What’s a fisherman to do?

Tropical Storm Lee left so much water that folks along major bayous and rivers from Pierre Part east to Madisonville continue to be able to catch fish in their backyards — on their backyard lawns.

We should see lower water levels by the weekend: The Atchafalaya Spillway, up to more than a 6-foot reading at Morgan City on Sunday is predicted to be at the 3.1-3.2 foot reading by Saturday.

With clear conditions predicted into the weekend, offshore anglers need to keep an eye on a tropical wave building near the Yucatan. While it doesn’t look like it will impact Louisiana, we can expect building winds and seas and, possibly a storm tide along the coast.


Continued cooler and drier conditions with isolated showers returning to Monday’s forecast. Winds and seas will calm into Friday and early Saturday, but 5-10 knot east winds will make Lake Pontchartrain rough, bring 1-2 foot nearshore conditions and 3-4 foot offshore seas by Saturday night.

After significant rises, the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are falling.

The coast

A hard call: Reports are that storm minnows began falling out with the receding storm tides late Tuesday and that redfish were ganging up around run-outs in the marshes from Golden Meadow south to The Fourchon.

Similar reports came from the Biloxi Marsh, Delacroix and the Unknown Pass area.

What makes it difficult to plan a trip is the continued high water and ongoing clean-up projects from all near-water areas east of Cypremort Point.

Reports are that there is little, if any, live bait anywhere along the coast, and there is dirty water everywhere.

Unless you find reds or trout schooling, use your favorite soft-plastic lure under a cork. Veteran anglers will tell you that avocado/red glitter is a productive color, and the Gulp! Shrimp have become a solid choice. Another tip is to dip the tail of minnow-like imitations in chartreuse dye.

The key to weekend success will be to find water running from ponds into canals, bayous or lakes. The clearer the water, the better the chance to catch fish.


Reports from the Atchafalaya, Belle River, the Tickfaw and the Pearl River were that limits of bass were common through Saturday. By Sunday, when water levels started on a hard rise, the action shut down, and hasn’t started back as of Tuesday.

Use the same tactics as marsh fishermen: Look for run-outs, and make sure it’s green-clear water running from swamps or marshes, not clear and dark (no oxygen).

The best action in the past week came from the Grand Lake area in the spillway. Shad-colored swim baits were the top producers.