The National Weather Service put a “vigorous” label on the next major change, and with 15-25 knot winds first from the east, then southeast, then south, then southwest Friday through Sunday. That means we’ll have to find redfish and speckled trout on rising water levels along the entire coast.

That’s not as tough as it sounds, except getting in the lee of strong winds through Monday when the next cold front (41 degrees Tuesday morning) will remove that wind-blown water.

One benefit from this next system is that high barometric pressure (it was at 30.43 inches Wednesday morning) will fall to levels that will allow longer and more feeding periods for freshwater and saltwater species.

Rain chances are high Saturday and Sunday: It’s a rough start for a school-free holiday week, but the end of next week should be prime time to get youngsters on the water.

Higher water levels in the marshes mean bass, trout and redfish will get pushed into ponds at the same time duck hunters will be in their blinds. Give them their early morning hours.


With the Atchafalaya River holding steady at a fall low, bass and sac-a-lait will settle into familiar patterns. The same is true for the Verret and Des Allemands basins, and the freshwater haunts off the Mississippi River in the Venice area.

Atchafalaya water temperatures are cooling daily, and that means fish are seeking deeper water. That’s why recent reports have bass and sac-a-lait moving into the deeper canals. On warmer days, work the points with slow-rolled spinnerbaits, slowly worked black/gold jerkbaits and black/blue jigs-n-pigs. Sac-a-lait are moving to deeper structure and taking shiners and black/chartreuse tube jigs.

Winds and rising water should push bass into the ponds in the marshes south of U.S. 90 (Turtle Bayou). Spinnerbaits and slowly worked swimbaits work. Just give the duck hunters their space in the morning.

The south winds will push too much water into the Florida Parishes rivers, except that the lower East Pearl could produce bass and redfish near and into run-outs and along points.

The coast

A lower barometer, warmer days and rising water should push trout and redfish onto marsh flats. That means topwaters should produce, along with a variety of swimbaits and soft plastics on a jighead or under a cork.

Where wind is pushing baitfish and shrimp into the edges of the marsh, work grassbeds and those edges with spinnerbaits for redfish and plastics, live minnows or live shrimp under a short leader under a cork.

The first report on the Sulphur Mine west of Golden Meadow is in, and, despite Tuesday’s chill, two limits of speckled trout came in less than two hours on black/ chartreuse and limetreuse soft-plastic lures.