had consecutive weekends of strong east winds that swelled water in every nook and cranny of our coastal marches. The east winds even sent Lake Pontchartrain water levels up nearly two feet.

With gale warnings hoisted Wednesday and small-craft warnings out through Thursday morning, we can expect the 40 hours of 25-25 knot winds to flush out once-productive coastal ponds.

The promise of calmer conditions this weekend will make for more comfortable climes, but it’s likely we’ll have to contend with dirty water and scattered action.

Weather

North and east winds will calm to the 5-10 knot range and seas fall by Friday. Look for rollers inside and 1-2 foot seas along and off the coast.

Bundle up for the early morning (lows from the mid 40s into the mid 50s) with sunny, warm afternoons.

The Mississippi River continues to fall to a 25-month low (3 feet on the New Orleans gauge). Water in the Atchafalaya Spillway is falling on the upper end, but is predicted to stack up on the lower end.

Tides are an important factor: This weekend brings rare four-tide days to most east and central coastal areas and the tides are stronger than any four-tide days we’ve had thus far this year. That means water will be moving one way or the other throughout the day.

Saltwater

There’s no way to predict what speckled trout anyone might find this weekend.

Know that more and more trout are moving into Lake Pontchartrain and that the action at the railroad trestle and along the U.S. 11 bridge has been steady for the past two weeks — except for the days strong east and now north winds kept even the best seafarers tied up.

Veteran Dudley Vandenborre insists the Deadly Dudley Slammin’ Sammy color has been the most productive, while others tout Gulp! Shrimp and others like live shrimp on a Carolina rig. Small black drum, keeper-sized redfish and flounder have been feeding in those baits, too.

When conditions have allowed, the oil and gas platforms in Lake Borgne are giving up lots of small trout.

Freshwater

Crankbaits in Tennessee Shad and Louisiana Shad colors have been taking bass in the runouts and on points in the Belle River-Stephensville area and in the major bayous south of Old River in the Atchafalaya Spillway. The best soft plastics have been Sweet Beavers and Baby Brush Hogs in pumpkinseed and watermelon colors.

Spillway sac-a-lait are tight on cover and eating shiners and black/chartreuse tubes.

White spinnerbaits and blueshad worms are working bass around grassbeds in the Tickfaw, Tchefuncte and Pearl Rivers.