Ring out the old, and ring in the new. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to say when we welcome in 2016?
Well there’s nothing new to shake off the mild, blustery conditions of the past two weeks, nothing save the strong north winds that’ll ring in this new year.
With north winds come rough inside-waters conditions and rougher seas in the open waters along the coast.
This might be the weekend to think about tragedies that come with stormy weather.
There’s nothing brave about heading out in 15-30 knot winds and nearshore seas predicted to hit four feet east of the Mississippi River and seven feet along the Central Coast. Couple that with morning temperatures at or in the low 40s and it’s a recipe for disaster. True, it’s not freezing, but hypothermia can kill in temperatures higher than those predicted this weekend.
With rains dominating the past week, and more on the way Friday, we’ll find swelling water levels in the river systems along with constant rises in the already high Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers.
The only plus in the north winds will be that it alleviate the extra-high water built up on the east side of the Mississippi River.
The hottest bass spot appears to be the marshes and bayous in the MRGO area near “The Wall.” You can catch largemouth bass like you would redfish with plastics under a cork, or jigging worms or grubs.
Gulp! Jerkshad seems to work, but on sunny days, bass, redfish, even some speckled trout, are rising on hard-plastic jerkbaits. And there’s always spinnerbaits, either rigged with shrimp-colored skirt (pink/clear) or on a heavy wire with a soft-plastic minnow imitation.
Rain and lack of sunlight leaves a short list of places even approaching “warm” spots. There continues to be action on slowly worked soft plastics and gold/black jerkbaits in clearer water in the Bayou April area, and deep-running crankbaits are finding bass in the Belle River-Intracoastal Canal run near Stephensville.
Looking for sac-a-lait?
There’s not a whole lot coming in, but the canals in the Verret Basin and some location canals in the Lac Des Allemands area are producing a few fish, some running up to two pounds on black/chartreuse tubes in clear water, and pink/white and blue/white tubes in muddier water.
Along the coast
Blame the current downturn in catches on the weather and past week’s strong southerly winds and rising water.
Sunshine will help, but until then concentrate on deep holes or off ledges along rock jetties. Trout have a pattern in most south Louisiana marshes: Trout move to the rocks or over shell beds or oyster beds on sunny days, but move back to deeper water on the fronts.