If you put off a coastal trip now, then you might risk missing one terrific weekend this summer.

You can’t ask for much more than light winds, near calm seas and solid tidal movement — and reports of fish eager to take live and artificial baits.

Now that rainfall chances are the lowest in two weeks, and we haven’t had much rain since Sunday, water levels are beginning to recede in enough rivers to give the freshwater folks a chance to get after bass, sac-a-lait, catfish and goggle-eye.

But water will continue to be a problem in the Atchafalaya Spillway, the Red River, Toledo Bend and the oxbows that get water from the Mississippi River.

Weather

Winds will shift from the southeast when a weak front moves to the coast Saturday, but the winds will remain light and seas less than one foot through Sunday, except a forecast of 5-10 knot southwest winds Sunday could push waves into the 1-2 foot range in Lake Pontchartrain.

Look for a low 70s to low 90s temperatures range with summertime’s ever-present chances of afternoon rains.

The Mississippi River continues to rise and is predicted to hit 33.3 feet in Baton Rouge, 13 feet in New Orleans, and the Atchafalaya will hit the 8.4 foot marh at Bayou Sorrel.

The coast

Light winds will allow water to clear throughout nearshore areas, and this could be a sign that we’re in for explosive topwater action on Central Coast trout.

Strong tides on the full moon will push water to Breton Sound islands, and the beaches from the mouth of the Mississippi River west through Four Bayous to Grand Isle, Elmer’s, The Fourchon and islands, reefs and beaches in Timbalier and Terrebonne waters.

Remember the best action in the surf comes in the hours before high tide.

The conditions also will allow bait to group in large numbers, and looking for rafts of mullet, and laughing gulls diving on shrimp and minnows will be a sign of feeding schools of speckled trout and white trout.

While it’s true that carrying live shrimp will be a can’t-miss proposition, a wide variety of soft-plastic and hard-plastic lures have the advantage under these conditions. Double-rigged chartreuse H&H Sparkle Beetles have been a hot bait along the Central Coast along with avocado/red glitter Coachoe Minnows.

It should be a time to prove the adage that big baits catch big fish.

Red snapper are everywhere around oil-gas platforms off the coast, and blue water was reported as close as South Tim 151. Rips have formed within an easy run from most marinas, and loads of bull and school dolphin are on the big grass lines.

Freshwater

Lake Verret/Belle River water conditions are rapidly improving and could provide bass and bluegill action.