A midsummer high pressure system sitting over south Louisiana usually is a good omen for freshwater and coastal action. Sure it’s hot, but these systems often bring variable breezes and extra-light seas.
This is one of those “often” times: Look for the Friday through Sunday run of 5-15 knot west winds and mostly 1-2 foot seas along the entire coast for the biggest annual summer fishing rodeo weekend in our state. Look for sea conditions to moderate Sunday when those “less than one-foot waves” will move in as the high pressure moves a bit to the east.
In general, speckled trout action is waning, but offshore catches are peaking at the right time for the youngsters to get in on the action before school begins.
Hot. Extremely hot with weekend highs nearing triple digits with a slim chance of afternoon showers. The good news is that early-week predictions of 3-5 footers offshore is down to 1-3 footers.
It appears the still extra high Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers will go on a standstill — try 38.7 feet at Baton Rouge and 15.7 feet at New Orleans on the Mississippi and at 9 feet at Bayou Sorrel on the Atchafalaya — before starting on a slow fall late next week.
The Pearl River system appears to be the top producer for bass and goggle-eye with the Verret Basin the runner-up. The Pearl is producing bass in the main rivers.
Search for points with moving water and use shad-colored crankbaits for the best action. Dropoffs along the points are holding the most fish. Work the banks early in the morning with spinnerbaits. Making long casts with a 3?8-ounce bait with a No. 2 Colorado blade in the front and a No. 4 willowleaf on the back allows you to work the bait deeper and out of the current, a place where the bass are laying off the dropoff.
Verret bass are deep in the cuts and in Belle River, the Intracoastal and in the passes. Early morning means very early morning when working the banks. After that, with all the hot surface water in the system, working swimbaits deep (a good second choice is a short-leader Carolina rig) will find bass along the ledges. Make sure to use a slow retrieve.
As predicted speckled trout have turned from feeding on shrimp to eating croakers. The best catches are coming from points (moving water) on the east side and down-river locations off the Mississippi River and from the beaches along the Central Coast. Most are using Carolina rigs with the croakers or free-lining larger croakers on 12-14 pound test line. Redfish are everywhere in the marshes, and they’re feeding on larger white shrimp.
Mangrove snapper have moved to deeper rigs, and more numbers of cobia have arrived off the coast. Billfish action has increased, and tuna catches are solid.